Digital tools for working with students

The University offers a number of digital tools that support working with students, whether in an online teaching context, or to limit close contact in face-to-face teaching.

This page is divided into different learning and teaching scenarios, and some tools are mentioned in multiple sections below where they can be used in different ways. A short description of each tool is provided along with links to further guidance. All of these tools meet baseline accessibility requirements and are available to all staff and students as standard.

Students from China are able to access Google products mentioned by using the University Connect for China service. You can find information about the availability of these tools in different territories on the Global Availability of Digital Learning Tools page.

If you have suggestions or scenarios not covered below please contact us via digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk.


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Feedback to students by annotating their work

Blackboard Assignment with Annotate

Work submitted as a PDF via the Blackboard Assignment tool on a Blackboard module course or organisation course can be annotated. This has the advantage that the annotated work can be returned to the student so they have the feedback.

To provide this experience "live" with a student, you could share your screen through either Blackboard Collaborate or Google Meet. 

Guidance is available for students about using Microsoft Lens to create PDFs of handwritten work in the links below.

For more information please see:

Blackboard Collaborate

Students can upload images, PDFs and PowerPoint presentations in Blackboard Collaborate which can then be annotated while talking to the student. To share files the student will need to be promoted to a presenter role.

For more information please see:

Jamboard

Students can add their work to a shared Jamboard. This is quickest in the Jamboard app but can also be done in the web browser version. Feedback can be added using post it notes, images or drawing using the mouse or a graphic tablet.

For more information please see:


Students collaborating by drawing and writing online together synchronously

Blackboard Collaborate

Students can draw over slides, an image or on a blank whiteboard. There is an update to Blackboard Collaborate due in Autumn 2020 to provide more tools.

For more information please see:

Jamboard

Students can add post it notes, images or draw using a mouse, graphic tablet or touch screen device with the app. All contributions are anonymous after they are finished but Jamboard does show when someone is working on something. There is also an app which has more tools available than the web browser version.

For more information please see:

Miro

An online collaborative whiteboard that has some templates available or a blank space that expands as needed.

For more information please see:

Caution: No restricted or highly restricted data must be shared within this product.


Students sharing handwritten work or drawings for feedback from other students

Blackboard discussion board

Images can be posted on discussion board posts for other students to reply with either their own images or typed responses which can include mathematical notation.

For more information please see:

Jamboard

Students can add post it notes, images or draw using a mouse, graphic tablet or touch screen device with the app. All contributions are anonymous after they are finished but Jamboard does show when someone is working on something. There is also an app which has more tools available than the web browser version.

For more information please see:


Staff presenting handwritten work synchronously 

Blackboard Collaborate / Google Meet with a graphic table

Blackboard Collaborate's built in whiteboard can be used for this purpose and is getting an update in Autumn 2020 with more functionality. Alternately an application to draw on can also be shared through either Blackboard Collaborate or Google Meet.

There are three main University tools that can then be used with a graphic tablet: Jamboard, Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe Acrobat. Windows users also have the option on Microsoft Paint.

For more information please see:

Blackboard Collaborate with a webcam

In Blackboard Collaborate an extra camera can be added in the Share Content tab, which is then shown as the main presentation. You can then write underneath the additional webcam.

For more information please see:


Help a student who is using specialist software

Blackboard Collaborate screen sharing

Students can be promoted to a presenter role in a Blackboard Collaborate session so they can share their screen. In breakout rooms this is automatic - all students will be assigned a presenter role. The zoom tool in Collaborate can be used to look more closely at a particular area.

For more information please see:

Blackboard Collaborate with screenshots

On a PC or Mac a student can take a screenshot of their whole screen or a smaller section. This can be shared during a Blackboard Collaborate session and then both the student and tutor can annotate it. The student will need to be promoted to a presenter role to share the image.

For more information please see: