Online Learning Tools for Students
During your time in CWU online courses, you may be expected to use tools outside of Canvas for conferencing, collaborating, and engaging with your instructor and classmates. CWU provides access to tools like Skype for Business, Top Hat, Respondus Monitor and Lockdown Browser, and more so that you may interact with and succeed in your courses confidently, safely, and securely. Familiarity with these tools is a must for online student success and the resources below provide firsthand know-how and introductions to many of the things you will be comfortable with by graduation time.
- LockDown Browser / Respondus Monitor
Getting Started with LockDown Browser / Respondus Monitor
LockDown Browser is a secure browser for taking online tests in Canvas. It prevents you from printing, copying, going to another URL, or accessing other applications during a test. If a Canvas test requires that the LockDown Browser be used, you will not be able to take the test with a standard web browser. Respondus Monitor is an additional option that will require you have a webcam and microphone.
Note: There is a new beta LockDown Browser Extension for Chromebooks that must be enabled by instructors. Students with Chromebooks, please reach out to your instructor and let them know immediately, so faculty can configure quizzes and exams appropriately.
Watch this short (2:24min) video to learn more about the LockDown Browser & Respondus Monitor
Downloading the LockDown Browser
If an exam requires the LockDown Browser, download the LockDown Browser application for either Mac or PC computer and install the program. You will need to close all other applications to take the exam. Lauch the LockDown Browser and navigate to Canvas and take your test. If Respondus Monitor is also required, you will need a webcam
- Quick Start Guide for Lockdown Browser
- Quick Start Guide for LockDown Browser on Chromebooks
- Downloading LockDown Browser from within Canvas
- Where are the computer labs on the Ellensburg Campus? All campus labs have the LockDown Browser installed, but if your instructor requires a webcam (Respondus Monitor), you cannot take the test in a lab.
- Check if your computer will run LockDown Browser with Respondus Monitor (requires webcam and microphone)
- Create A Support Ticket for LockDown Browser & Respondus Monitor
- 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.
Blackboard Ultra Tech Support 24/7 call 1-877-382-2293
Guides for launching Blackboard Ultra sessions:
- Skype for Business
Skype for Buiness is integrated with Outlook so invitations can be sent directly from CWU email. Skype for Business meetings features web-camera/microphone, chat, & screen-sharing. Particpants are not required to have a CWU or Skype for Business account.
Skype for Business Guides
- Creating a Skype for Business Meeting - Windows
- Creating a Skype for Business Meeting - MAC
- Launching Skype for Business Desktop Client - Windows
- Launching Skype for Business Desktop Client - MAC
- Launching Skype for Business using Skype Meeting APP -Windows
- Launching Skype for Business using Skype Meetibg APP-MAC
- Audio device options in Skype for Business
- Video device options in Skype for Business
- Troubleshooting problems with Skype for Business
Conferences is the native web-conferencing tool available in Canvas. Students can create their own Conference within a Canvas course or Group.
- Turnitin for Plagarism Detection
Turnitin is the leading originality checking and plagiarism prevention service used by millions of students and faculty, and thousands of institutions worldwide. Turnitin encourages best practices for using and citing other people's written material.
- Top Hat
Top Hat is CWU's preferred student response system. 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 available at a reduced price online and through the Wildcat Shop.
- Ally for Alternative Formats
To help ensure you have access to your digital learning materials in formats that work for your different devices, learning needs, and preferences, CWU Canvas now includes a new tool called Ally. Next to your course files, you’ll find an icon for a dropdown menu. Simply click the icon next to the file, and select “Alternative Formats.” You’ll see a list of options from which to choose. Download speed will depend on the size file.
Download Alternative Formats in Canvas
Depending on the type of document, you many find some or all of the options below available:
- An OCRed PDF which is used to improve the text of scanned documents
- A Tagged PDF with improved navigation, especially if you use a screen reader
- An HTML version that will be adjust text for your mobile devices
- An ePub version if you use an eReader or tablet
- An Electronic Braille version if you’re a braille reader
- An audio version for listening to an MP3