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Online 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.


Blackboard Collaborate - Web conferencing

Discussion Board - Asynchronous discussion

Group Wikis/Pages - Group project tools

Canvas Mobile App - Canvas on the go

CWU Mobile - CWU on the go

Live Text - Electronic portfolio for Education majors

Respondus Campus Wide License - Create tests

Respondus LockDown Browser - Administer tests


Respondus LockDown Browser

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.


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.  A link

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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.  This is a tremendous time-saver.

To obtain a licensed copy of Respondus, contact Delayna Breckon at

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Blackboard Collaborate - 

Blackboard (Bb) Collaborate is a web-conferencing platform that allows for synchronous and asynchronous online meetings.  Bb Collaborate sessions can be created within Canvas and recorded.  Recorded sessions are available to students in the course.

Guides for launching Bb Collaborate sessions:


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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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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
  • Never-Events
  • Peer Review
  • Summary of readings, article summaries
  • Knowledge Base (wikipedias for specific courses)
  • Study Guides
  • Glossaries
  • Project Tracking
  • Course Project/paper
  • Choosing Topics and/or Assignments
  • Presentation Tool
  • e-Portfolios
  • 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


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CWU Mobile

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. Check it out.






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Canvas Mobile App for Android / iOS

Click to view the Canvas Mobile App guides


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