5 tools for instructors to save time and improve the learning experience

Engaging students in ever-growing classes can be a daunting task. Here are 5 tools that will help you as an instructor save time whilst improving the learning experience of your students.

1. Engage students by using digital multiple choice questions

The average student attention span is between 10 and 15 minutes. Keeping students engaged can be a difficult task. However, most students have a smartphone today, which allows for in-class digital quizzes. You just need to prepare questions and display them one after another for everyone to see. Students grab their smartphones and answer them. You and your students are then provided with real-time results and an analysis of it, allowing you to understand where your students are stuck or where they are getting it. This allows you to adjust the speed of your course, improve the learning experience and help you save time where time can be saved.

The tool: Socrative

Socrative allows you to quickly assess students with prepared activities or on-the-fly questions and immediate insight.

2. Illustrate concepts

This might sound obvious, but is often neglected by instructors. A complex verbal explanation can often be simplified by an illustration. This allows the instructor to save time whilst improving the learning experience.

The tool: yEd for diagrams, ProCreate and Paper, two apps for sketching on Ipads/Iphones

yEd helps you draw all kind of diagrams in no time, making it simpler than ever to add diagrams to your presentations. When it comes to more elaborate sketching that has to be done by hand, Paint usually doesn’t cut it . In that regards, apps like ProCreate and Paper are much better. ProCreate is an advanced sketching tool whereas Paper is more suitable for quick sketches.

3. Facilitate communication instructor-students and students-students

Communication is what teaching is all about. However, enabling meaningful and efficient communication is not easy. Emails get lost, you get the same question asked 10 times or you have difficulties getting your students’ attention. An easy-to-use communication platform allows you to save time and greatly improve the learning experience.

The tool: Ublend

Ublend is a modern communication platform dedicated to education. Not only does it help instructors communicate information efficiently, but it provides a much-needed platform for students on the same course to engage with each other. To get early access to Ublend please email hello@ublend.co.

4. Collaborative learning

When used the right way, collaborative learning is extremely beneficial. It allows you to save time whilst improving the learning experience by forcing students to reflect on the key learnings of the course, an exercise of the highest step in Bloom’s Taxonomy: Evaluation.

The tool: Peergrade

When grading a large number of assignments, the result is often that students receive very little feedback on their work. Peer grading provides students with extensive feedback from their classmates. Peergrade.io is made for exactly that.

5. Collect feedback

Collecting feedback from 300 students who can’t wait to leave the class sounds like an impossible task. However, with the right technology, feedback can easily become a healthy habit rather than a pain. All students need is a link and a few minutes to answer some questions. Feedback is an investment, it indirectly improves the learning experience and helps you save time by understanding where you should focus and improve in the following year.

The tool: Google Forms

Google Forms allows users to create polls, integrate pretty pre-formatted themes, and distribute the form via email or URL. It is free and easy to use. Extra: If you already have Socrative, you simply use Socrative’s polling option to collect feedback.