LectureTools User Blog

Supplements of a LectureTools Testimony

Posted by Chelsea Jenkins on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 @ 12:10 PM

LectureTools: An engaging presentation tool to use in the classroom

Jim Barbour, associate professor of economics, uses LectureTools in his introductory-level courses.

Jim Barbour, chair of the economics department and associate professor of economics, uses LectureTools in his introductory-level courses.

While searching for an alternative to clickers to use in his classes, Jim Barbour, chair of the economics department and associate professor of economics, stumbled upon LectureTools.

Run by a five-person team in Ann Arbor, Mich.,LectureTools is an engaging, web-based program that allows instructors to create interactive presentations.

“I was looking for something that was more robust,” Barbour said. “Think of [LectureTools] as a combination of clickers, Facebook and Twitter all rolled into one.”

Special Features

By uploading preexisting PowerPoint presentations to LectureTools, instructors can enhance classroom materials by incorporating multiple-choice, short-answer or ordering questions, as well as images and videos onto slides. Students can access presentations on their own devices by logging in to the program.

“All of this is like a clicker on steroids,” Barbour said. “But now, you don’t have to keep track of the clickers, and you don’t have to charge them up.”

Instructors can incorporate multiple-choice, short-answer or ordering questions, as well as images and videos onto slides.

Instructors can enhance classroom materials by incorporating multiple-choice, short-answer or ordering questions, as well as images and videos onto slides.

LectureTools is free for instructors, Barbour said, while students must pay a flat $15 fee at the beginning of the semester.

LectureTools works best on laptops, tablets and smartphones, Barbour said, though students can still participate if he or she has a mobile phone with texting capabilities.

Barbour said out of the seventy-odd students he has had in his LectureTools-based classes, only one did not have a laptop, tablet, smartphone or phone with texting capabilities. Because of this, Barbour is lending his Kindle to the student.

“There are places [students can] checkout [laptops] from the school, so I’ve run into that once out of 74 students,” Barbour said. “It’s probably going to be a problem less and less as we go forward.”

Students can control the view of their individual screens, take notes on slides, mark slides as confusing, bookmark slides to review later and direct questions to instructors by typing inquiries into a comment box.

 

 

Students can control the view of their individual screens, take notes on slides, mark slides as confusing, bookmark slides to review later and direct questions to instructors by typing inquiries into a comment box.

 

 

While logged in to LectureTools, students can control the view of their individual screens. Students can take notes on the slides, and because the program is web-based, students’ notes are saved online and can be accessed later.

Freshman Michelle Rich, a student in Barbour’s introductory-level economics class, said she likes the flexibility of LectureTools in that it allows her to control what slide is displayed on her screen. She said she likes the interactivity of the technology too, because it helps her to better learn the material.

“LectureTools is helpful, but I am still adapting to this new way of learning,” she said. “I really like how my professor asks us questions through LectureTools because it tests us while we’re learning.”

Students can mark presentation slides as confusing, and they can bookmark slides to review later. Further, students can direct questions to instructors by typing them into a comment box, and professors receive those inquiries instantly.

“It’s another way for me to communicate with the class, and that’s really what I’m interested in because at the core, we are storytelling creatures,” Barbour said. “This allows me to tailor the story as I go to match what the class seems to need. Any good instructor always does that.”

LectureTools records all student activity and converts the data into a report, which is sent to an instructor approximately 20 minutes after class is over.

Students in Barbour's economics class collaborate on a short-answer question.

 

 

Students in Barbour's introductory-level economics class collaborate on a short-answer question.

 

 

 

By Sam Parker 

 

To use LectureTools and start increasing engagement in YOUR classroom click here: 

 

 

 

 

Topics: LectureTools News, classroom engagement strategies, emerging technologies in education, interactive classroom technology, enhance student engagement, Teaching with Technology, Student-Instructor Interaction, Engaging Students in the Classroom, Large Class, Classroom Response Systems, Educational Technology, instructor interaction, instructor communication, student engagement, student engagement strategies, Student Response Systems, Student Participation, student response, Flipped Instruction, Clickers, educational networking, Guest Blogger

1 New Way to Identify Misconception with LectureTools

Posted by Jason Aubrey on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 @ 12:03 PM

It's difficult to get students to raise their hand, interrupt your lecture, and ask a question. The deer in the headlight approach is one way to identify potentially confused students. We've made it a bit easier and introduced a more engaging way for you to read their minds. 

Anonymous Filter Enables Instructors to Verbally Address Questions During Lecture

If you want to show your class questions submitted from other students during class, just open the instructor dashboard. The names of students that digitally submit questions will be hidden from the class. 

Hide Name resized 600

LectureTip: The Instructor Dashboard is located in the present tab and enables instructors to draw on slides and monitor student questions and comprehension, taking advantage of classroom engagement strategies.

Dashboard resized 600

Create an Account to View Live Questions During Lecture.

Ready to upload PowerPoint slideshows, add activities, and create multimedia slides? Create a free instructor account to begin making your lectures more interactive.

Get Started with an Instructor Account Now

Topics: classroom engagement strategies, emerging technologies in education, interactive classroom technology

How to Flip Your Class with LectureTools!

Posted by Katherine Pfeiffer on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 @ 06:02 AM
Are you being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, or are you dancing with joy when you find a new and cool education technology?

Either way, LectureTools offers a fantastic and easy solution to flip your classroom.  Some of you may ask what I mean by flipping a classroom, check out my last blog: The Flipped Classroom: Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century

Have you been thinking about how to flip your classroom?  Are you not sure what technology to use?  Let’s take a look at how LectureTools can help support your flipped classroom.

lecturetools flipped classroom

LectureTools is an interactive student response system.  It was designed to connect instructors with students in a synchronous face-to-face interactive environment.  However, take a new technology like LectureTools mixed with bright innovative teachers, and, voila!  You have an awesome and easy way to FLIP YOUR CLASS TODAY!

You may ask “what is so special about LectureTools?”

LectureTools offers everything the instructor needs to present materials to their students for a flipped class. 

  • EMBEDDED VIDEO - With the ability to embed both native (your own recorded video) and YouTube videos directly into the lecture slides students can seamlessly review their lecture, video clip to slides, then back to video clips.
  • ORGANIZED NOTE-TAKING - LectureTools also offers a very organized place for students to type their notes along side the lecture slides.  This keeps everything together in one neat place.
  • INTERACTIVE ACTIVITIES - LectureTools was designed to be an interactive student response system, so there are interactive activities that the instructor can insert to test the students’ understanding as they are going through their lecture.  Teachers can assess any misconceptions and address them in the next in class session.  These interactive activities are multiple-choice question, free response answer, re-ordered quiz, and our all-time favorite, the image quiz.
  • QUESTION & ANSWER INTERFACE - Finally, one of the greatest features that LectureTools offers both students and instructors is the question interface.  As students sit in their lecture (whether real time or synchronous) they may type in questions to their instructors.  All questions will be answered and shared anonymously with the entire class.  This is the virtual way of raising your hand and hoping to be called on, however in this format students’ questions can always be recognized.

Sign on to see what my flipped lecture of the study of the cell looks like:

Go to: https://my.lecturetools.com/ and use the following credentials:

email address: [email protected]

password: icon2011

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: emerging technologies in education, interactive classroom technology, Teaching with Technology, Student-Instructor Interaction, Engaging Students in the Classroom, Classroom Response Systems, Educational Technology, Student Response Systems, Flipped Instruction, Laptops in Education, The Flipped Classroom, Cloud Computing, Using Multimedia During Class

Greetings From the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas!

Posted by Jason Aubrey on Tue, Jan 10, 2012 @ 23:01 PM

Hello, 

It's LectureTool's first visit to Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (CES 2012) and so far so good! Higher education reps and corporations were excited to see the education offerings of our presentation, student response, and note-taking tool. It's also the first time we've publicly displayed our LectureBook etextbook product and our upcoming iPad application. 

CES Photo resized 600

(From left to right, Rich Boys (Director of Customer Experience), Zach Wick (Software Engineer), Bret Squire (Software Engineer), and Jason Aubrey (Director of Sales of Marketing).

Our team knows the competitive nature of CES and what's being presented, so we thought we'd play along and show the world how cool education can be, too.

We took this opportunity to show a sneak peak of the first student response and note-taking iPad application. The app allows students to use the Apple iPad to respond to activities, swipe through lecture slides, ask questions, and the other things students can do on LectureTools. The plan is to allow for online and offline access to LectureTool's materials for students. As long as they have their iPads, they have their course materials. 

Stay tuned as we'll be officially launching our iPad application in the near future, available for all students with LectureTool's subscriptions. 

From Las Vegas,

The LectureTools CES Team!

Booth 73305 in the Venetian Ballroom

Topics: classroom engagement strategies, emerging technologies in education, interactive classroom technology, Teaching with Technology, student response, Student Assessment, CES, ipad application

View and Export Data to Assess Student Performance

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 @ 10:10 AM

Instructors using LectureTools may have noticed a new tab appear to the left of the interface during the past week or so.

The Assess tab provides access to activity, comprehension, and student question data.

 assess student performance

 

Data is also available for how many activities were answered correctly, how many questions were submitted, how many slides were marked confusing, and binary participation data on a per-student basis.

other performance metrics

 

All data from the Assess tab can be exported as a CSV file, allowing for manipulation and analysis in programs like Excel.

export course data

Moving data to your spreadsheet application also makes it easy to import data from LectureTools into the gradebook of any learning management system, allowing you to assign participation points with ease.

 

get an instructor accountGet Started with Assess by Registering a Free Account

Ready to assess student performance with LectureTools? Create an instructor account today to begin preparing interactive activities for your students.

Create an Account Now

Topics: LectureTools News, New Features, emerging technologies in education, Classroom Response Systems, Learning Outcomes, Student Assessment

Introducing Expanded Slide View for Students

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 @ 08:10 AM

One area where desktops have a distinct advantage over laptops is display area. Most laptops have displays that range from 13-16 inches, making every pixel that much more valuable. For students using LectureTools, there is often little need to access Course Tabs or the Lecture Dates Sidebar once class has started.

This fact combined with some of our student users’ requests for a way to zoom-in on slides inspired our newest feature: Expanded View.

 

Maximizing screen real estate for the things that matter

Students can now utilize more of their valuable screen real estate on the Student Notebook and the Slides or Question Tab. This makes it easier to read smaller type on the slides, and also allows a greater portion of laptop screens to be dedicated to in-class content and activities.

It’s as simple as clicking the expand view button on the lower right corner of the slides.

updated slides pane

The new button is integrated into the slides toolbox students are already familiar with.

 

full window expanded view

In Expanded View, the Lecture Dates Sidebar collapses and all top navigation is minimized. This maximizes the screen space for the slides, student questions, and notebook, allowing students to see a larger, “zoomed-in” version of the slides.

 

Returning to the standard view with all of the Course Tabs and top navigation links is as simple as pressing the Exit Expanded View button.

 

Follow LectureTools on Twitter

Stay Up-to-Date with the Latest Educational Technology News

Follow LectureTools on Twitter and join the latest conversations about emerging educational technologies, best practices for teaching with technology, and connect with educators around the world.

 

Topics: LectureTools News, New Features, emerging technologies in education, interactive classroom technology, Educational Technology, Student Response Systems, Web Applications, Student Note-Taking

A New Level of (Remote) Control

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 @ 12:10 PM

presentation remotesUp until now, instructors have been able to navigate their slideshows only by using a mouse or keyboard. The downside was that throughout lecture, instructors had to return to their laptop or the lectern to advance slides.

Earlier this month, our developers added functionality to LectureTools for presentation remotes (also known as PowerPoint remotes). Advancing slides is still as simple as clicking a button, but now instructors can do so from wherever they might be standing in their classroom.

Compatability with presentation remotes should make it even easier for existing PowerPoint or Keynote users to acclimate to teaching with LectureTools.

 

Photo: inju

 

Learn About Presentation Features and More!

LectureTools Instructor Dashboard

Request a live demo today and learn more about how to create interactive slideshows and how to present engaging lectures using classroom response and student inquiry features of LectureTools.

Schedule a Live Demo

Topics: LectureTools News, New Features, emerging technologies in education, Teaching with Technology, Educational Technology, Web Applications

LectureTools is Ready for Your Classroom: Sign-up Today

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 @ 15:08 PM

welcome to lecturetools

The past few months have been exciting times in the humble LectureTools offices. We have watched as students and instructors used early editions of our application in their spring courses. Our developers have spent countless hours building and perfecting new features to prepare for launch.

Thanks to support from the University of Michigan’s Office of Technology Transfer and Center for Entrepreneurship, LectureTools is now commercially available. Try it out for yourself by creating a free instructor account.

Finally, the time has come for open registration. Over 4,000 students at the University of Michigan alone will be using our tool this fall.

We hope you will take time to everything LectureTools has to offer your classroom, from easy creation of innovative activities to engage your students to the real-time feedback you can access using the Presentation Dashboard.

 

Ready to see for yourself?

 

Want to learn more before you register?

Topics: LectureTools News, emerging technologies in education, lecturetools beta, Web Applications

How to Get the Best Results with LectureTools

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Fri, Aug 5, 2011 @ 09:08 AM

LectureTools has been designed with input from students and instructors to make class more engaging and to increase student attentiveness. To achieve the best results, however, quality pedagogy is essential.

When teaching new technologies, it is important to keep student learning in mind. Technology is only a tool – new instructional technology can give you more knives in the drawer, but you are still the chef.

A University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching study (PDF link) identified several “good” instructional practices that are supported through use of LectureTools, including frequent assessment of student learning, teaching with a rapid feedback cycle, and reflection on learning.

Three Levels of LectureTools Use by Faculty

The CRLT study used faculty interviews and student feedback to code how each course was taught. Researchers found that LectureTools use fell into three distinct categories:

  1. Presentation: Instructor uploads slides and presents information while students take notes.
  2. Interaction: Instructor uploads slides and then presents information, polls students using the integrated student response system, and utilized the student inquiry tool.
  3. Reflection: Instructor not only presents information in slides and asks questions, but also modifies the lecture based on student responses, reflects on class responses, and uses questions or responses for group work or class activities.

Wieman has argued that interactive teaching improves student learning, and the three categories of LectureTools can easily be ordered from least interactive (Presentation) to most (Reflection).

Differences in Engagement, Attentiveness, and Learning by Teaching Style

After categorizing each course into the appropriate level of use, the researchers compared student perceptions of attentiveness, engagement, and learning.

 

Identified Perceptions of Levels

  Attentiveness increased due to LectureTools LectureTools helped me to be engaged Learned more due to LectureTools
Reflection
n=127
3.67* 3.83* 3.62*
Interaction
n=93
3.39* 3.51* 3.49*
Presentation
n=32
2.48 2.69 2.38

*Significant difference versus Presentation level classes with p<.001
1=significantly decreased, 5=significantly increased

 

Unsurprisingly, the data reveals that students in both interactive and reflective courses are significantly more attentive and engaged than their peers in presentation-based courses. Additionally, these students feel that they have learned more.

Conclusion and Best Practices

The CRLT study reveals that the more instructors take advantage of the interactive features of LectureTools, the more students feel they are much more engaged and attentive during class.

To achieve best results with LectureTools, it is important to use the interactive activities and the student inquiry channel. To move your class into the "Reflection" level use the activity results and student questions to help shape the lecture, facilitate peer instruction during and after activities, and spend time talking about student responses.

 

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Topics: classroom engagement strategies, emerging technologies in education, interactive classroom technology, Teaching with Technology, Student-Instructor Interaction, Engaging Students in the Classroom, Classroom Response Systems, Educational Technology, instructor interaction, instructor communication, student engagement, student engagement strategies, Student Response Systems, Laptops in Education, Learning Outcomes

Meet the 5 LectureTools Beta Instructors

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Mon, May 23, 2011 @ 09:05 AM

For several weeks, LectureTools has been in exclusive beta testing in five spring courses at the University of Michigan. So far, both students and instructors have been able to give our development team constructive feedback about their LectureTools Beta experiences.

We are in constant contact with our “beta instructors” and our development team is busy ironing out any remaining bugs. Allowing these select external users to teach and learn using LectureTools has proved to be valuable for both parties thus far.

We are fortunate to have a group of passionate professors who are using LectureTools in their spring courses. Meet the instructors and see screenshots of how their courses have been using LectureTools below.

Dr. Ken Balazovich

Dr. Balazovich uses LectureTools in his Molecular, Cellular, and Development Biology course, where he teaches roughly 100 students.

biology answered questions

Dr. Balazovich's students have been active on the student inquiry channel. His graduate student instructor answers the student questions during lecture. Above is Dr. Balazovich's view of the answered questions (we removed student names to preserve anonymity). Students see answered questions anonymously.

 

biology free response

Above is the results slide for one of Dr. Balazovich's free response activities. If the instructor chooses "Show Results," LectureTools randomly selects 20 responses to display and generates a results slide to facilitate class discussion.

 

Dr. Kyger Lohman

Dr. Lohman is teaching Geology of Michigan this semester. His course has about 40 students.

prepare geology lecture

Above is the "Prepare" interface for one of Dr. Lohman's lectures. From this interface he can import PowerPoint slideshows, re-order or hide specific slides, or create interactive activities.

 

Dr. Marita Inglehart

Dr. Inglehart is using LectureTools in her Psychology of Dentistry course. Her class begins bright and early at 8:00am, has around 100 students, and has plenty of opportunities for class discussion.

dentistry interactive activity

Activities remain "hidden" from students until the instructor chooses to start the activity during class. Here Dr. Inglehart prepares to ask her students about a dentist's rapport with his patient after an in-class video.

 

Dr. Lynn Carpenter

Dr. Carpenter is teaching Introductory Biology: Ecology and Evolution this semester. About 100 students are enrolled in her lecture.

biology student inquiry

The student view of the inquiry tool from one of Dr. Carpenter's biology lectures. Students can see the questions they have asked and any answered questions from the entire class. Only the instructor and TAs see names associated with the questions.

 

Dr. Patricia Coleman-Burns

Dr. Coleman-Burns is teaching Introduction to the Research Approach in Nursing for almost 20 nursing students this spring.

nursing student screenshot

Students can view Dr. Coleman-Burns's slides and take notes using LectureTools. They can also navigate to the "Questions" tab to submit questions for Dr. Coleman-Burns to answer.


Schedule a Live Demo

To learn how to prepare and present interactive lectures using LectureTools, schedule a live demo today.

Topics: LectureTools Beta Classrooms, LectureTools News, emerging technologies in education, lecturetools beta