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Tools for interactive learning

Active learning is one of the ambitions mentioned in the University’s educational vision (Learning@LeidenUniversity).

To put it simply, this means that students actively participate throughout the course, and that they interact with the learning content and study materials offered – as well as with their fellow students and lecturers. To achieve this level of active learning, you can use both synchronous and asynchronous activities. Synchronous activities are used to stimulate direct interaction, collaboration and discussions, e.g. using an online voting tool. Asynchronous activities allow students to actively process learning content, e.g. via specific assignments, applications to a case study, self-tests or a feedback tool.

You can use a range of interactive tools to encourage and support active learning. Below you will find more information about a selection of tools that are designed to do just that.

In 2022, the university started rolling out Wooclap: a tool for polls, quizzes, word clouds and creative interactive presentations. With Wooclap, students can use their own phone, laptop or tablet to answer questions or respond to statements during lectures or seminars.

You can find all the latest information about Wooclap, including how to create an account and how to use it, on the Remote Teaching Support website. If you have any questions, you can also contact your faculty ICT support desk.

Please note: the university license for the online voting tool Presenterswall expired on 1 January 2023.

The University has licences for the feedback tools FeedbackFruits and Pitch2Peer.

FeedbackFruits is a tool that stimulates interaction through discussions, peer feedback and knowledge exchange. Students and lecturers can share files with each other, such as videos, documents and articles.

Pitch2Peer is an online environment in which students can post pitches. A pitch is a finished assignment in the form of, for example, a video recording of a presentation, a knowledge clip created by students, a prezi, an animation, a poster or a blog. Students are then assigned a number of pitches to provide feedback on. After the feedback round, all the pitches are then included in an overview by course or working group. Feedback is given based on criteria and/or questions.

Want to use a feedback tool?

Thinking about using a feedback tool in your courses?  Visit the FeedbackFruits and Pitch2Peer websites, for more information. You can also contact your faculty’s teacher support desk for support.

A mind-mapping tool is a great way to facilitate a brainstorming session.

A mind map is a tree diagram consisting of concepts, texts, connections and/or images around a central theme. In an online mind-mapping tool, students work together on the same mind map.

If you want to use mind-mapping tools in your course and you need help, contact your faculty’s teacher support desk for support.

Making interactive slides

Do you always use PowerPoint to present course material? Then you might want to consider using interactive tools to make the material more dynamic. One tool you can use for this is Prezi.

If you are thinking about using Prezi or need help creating interactive slides, contact your faculty’s teacher support desk for support.

In a flipped classroom, students are expected to prepare the learning content themselves. For example, you might ask them to watch a web lecture or a video, or you might set another form of online instruction.

Then, during the contact session, you have plenty of time left over to actively work on assignments together. Inspiration and tips for videos can be found in the video toolkit.

Are you interested in flipping the classroom? You can contact your faculty’s teacher support desk for support.

There are several ways to create an interactive video.

•    Apps: You record your own screen. You can then enrich the presentation by adding images, videos and written text. You can also add notes manually at a later stage.
•    Video editing tools: Shorten your video, add an audio commentary, add questions. This way, you can also use your video as a listening exercise or an explainer video.
•    Screencast tool (such as Screen-o-matic): record (screencast) your own screen and all the actions you perform. You can use these tools to create knowledge clips – simply create a screencast of your PowerPoint presentation and add udio, video and text.

If you need help or have any questions about recording interactive videos, contact your faculty’s teacher support desk for support.

Students do more than just listen: they write, they discuss, and they reflect.

Active Learning Spaces are spaces that are specially designed for this interaction. The idea behind the space is to increase student-lecturer interaction through more active modes of learning.

One of the key benefits of an Active Learning Space is flexibility. The atmosphere in the room contributes to this active learning process. An Active Learning Space is mainly designed for students and lecturers but can also be used for brainstorming sessions or training sessions, for example.

Want to know more about Active Learning Spaces? Contact your faculty’s ICT and Education coordinator.

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