Why would I use active & collaborative learning tools?

Active learning tools can be used to engage students and promote deeper understanding in both online and face-to-face sessions. Collaborative tools allow students to interact and connect with each other in an online platform. 

What active & collaborative learning tools are available?

The active and collaborative learning tools that are centrally supported include:

PadletUQ

PadletUQ is the university's licensed version of Padlet which allows students to submit free-text responses on a 'virtual wall' (webpage). The instructor can then select particular answers for discussion.

Features

  • Can include a range of media in posts, such as text, videos, images, maps, PDFs, GIFs and more. 
  • Unlimited number of posts and Padlets can be created.
  • There are a range of Padlet formatting options to facilitate different types of activites (i.e. Wall, Canvas, Stream, Grid, Shelf, Backchannel, Map and Timeline). 
  • Instructor can adjust the privacy settings of the Padlet (i.e. Organisation Wide or Secret). 
  • If the 'Organisation Wide' privacy option and attribution is enabled, student names are displayed with their posts.
  • The Padlet icon, wallpaper and colour scheme can be completely customised.
  • Padlet content can be exported, cleared, the format can be changed (if required) and reused for the next activity.

Limitations

  • 'Organisation Wide' privacy option results in Padlet being searchable by all UQ students and staff.
  • 'Secret' privacy option won't display student names with their posts, even if attribution is enabled, as login is not required.
  • Reports cannot be generated on student contributions.

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H5P

H5P provides an easy way to create small interactive learning objects that can be inserted into courses, providing students with engaging resources and formative assessment activities that provide immediate feedback.

Features

  • Feedback and results are provided immediately to the student.
  • Learning objects are interactive and easy to use.
  • All interactive learning objects created within H5P can be shared with other staff who can then edit or clone the content. 
  • A range of H5P content types are available to accomodate different learning activities. 
  • H5P content can be embedded or linked within Learn.UQ and edX (Edge). 
  • If content is linked in Blackboard, a Grade Centre column is automatically created to track completion and results (for most H5P content types).
  • Individual student results, including which questions they got incorrect or correct, are available through the H5P web interface.

Limitations

  • Content needs to be linked or embedded externally for students to access the content.
  • If content is embedded, rather than linked within Blackboard, no reporting is available through Grade Centre.
  • Unable to export reports from H5P as a spreadsheet.

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Zoom

UQ's virtual classroom system, Zoom, provides a range of functionality to facilitate in-class engagement and participation, such as polling, reactions and chat.

Features

Polling

  • Poll students to check their understanding or gather views on a particular topic with up to 10 possible answer options.
  • View polling data after the meeting and download a full poll report showing individual student responses.
  • Polling questions can be either multiple answer or single choice.
  • Multiple polls can be set up prior to the meeting and deployed at different times.
  • Polling results can be shared with students during the meeting.

Reactions

  • Reactions can be used to efficiently provide non-verbal feedback to a question posed by staff.
  • Range of reaction emojis are available to facilitate students responses and feedback.
  • In-meeting chat allows students to publically and privately chat with their peers and staff. 
  • Students can use the Raise hand reaction to indicate they want to speak.

Chat

  • Students and staff can share files in the chat which can then be downloaded by meeting participants. 
  • A time-stamped record of the chat is available in the recording and is automatically downloaded after the meeting.
  • Staff can control whether students have the ability to chat publically, privately or both.

Limitations

Polling

  • Polls need to be set up prior to the meeting.
  • No option for free-text response polling questions.
  • No ability to include images in polling options.
  • Staff can't view individual student polling responses without downloading a report after the meeting.

Reactions

  • Reactions need to be cleared between questions by staff.
  • Reactions aren't anonymous as students can see how their peers react to a particular question.

Chat

  • If private chat is enabled, staff will not be able to view any private chats between other students.
  • Any files sent through the chat, including photos, need to be downloaded before they can be viewed.

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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is an online collaboration platform which enables staff and students to co-author documents, have both individual and group chats, schedule meetings, as well as use audio or video communication features.

Features

  • Ability to co-author Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Forms content online.
  • Students and staff can send individual or group private messages using the chat feature.
  • Posts offer a range of media types including file attachments, emojis, GIFs, stickers and praise in a discussion board style format.
  • Video calls within Teams for both scheduled and impromptu meetings.
  • Private channels allow for collaboration in a private space (i.e. accessibly to only group members or teaching staff). 
  • Tabs can be added to channels to provide easy access to a range of content, such as web links, YouTube videos, documents, Planners and other Microsoft apps.
  • The Planner app allows students to easily allocate tasks to fellow group members and keep track of their progress.
  • Tags can be added to posts by entering the "@" symbol before a name or channel title to alert the relevant people. 

Limitations

  • Students need to be manually added to Teams as guests and to private channels individually until the staff and student tenancies are merged.
  • Video calls cannot be scheduled within private channels, however impromtu meetings can still occur.
  • Staff cannot view private chats between students.

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UQpoll (UQ Active Learn)

UQpoll allows teaching staff to pose multiple choice questions in class within their PowerPoint presentation, on the board or verbally. Students vote for the option via a webpage on a smart phone, tablet or laptop. The answers are then displayed in the front of the class as a graph.

Students Staff
UQpoll student view UQpoll staff view

Features 

  • Instructor and students have separate URLs for easy access.
  • Instructor can clear responses immediately and use the same URL for additional questions. 
  • Can save responses as a CSV file and as an image.
  • No account setup needed for staff or students. 
  • Can control when students can start and stop inputting answers to questions.

Limitations

  • Question textbox has a limit of 64 characters.
  • Cannot change number of possible answers (i.e. must include 5 response options)
  • Need to display answer options separately (i.e. in a Powerpoint slide).
  • Need to switch between the PowerPoint presentation to view answer options and browser to view responses. 
  • Students need a UQ account to contribute.  

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UQwordcloud (UQ Active Learn)

UQwordcloud allows teaching staff to pose short answer questions in class with students being able to enter responses of up to 25 characters. Students respond to the question via a webpage on a smart phone, tablet or laptop. The answers are then collated and displayed at the front of the class as a 'wordcloud' for discussion. 

Students Staff
Student UQwordcloud

Features

  • Useful for brainstorming.
  • Common responses are made larger to indicate the number of student responses.
  • Instructor and students have separate URLs for easy access.
  • Instructor can clear responses immediately and use the same URL for additional questions. 
  • Can save responses as a CSV file and as an image.
  • No account setup needed for staff or students. 
  • Can control when students can start and stop inputting answers to questions.
  • Student responses can be identified, however you may want to advise students to be mature and ignore anything inappropriate.

Limitations

  • Question textbox has a limit of 64 characters.
  • Limit of 1 - 3 words (25 characters) per response.
  • Does not recognise foreign language symbols.  
  • Cannot be used for higher order thinking questions, as answers are too short.

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UQwordstream (UQ Active Learn)

UQwordstream allows teaching staff to pose open-ended response questions in class with students being able to enter free-text responses up to 1000 characters. Students respond to the question via a webpage on a smart phone, tablet or laptop. The answers are then displayed at the front of a class in a ‘Twitter’ like feed. 

Students Staff
Student UQwordstream Staff - UQwordstream

Features

  • Can gather qualitative feedback through open-ended or closed-ended questions.
  • Can make student responses anonymous to encourages open feedback.
  • Instructor and students have separate URLs for easy access.
  • Instructor can clear responses immediately and use the same URL for additional questions. 
  • Can save responses as a CSV file and as an image.
  • No account setup needed for staff or students. 
  • Can control when students can start and stop inputting answers to questions.
  • Student responses can be identified, however you may want to advise students to be mature and ignore anything inappropriate.

Limitations

  • Question textbox has a limit of 64 characters.
  • Limit of 500 words (1000 characters) per response.
  • Does not recognise foreign language symbols.  
  • Need to advise students to be mature and ignore anything inappropriate.

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Discussion Boards

​What discussion boards are available?

  Learn.UQ Discussion Board Ed Discussion Board
Features
  • Allows for marking of individual submissions or student contributions over a semester.
  • Students can give feedback on each others' work.
  • The "post first" set up can be used to ensure student enter their own response before they can view the responses of other students.
  • Marking is available.
  • Clean and streamlined design allowing smooth communication flow.
  • Thread templates prompt students to ask better questions by giving them more structure and eliminate back and forth.
  • All course communication in one place.
  • No more emails - questions and answers posted on Ed benefit the whole class.
  • Questions and posts are organized under different categories.
  • Supports equations, figures, multimedia sources, and code.
  • Megathreads allow collating all questions on a specific topic into a single thread.
  • Vast variety of moderation options: locking, deleting, declining threads, revealing anonymours, staff-only comments, @mentions.
  • Inbuilt analytics summarizing the student engagement and participation in the course.
Limitations
  • Posts are visible to all students.
  • No marking available.
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