This is a post from the Pearson blog about providing different types of feedback to your students. However, the real gems of the post are the three different tools they review:
1. VoiceThread – Touting itself as “conversations in the cloud”, VoiceThread offers a way for you and your students to communicate about a slideshow; your slideshow can include video and audio files, documents, spreadsheets, and web content. There is no software to install, and the program accepts comments via voice, text, and audio and video files. Pearson suggests this like “your discussion board on steroids”. The cost is $99/year for 1 instructor and 50 student accounts, with departmental pricing also available.
2. xtimeline – Timelines are great ways to relate the causes and effects of various events, evaluate parallel events, and organize information. xtimeline is a free, web-based timeline program that allows the author to create a timeline on any subject. Images can be imported from the web and text can be written by the author or added from online sources. Multiple students can work together on one timeline and embed code is provided, so timelines can be added directly to your course shell.
3. Mind42 – Representing clusters of ideas and inter-related concepts can be tricky – even more so online and collaboratively. Mind42 offers a web-based visual thinking application; data is stored in the cloud. There are many different style and color options to allow for the customization of different nodes and their relationships. There’s also a publish option that provides a read-only view, complete with embed code. The free option has a limit of 5 maps per user at any given time.
If you are using any these – or end up trying one – we’d love to hear about it!