Navigating the End of Google Jamboard

A whiteboard displaying a collaborative activity with post-it notes.

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital tools, change is constant. Google Jamboard, a trusted  virtual collaboration tool, is bidding farewell come December 31, 2024. But fear not, for in this post, we’ll guide you through the discontinuation of Google Jamboard by introducing you to a lineup of powerful alternatives ready to pick up the slack, ensuring your collaborative endeavors stay on track. Check out the following innovative virtual whiteboarding solutions, and start deciding which ones meet your needs in an effort to make the transition from Google Jamboard a smooth one!

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8 Strategies to Amplify Student Engagement in Online Courses

Online courses have opened avenues for both students and educators. They provide flexibility, accessibility, and convenience that cater to diverse learners and busy schedules. However, among these advantages, one significant challenge often remains: fostering meaningful student engagement in the virtual classroom. The absence of face-to-face interactions and the potential for distractions can make cultivating active participation seem like a daunting task. In this blog post, we delve into the art of overcoming these obstacles.    Continue reading “8 Strategies to Amplify Student Engagement in Online Courses”

What is “Chunking”? Why Does it Matter for Online Course Design?

“Chunks” might sound more like a way to describe your favourite chocolate bar than a useful learning strategy, but it actually relates to an important process in cognitive psychology. By taking complex materials and breaking them into smaller but related and well-organized elements (i.e., more “bite-sized” and “palatable”), you can design online course materials for more efficient application of your learners’ working memory, and improve the learning experience in your online class. In this post, I’ll cover a basic overview of what “chunking” is all about, and some ways we apply this strategy to online course design.

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Create a Button and Dialog Box in Canvas Pages with this HTML Trick

Have you ever wanted to include a simple knowledge check or self-check question in Canvas pages that would give you an easy way to build-in immediate feedback to the learner? One quick way to do this on your Canvas pages, with just a bit of HTML code, is to insert a button with a “popup” dialog box. This post will show you how (and give you the HTML code snippets to try it yourself!).

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Using Poll Everywhere in an Asynchronous Online Course

Poll Everywhere is a web-based polling tool now available at USask. It allows for group engagement, feedback, and interaction through live online polling, surveys, Q&As, quizzes, word clouds, and more. Poll Everywhere is also a fairly flexible tool, and can be used for teaching and learning in face-to-face synchronous, online synchronous (i.e., Zoom), and online asynchronous situations. This post will focus on providing some tips and ideas for using Poll Everywhere in your asynchronous online courses, including instructions for how to embed the activity into a Canvas page.

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Drawing and Whiteboarding Tools for Synchronous Online Teaching

During synchronous online teaching sessions, there are many reasons why you may wish to draw or sketch out an idea with students visually, or use a “digital whiteboard” tool to collaborate and organize thoughts during brainstorming or live discussions. You might want your class as a whole, or smaller groups within it, to build meaning with complex ideas by creating mind maps or other visual organizers. You might want students to share ideas, or media from around the web, on a collaborative bulletin board filled with “sticky notes” and hyperlinks. You also may just find it easier to communicate certain ideas, or guide students through a process, by drawing something out “by hand” — an approach that mimics many tried-and-true teaching approaches based on chalkboards in the classroom.

In this post, I’ll cover a number of digital whiteboard, drawing, or sketching tools that you might consider incorporating into your next synchronous teaching session.

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