Picking Useful Tools for Instruction

Pick useful tools

It’s critically important to pick tools based on their usefulness for the course. Technology tools, including Canvas functions, should only be used if they have a purpose for instruction.

Orient students to tools and provide practice opportunities

Any tool used in a course should include a form of orientation and practice. For example, the start of a course may have an icebreaker as a discussion board. The icebreaker can serve as both a place for students to get to know one another and as a place to practice using the discussion board itself.

Students need to be provided with resources to succeed with tools. The first use of any technology tool should contain links to relevant help resources. For example, when using a discussion for the first time, place in resources that would help a student succeed in using the discussion board. These can be a series of links referring individuals to helpful resources on how to reply, as well as attach files and upload a video to a discussion, among others.

Student resources for Canvas tools can be found on the Canvas Community, particularly in the Canvas Student Guide.  Students can also be directed to self-enroll in the Canvas Student Training Resources site.

Resources for non-Canvas tools can often be found on a vendor’s website. For example, the design tool Canva provides a large Learn section, with resources tagged specifically for teachers and students.

Offer additional resources

All students at the college have access to Microsoft Office 365, including the latest version of Microsoft Office for their computer or mobile device. Students are able to access Office 365 and the downloadable version of Office via their college email account. There is no cost to the student for using Office 365 while they are a student at the college. More information on Office 365, including how students can download it, can be found on the Student Services: How to Install Office 365 for Students page within ITConnect.

Students may need assistance with using tools like Microsoft Office, Windows, MacOS, or other items. Students can be referred to outside sources, such as GCFGlobal (formerly GCFLearnFree), or internal resources such as Tech Tutors or the College Library.

Questions? We can help!

Have questions about instructor presence, video, audio, online teaching, or much more? Please contact the Center for Teaching & Learning through our contact form or by phone at (708) 974-5347.