EdTech Tools to Increase Student Engagement

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PlayPosit: Increase Engagement with Videos

Using videos in online learning may not sound ground-breaking or innovative, but that’s because you’re not using PlayPosit yet. PlayPosit is a tool that provides an intuitive, easy-to-use editing platform for creating interactive videos, also known as “bulbs.” You can use videos you create or content you have curated from the internet. With PlayPosit, you can add interactive elements such as multiple-choice questions, links to related articles, discussions, or even other videos in order to increase learner engagement. 

PlayPosit states that interactive videos are three times as effective as regular videos.

Imagine being able to recreate the common classroom experience in which you present students with content, then informally quiz them to gauge how well they have understood the material. Or maybe you recorded a great narrated presentation, but you’re worried that no one is listening to it. With PlayPosit, you can add a graded quiz to the presentation, asking students questions throughout the lecture and ensuring they are absorbing the content you have created. As PlayPosit integrates seamlessly with Canvas, you can easily sync scores to the gradebook, too.

  • If you love what you’ve read about PlayPosit and want to apply it to an upcoming fully online class, reach out to your instructional designer. 
  • If you want to see how easy it is to create these interactive video bulbs, you can go to the PlayPosit website to create an account using your FIU credentials. 
  • Also, you can watch the recording of our latest Faculty Webinar,  “Re-imagining Video Lectures for Impactful Learning Experiences,” which highlighted Playposit. 
  • Best yet, you can register for one of PlayPosit’s 3.0 Webinars, to be hosted Nov. 21st till Dec.17th, 2019.

H5P: Create & Share Interactive Content

H5P is a free, open-source tool that allows you to create professional-looking, interactive assets. It’s sure to make you look like a coding whiz while also engaging students. The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to the types of content you can create with H5P: 360-degree virtual tours, word search games, or interactive presentations. In fact, you can review all the different types of content on their Examples and Downloads page

The list might seem overwhelming if you are just starting to explore H5P, so we recommend you start small. For instance, you can use H5P to create interactive games. Games like Drag the Words or Flashcards function as self-evaluation tools for students, who can then check to see if they’re understanding the content. Expand that a little more and create a test prep tool to help students study for an exam. (If you used StudyMate previously, it still could be one good alternative!)

There’s a lot to discover with H5P, but not all the types of available elements will necessarily work for your course. Your instructional designer can help determine what will best fit your content.

iPeer: Develop & Deliver Peer Evaluations

iPeer is an open-source web application that allows group members to evaluate themselves and their teammates. You can create and distribute peer evaluation forms, and then calculate a grade for each student based on how their group members rated them. The most common use of this tool is to build in some accountability for group work. 

Evaluation tools can be created in iPeer (or you can use shared evaluation tools that other users create) to give students a structured, easy way to rate their group members. Grades students give to their peers can be synced directly to the Canvas Gradebook. 

There are multiple benefits to allowing peer review in your course and using it in the calculation of grades: 

  • Students will feel empowered by sharing in the grading process.
  • Logistically, iPeer takes some of the grading load off when it comes to participation.
  • iPeer encourages students to be responsible because they know their group will rate their performance at the end of a project. 

If this sounds like the missing ingredient for your group assignments and you are interested in using iPeer in your fully online classes, contact your instructional designer today.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Claudia Fernandez is a proud FIU alumna ('05) and has been a part of the FIU Online family since 2012. A former librarian and storyteller, she has brought those research and storytelling skills into her work as a Senior Instructional Designer in order to create engaging learning experiences for online students.

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