About the Course Tools
An instructor has more than a dozen tools available to them for use on their home pages in WorldClassRoom. These tools can be grouped into three categories of ways tools are applied by the instructor: Content, Communication, and Assessment. The sample course you will be enrolled in as part of this program will contain examples that fit into these categories.
How the Course Tool Can Be Used
Some tools belong to multiple categories because they can be used in different ways.
Content applications of the course tools would include the ability to share notes, syllabi, presentation, and more. Not only can you reduce the numbers of papers passed out in your class, you can ask that materials be reviewed before class meetings. Perhaps there are items that would never have been passed out in the first place because they are too long, or because there isn't enough time to prepare them, or maybe they are things that make no sense as paper in the first place (spreadsheet files, images, etc.) - WorldClassRoom is an ideal place to share this content. Furthermore, entire supplemental lessons or activities can be created that take advantage of online delivery, giving students further opportunities to learn.
Communications applications of course tools are learning opportunities that take advantage of online communications between students as a class, in small groups, or one-on-one, as well as correspondence between the students and the instructor as they work towards understanding course topics. This can include expanding the more traditional group discussion that happens in class by using an online "threaded" discussion, or allowing the students to explore subjects in a new. collaborative way by using a shared class blog. A course mail tool, blogs, journals, threaded discussions, real-time chat tools and more are available on the course home page to facilitate communication.
Assessment applications of course tools can be used to help verify that students are learning what the instructor set out for them to learn. Traditional assignments can be gathered and returned using the Assignments or Turnitin Assignments tool. Quizzes and surveys can be created that can be taken outside of the classroom, and since they are electronic, they can grade themselves and provide immediate feedback. Furthermore, other tools can can be used in a way that can be "graded," such as using the blog or journal tools in a way that has students share materials that demonstrate student learning.
What Are the Course Tools?
With WorldClassRoom, assignment details can be shared with students online. They can then use this tool to turn in the assignments electronically, allowing the instructor to review them as they see fit, including uploading them into Turnitin.com to check for plagiarism. Feedback and grades can be recorded and shared effortlessly.
Instructors can prepare and deliver quizzes, self tests, and surveys with a wide variety of configuration options and question types. Feedback can be delivered for incorrect answers, and the tracking of multiple attempts and quick comparisons of student answers make the revising of assessment instruments a simple task.
Instructors can create and categorize discussions for a whole class or for groups of students. Discussions can be rated by classmates, or graded by instructors with the results being automatically entered in the course grade book. Journal discussions can allow a student to respond in written form for the teacher alone to review. Blog discussions let the class or groups contribute small article-like posts on the given topic.
WorldClassRoom has a complete integrated grade book. Quizzes, assignments, and even discussions can be created in such a way that grades are tracked, tallied, and presented to students automatically. Grade book features give the instructor full control over what grades are presented, how, when and to whom.
All WorldClassRoom users have a special place to house files that aren’t specifically tied to courses - much like their own briefcase. It is simple to upload a presentation at home and download it for use in the classroom. The same file can then quickly be added to one or more course home pages for students to review.
Instructors can see which of their students are online at any specific moment and can start a chat with one or more of them. Likewise, students can see when other students are online and initiate chats to discuss course content. This tool could also be used to hold virtual office hours.
Instructors can share links to valuable information on the web with their students. These links can be organized into categories for easy navigation.
Faculty can upload the file of their prepared syllabus. When a student clicks the Syllabus tool, the file is downloaded or previewed in their browser.
Research resources are available to students in the same menu as other tools. Students can navigate to the library catalog, tutorials, databases, and more without ever leaving the confines of the course home page.
Students can access writing resources provided by the Writing Center, including information on getting help in person or online via the Online Writing Center.