Single-Step Tools for Presenting Information and Interacting with Students

1. If you are not using CTools, e-mail and a class listserv will be the easiest tools for presenting information and interacting with students.

Using a class listserv you can

  • Send students your lectures or PowerPoint slides.
  • Send students reading questions, readings, and assignments.
  • Receive student work as attachments (e.g., papers and problem sets).
  • Receive and answer student questions.
  • Send students questions for discussion.
  • Organize class discussions (See Tips for Teaching Online).
  • For tests and exams, you need to set a specific start and end time, and e-mail the test/exam to students together with information about academic integrity.

2. If you are not using CTools and want to explore its functions, read the following:

3. If you are using CTools, it is useful for presenting information and offers more options for further engaging students in learning:

Using CTools you can

  • Post lecture materials in the “Resources” section, using a folder for each class meeting date.
  • Use the “Announcements” tool to keep students informed (e.g., about deadlines).
  • Use “Resources” to post course syllabus, readings, images, videos, and links to other materials/resources.
  • Use “Assignments” to post assignments in chronological order so students can catch up.
  • Use “Discussion” or “Forum” to post topics or questions for discussion and have students respond to the topic and to each other.
  • Use “Drop Box” where students submit their work and you can return graded work.
  • Use “Gradebook” to keep track of students’ grades.

Other useful CTools functions include the following, but be aware that they may be suspended during times of high network use:

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