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Multimodal Learning

Online Teaching Tools

When teaching online your choice of tools will depend upon the characteristics of your learners, as well as your goals and objectives for the course. The important thing to remember is that when you choose technology for instruction it should be content driven not merely dictated by the type of media that happens to strike your fancy. Select each technology for its unique ability to convey meaning and to facilitate learning outcomes.

* This product is part of the Microsoft Office Suite of applications and is not supported by Multimodal Learning. Contact CWU Service Desk for assistance.

Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor

Respondus LockDown Browser is a customized browser that increases the security of online testing in Canvas. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser to take a quiz in Canvas, they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, access other applications, or close a test until it is submitted for grading. Tests created for use with Respondus LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with standard browsers either. Respondus LockDown Browser functions much like a standard browser, but some options have been removed or work differently.

Respondus Monitor is a companion application for LockDown Browser that uses webcam and video technology to prevent cheating during online exams. Respondus Monitor integrates seamlessly with Canvas, and is ideal for non-proctored testing environments.

Download the LockDown Browser for CWU
CWU has a site license for Respondus Lockdown Browser. Respondus LockDown Browser uses a standard Windows or Macintosh installer that can be downloaded by CWU faculty and students.

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Respondus Campus-Wide License

Faculty can create tests using a specific format in Microsoft Word, then publish to Canvas using Respondus Campus-Wide license. This is a tremendous time-saver for creating online tests and also for customizing in-class tests.

To obtain a licensed copy of Respondus, follow the instructions in the Instructor Resource course in Canvas.

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Blackboard Ultra

Blackboard Ultra is the newest web-conferencing tool available in Canvas. It opens right in the browser so it does not require downloading of java to join the session. It works best when using the Google Chrome browser.

Guides for using Blackboard Ultra:

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Skype for Business


This product is part of the Microsoft Office Suite of applications and is not supported by Multimodal Learning. Contact CWU Service Desk for assistance.

Skype for Business is best suited to recurring or ad-hoc department meetings with participants joining from remote locations. It is integrated with Outlook so invitations with link to join meeting can be sent directly through email. Participants join via webcam from desktop, conference rooms, and non-DE classrooms. Participants are not required to have a CWU account or a Skype for Business account.

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Panopto is an easy-to-use tool for recording lectures and flipping your classroom. It can be installed on any PC or laptop to record your screen and audio, as well as video from your webcam. All recordings are automatically uploaded to our Panopto server and integrated with Canvas, where they can be shared with your students.

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Kaltura is a video streaming and media management service that is fully integrated with Canvas and can be used by CWU faculty, staff, and students for campus video and audio recording storage and delivery.

Kaltura will be replacing MediaAMP as the streaming server beginning Fall 2019. Central Washington University will be migrating all video and music files currently stored on the MediaAMP streaming system to the Kaltura streaming system. Video and audio files within MediaAMP will continue to be viewable through Summer 2019 term and Panopto videos will not be affected. New media uploads after June 16th will need to be uploaded to Kaltura.

Beginning on June 16, faculty who wish to upload and use streaming media in their Canvas courses will use the blue “V” icon, then select  Embed Kaltura icon (as below) on all editable Canvas pages:


Additional Kaltura information and guides for facutly are available in the CWU Instructor Resources course on Canvas. Any questions should be directed to Geri Hopkins at or 509-963-1925

Turnitin LTI - Plagiarism Detection

Starting Winter Quarter 2017 there will be a new Turnitin LTI integration with Canvas. The new integration allows faculty to take advantage of Turnitin grading features that include the Turnitin Feedback Studio with rubrics, the QuickMark library of commonly used comments, PeerMark for peer review assignments and the e-rater Grammar Check Technology which auto-grades for grammar. These features are in addition to the plagiarism detection that provides a Similarity/Originality score for every submission.

Guide for students:


  • You cannot use Turnitin on group assignments
  • If you want to use a Canvas rubric, you must add the rubric before setting the external tool submission type.
  • You can use the Quick Submit feature to check a submission that wasn't part of a Turnitin assignment.
  • If you copy a Turnitin assignment from another course, you will have to re-enable the External Tool Submission Type for each assignment, otherwise the assignment will not be connected to Turnitin.

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Discussion Board

A discussion board is an asynchronous communication tool that allows students to communicate at any time in different time zones and in any place they have a computer and an Internet connection.  In online courses the discussion board has been described as a tool with potential to enhance interaction and engagement, empowering learners to express themselves in ways they may not normally feel comfortable in face-to-face learning environments.

As is always the case when creating instruction with technology it is the design and preparation of the learning activity that will predict its effectiveness in promoting desirable learning outcomes.

Here are some resources that address the pedagogy of asynchronous discussion in hybrid and online courses:


Garrison D.R., Cleveland M., 2005, Facilitating Cognitive Presence in Online Learning Interaction Is Not Enough, American Journal of Distance Ed., 19(3), 133–148, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Martyn, M. (2005).  Using Interaction in Online Discussion Boards. Educause Quarterly, 4, 61-62. Download from

Vesely, P., Bloom, L., Sherlock, J., (2007) Key Elements of Building Online Community: Comparing Faculty and Student Perspectives. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 3. Download from

Working with Small Groups in an Online Classroom
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Discussion Board Tips, Tricks and Rubrics Handout

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Wikis or Pages in Canvas

Uses of Wikis in Higher Education

Reflection journals
Research project and proposals
Research and Presentation of special topics
Theater History Topic
Script Analysis
Peer Review
Summary of readings, article summaries
Knowledge Base (wikipedias for specific courses)
Study Guides
Project Tracking
Course Project/paper
Choosing Topics and/or Assignments
Presentation Tool
To select topics
Bring in content not covered in class

Canvas calls wikis Page to learn more about how to use pages in Canvas see this guide: What are pages?

Wiki Sources and Information

The Power of Wikis in Higher Ed

IT‐User Services, University of Delaware: "Wikis in Higher Education: An exploratory report about the value of wikis in higher education from a faculty perspective", Version 1.2. May 23, 2008 Retrieved online on 8/25/11

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CWU Mobile

Stay connected with CWU Mobile, Central's FREE mobile app that goes anywhere with you. Wildcat news and events, staff and faculty contact info, campus videos, photos, maps, and much more are right at your fingertips. 

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Canvas Mobile App for Android / iOS

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Top Hat

Top Hat is CWU's approved student response app. With it, instructors can create interactive quizzes, homework, and presentations for use in and out of class. Students respond with a smart phone, tablet, or laptop to bring new energy to lectures and class discussions. Licenses are free to students through funding from the Student Tech Fee.

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