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Technological Resources for Faculty: Teaching Tools and Online Assignments

Instructional Technologies

Assignment Ideas

Article Discovery

  • Using appropriate databases, students find articles about a given topic, posting in a discussion forum along with a brief summary.
  • Students may also be required to comment on a certain number of other articles, demonstrating that they have read articles/summaries posted by their peers.


  • Students practice a skill under peer review and audience using Blog or Forum feature in Canvas.  Assignment ideas here and here.  

Digital Storytelling

  • Students lay out a storyboard with a plan for a narrative using photos and video.  Using voiceover, they tell a story on any given topic, then create a final short video to share.  A few guides here: TCEA.

Glossary Building

  • Use google docs or create a page in Canvas to build a resource where they share information with one another. You can set it so all students can edit a page.
  • Assignments could be to find a picture and describe/analyze, find a website and summarize, define terms, chapter and concept summaries, create entry and peer assessment, or develop Q and A study guide.

Graphics and Posters

  • Students create an interesting infographic, poster, pictogram, or image to share.
  • Canva and Pictographic are useful sites for this.  Canva even has a list of teaching ideas and lesson plans to use with the app.

Online Scavenger Hunt

  • Students are given a website or list of sites, and a set of questions for which they must find the answer.
  • A great assignment for familiarizing students with websites in a particular discipline.


  • Ask students to make a presentation using PowerPoint with voiceover, screencasting, or by making an instructional video.  Then, after they share it online, ask the rest of the class to pose a question about the presentation or respond with constructive criticism.  This can be done using Discussions in Canvas.

Share the News

  • Using appropriate news sources, students share a link to an article and give a summary using blog or forum feature in Moodle.
  • Website allows students to easily create a newspaper-style page using content from a variety of popular news sources, magazines, and social media.

Website Sharing

  • Students look for useful websites in the discipline and share them.
  • Sites can be posted on a shared page or a discussion in Canvas.  Can be done in Moodle with Blog, Forum, or Glossary tools.  Another useful tool is symbaloo.

Writing Assignments

  • Journals, reflection essays, and written responses are all appropriate online activities that can be assigned and submitted using the assignment activity in Canvas.
  • Writing assignments can be uploaded, graded, and returned on Moodle in various ways (as attachments, inline text).  Rubrics can be helpful to define how students will be graded. 

Video or Podcast and Discussion Questions

  • Students are given discussion questions to answer after watching video content or listening to a podcast.  To find helpful content, see the "content support" box and streaming media on this page.
  • Responses can be submitted a number of ways in Canvas, using assignment, quiz, or discussion tool. 

More Great Resources for Online Assignments

Additional Teaching Tools

Canvas Tools to Support Learning

Canvas Features

If you are brand new to Canvas, you may want to visit this getting started guide or watch a tutorial video.

Class from Afar

Create Video Lectures or Live Video/Chat

Content Support

Streaming Video

Content Resources

The Large Project

Use the online platform to force students to space out work on a large project.  This works very well for a paper, slideshow presentation, video, or art project / infographic that they might present.  Give them a rubric for each item they must turn in, each by a given date.  They can turn in the following:

  • General idea - short summary of idea for their project 
  • Bibliography - find a given number of specified resources (journal articles, books, websites, etc.) they plan to use with a brief summary of each
  • Outline and/or Abstract - offer main points that will be covered and plan for overall structure of project
  • Visual aid (optional) - if project is for student to demonstrate an infographic, work of art, or narrated video/PowerPoint, this is the visual for the project (for example, the actual slides, the infographic, or the work of art).
  • Full Text - complete text that will either be part of a paper (rough draft), script for narration to go with a PowerPoint or Video
  • Final Project - final essay, final video with narration

The assessment for each part of the assignment can be as simple as a check for "complete/incomplete" or can be a more detailed rubric.

Once the final project is complete, have the rest of the students in the class engage with the project by creating one or two questions for the presenter in a discussion forum.  Alternatively, you can ask your presenter to create an assessment tool such as an online quiz, a survey using Google forms, or a game in Kahoot.

Tips for Online Teaching and Sample Rubrics

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