We provide systems, pedagogical, and software support for technology tools on campus that go beyond what Avenue to Learn can provide: web conferencing (via WebEx), e-portfolios (via PebblePad), and streaming video (via Kaltura). Each of these tools enable instructors to teach in more flexible ways and offer students opportunities to cultivate digital literacy skills. We also partner with Campus Classroom Technologies to provide pedagogical and software support for Echo360, iClicker Classic, and iClicker Cloud. We look forward to continuing these partnerships, and to creating a communication pathway for instructors who are not aware of these tools.
Help & Support
Avenue to Learn support is available from Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. For the quickest response, please go to our support intake form, located at http://avenue.mcmaster.ca/support/ You can also reach us at (905) 525-9140 ext. 23757.
MacVideo.ca is a service available for hosting and delivery of media files by McMaster faculty and staff for McMaster related purposes. MacVideo is not intended for media storage or archival purposes.
While MacVideo.ca content can be delivered to audiences outside McMaster University, the service is primarily meant to support the use of video in teaching and learning; it’s not meant for viral videos. Please consider using an alternate video platform like YouTube or Vimeo if you want content to have a wide public audience.
For tutorials, support and documentation please visit the MacVideo Knowledge Base.
|The wiki popularized by ‘Wikipedia’, is web-based software that can be used collaboratively to create websites. While a typical website stays the same until updated by the author, a wiki can be edited by groups of users. Each user can very quickly and easily make contributions to the overall work.
If you have any questions, feedback, or would simply like more information about wikis, please go to our support intake form.
WebEx Meetings is McMaster’s current web and video conferencing tool available to staff and faculty primarily for teaching and learning purposes. WebEx allows for virtual meetings and online teaching sessions with a variety of capabilities. Accounts and training are available upon request: https://avenue.mcmaster.ca/support/ with 24/7 technical support available from WebEx at 1 (866) 229-3239.
WebEx Teams is a collaboration platform ideal for group work, mentor-mentee programs, virtual office hours and any teamwork. It allows for text and video conversations to be captured, a whiteboard for brainstorming, and can be integrated with other collaborative productivity tools like Trello, Google Drive, etc. It is available to staff, instructors and students at no cost. Accounts and training are available upon request: https://avenue.mcmaster.ca/support/ with 24/7 technical support available from WebEx at 1 (866) 229-3239.
A learning portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work that exhibits a student’s effort, progress, achievements and competencies gained during a course or time in university.
Every McMaster student and instructor has access to the PebblePad learning portfolio platform. PebblePad’s platform provides the space and tools to record, store and structure a collection of evidence to demonstrate learning achievements and abilities. This may include a reflective account of a practice placement, presentation, learning experience or group experience. Students are able to:
- Accumulate and store evidence (in one central online area) of the many transferable skills students develop while studying at McMaster University.
- Self assess and monitor their own learning development.
- Develop and present a portfolio of work or reflective account on an aspect of students’ learning as part of course assessment.
- Build a resume for employment applications and as evidence of learning achievements for a professional body.
- Apply for jobs by showing evidence of relevant work experience and suitable 21st century skills.
Helen Chen, a senior research scientist and Director of ePortfolio Initiatives at Stanford University has spent much of her career studying the effectiveness and best practises around learning portfolios. Chen shared her expertise with 100 faculty, staff and students at the Learning Portfolio Showcase, an event to highlight the development of the Learning Portfolio at McMaster University.
In her lecture “Why ePortfolios? Why now? Documenting Learning in the 21st Century,” Chen talked about the evolution of ePortfolios and their value both as a pedagogical tool and as an effective way to support student learning and development. In an interview with the Daily News, Chen expands on why she believes learning portfolios play a valuable role in helping students develop the skills they need to be successful, academically and in life.
As more research is being conducted on learning portfolios, a number of questions are arising: How can learning portfolios be used as a reflective tool inside and outside the classroom for our students? What value does the folio process bring in terms of student success? Chen, also raises a valuable question, “how do we help [students] become the kinds of graduates we want them to become with 21st century professional and interpersonal skills so they can go on to lead successful and productive lives? I see the portfolio as one approach, not the only approach, but one approach.”
Resources for instructors:
- if you require assistance using PebblePad, please contact Jon Kruithof
An excellent Online Help Guide
Classroom Response Systems (“Clickers”) are handheld devices that can be used to solicit student feedback and encourage further discussion in the classroom. The MacPherson Institute has a teaching set of clickers that instructors may borrow to see if this technology would be useful in their classes.
If you have any questions, feedback, or would simply like more information about clickers, please go to our support intake form.
Microsoft365 (suggestion: create short URLs for the support links)
McMaster faculty, students and staff have access to the following Microsoft apps that can assist with teaching and learning, including accessibility and translation features. Access and technical support for these applications is managed through University Technology Services:
Class Notebook – organize lesson plans and course content in your own digital notebook, create a workspace where you can give each student personalized feedback
Excel – create workbooks with tables and charts, also allows you to discover and connect data, model and analyze it, and visualize insights
Forms – Create surveys, quizzes and polls in minutes, see results in real time.
OneDrive – Store your files in one place, share with others and get to them from any device connected to the internet.
OneNote – allows for collaborative live notetaking, can integrate other Microsoft apps
Planner – create a plan, build a team, assign tasks and update status
Powerpoint – design presentations (templates and translations available)
Staff Notebook– collaborate with faculty and staff to share notes, policies, procedures, calendars
Stream: share videos of classes, meetings, presentations, training sessions, comes with searchable transcripts
Sway: create and share interactive multimedia reports, presentations, or stories
Teams: a customizable chat-based team workspace which allows for the integration of the other Microsoft apps
Word: create documents from templates or customized
Yammer: connect people across teams and organize around projects (almost like Facebook for a workspace)
McMaster instructors have access to Echo360, an active learning platform that allows for lecture capturing from a laptop or in-classroom from installed Echo360 cameras, student response features (similar to iClicker), a multimedia discussion boards, student note taking with direct links to presentation slides or videos, the flagging of confusing content, bookmarking of content, an easy-to-use video recording tool, live streaming from Echo360 equipped classrooms, searchable transcriptions with all video, etc. through Campus Classroom Technologies (CCT). This platform is fully integrated into Avenue to Learn and at no cost to faculty or students. CCT provides access and support for this platform. MacPherson can provide additional guidance on how to use of Echo360 to promote student engagement in face-to-face, blended and online courses, or connect you with instructors using it.
Courtesy of the Ontario government, all Ontario post-secondary institutions have free access to the education version of PressBooks, an online book and document publishing platform. PressBooks can be used to create books, guides and other materials that are accessible across all platforms and devices. Pressbooks EDU has built-in features such as H5P, to create interactive components, hypothes.is for collaborate note-taking and annotation academic themes and improved scientific notation. To create your own free PressBooks account or to find openly-licensed material created through PressBooks visit the eCampusOntario Open Library Publishing Platform.
If you’re looking for support around use of a tool that is not institutionally-supported, we can provide advice, but perhaps not necessarily endorsement. Here are a couple of resources that you might find helpful when considering your educational technology tool options:
- Rubric for eLearning Tool Evaluation – developed by Gavan Watson and Lauren Anstey (Western University), this rubric can be used to evaluate functional, technical and social considerations for use of online tools and platforms.
- Jane Hart’s Top Tools for Learning – a curated and researched repository of educational technology tools from the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies.