Quizzing & Testing Tools
Game-based learning and trivia platforms are a great way to increase engagement during in-person sessions
Kahoot! is a free game-based learning platform. It works on any device with any browser.
Application: Since Fall 2016, OIPS uses Kahoot! to enhance learning during the in-person international orientation. The tool was a total game changer. The session "Immigration Compliance" used to be the least favorite session. Now, it's one of the most popular sessions.
Quizizz is an alternative to Kahoot! with a few key differences. It works on any device with any browser.
Application: During the 2018 UL Symposium, Lewis E. Forrest hosted a session about digital badges. At the beginning of the session, participants completed a quiz about digital badges. To play the game, go to https://quizizz.com, log in and search for "digital badges".
Poll Everywhere transforms one-sided presentations into two-way conversations with the audience.
Cost: Free (max. 25 responses per poll)
Application: During the 2018 Diversity Inclusion and Well-being Summit, participants used Poll Everywhere to share feedback in real time. Poll Everywhere now also offers Poll Everywhere Competitions. To learn more, watch the video "Capture Audience Attention with Competitions".
The University takes data security very seriously. If you plan to collect sensitive data (e.g. date of birth, SSN), we strongly recommend using Dynamic Forms.
UL Ops and Planning has created a form flowchart to identify the best form tool. For example: If you plan to collect sensitive information (e.g. health information, passport, SSN, DOB), you must use the tool Dynamic Forms.
Please note that it takes more time to create a form with Dynamic Forms than Gravity Forms or Eventbrite. Therefore, it is important to consider what information you really need to collect. For example: If I have the student's G number, do I really need to ask the date of birth? Probably not.
If you have any questions, please contact Birgit Debeerst at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gravity Forms is a plug-in to build advanced forms for WordPress sites. The plug-in has over 30 form fields and conditional logic. (If you are new to conditional logic, please watch the video below). In January 2018, Gravity Forms wrote a blog post highlighting their commitment to accessibility.
Cost: Free for UL units*
* If you would like access, please contact Karen Wolf at email@example.com.
Dynamic Forms is a secure e-sign solution. Students must use their Mason NetID to access the form and staff must use their NetID to view and process requests. Dynamic Forms is ideal for forms with sensitive information and/or a high number of submissions completed by more than one staff member.
Cost: Free for UL units*
Difficulty: Steep learning curve
*If you would like access, please contact Birgit Debeerst at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OIPS uses Dynamic Forms for the International Student Check-in. The office opted for this solution because it is secure, mobile-responsive and allows multiple staff members to process incoming requests. When students access the form using their NetID, it automatically prefills their name, G number and email address. As a result, information accuracy has increased to 100%.
Looking to reach more students online? Use PowToon, Kaltura and Articulate Rise to create engaging content.
Kaltura is a video management tool that allows faculty and students to easily create, host, and share video and audio inside the Blackboard course environment.
Difficulty: Relatively easy
Kaltura comes with a ton of features, including interactive quizzes. If you want to track whether students watched a video, you have to upload it inside a Blackboard course. If you simply want to share content and you do not care about tracking, you can embed a Kaltura video in a website or an Articulate Rise module. In order to get the embed code, you must upload your Kaltura video to https://coursemedia.gmu.edu, publish it as unlisted and then grab the embedded code.
If you have any questions about Kaltura, please contact Jim McClean at email@example.com.
Articulate Rise allows you to create responsive e-learning modules in your web browser. You do not need to download any software and it is very easy to use.
Cost: Annual subscription*
OIPS, Career Services, Student Health Services and Student Involvement created responsive e-learning modules using Rise. They like it because the tool is super-easy to use and you can share it via email, embed it in your website or upload it as a SCORM file to Blackboard. This allows the staff to focus on content development instead of having to learn a complex e-learning tool. Curious to see an example? Check out the module "Prepare for the Career Fair" created by Rachel E. Lindsey.
*If you are interested in creating a responsive e-learning module using Rise, please contact Birgit Debeerst at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mason offers a variety of online meeting tools. Let's take a closer look at Cisco WebEx Teams and Skype for Business.
Is video advising right for your office? UL Operations and Planning created a Video Advising hand-out to guide your decision.
Please note that video meetings are merely another method to advise students. Your website should be an accurate, up to date, 24-hour service center to the maximum extent possible. This should be your focus before adding other advising delivery methods.
The following offices offer video advising at Mason:
Starting Fall 2018, Career Services offers virtual evening appointments, Sunday to Thursday, 7 p.m.- 11 p.m. via phone and/or video (WebEx).
Cisco WebEx Teams
Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, available at https://gmu.webex.com, is a cloud-based web conferencing tool that may be used for meetings and collaboration allowing participants to share video, audio, and content – all online. Meet face-to-face using HD video conferencing; share your desktop, documents, or individual applications with everyone in the meeting. It provides collaboration with people within and outside of Mason. (Source: IT Services)
New to Cisco WebEx Teams? Sign up for one of the free WebEx Quick Classes at cisco.com/go/quickclass. In just 30 minutes, you’ll get tips on features and best practices that will help you get more out of meetings, training, and group collaboration.
Skype for Business
George Mason University provides Skype for Business to active students and employees at no cost. Microsoft Skype for Business Online is a hosted communications service that connects people anytime and from virtually anywhere by delivering collaboration capabilities; it gives users access to presence, instant messaging, ad hoc device to device audio and video calling, online meetings, and web conferencing capabilities. (Source: IT Services)
Link: Skype for Business at Mason
Skype for Business accounts are automatically created at the time of email and calendar account creation. Skype for Business requires a Mason NetID for each participant. If you would like to connect with a person who does not have a Mason NetID (e.g. administrator at another college), we recommend you use WebEx.
Project Management Tools
Keeping track of progress can be daunting.
Starting a new project? You may want to consider using Microsoft Planner or Trello. Both tools allow you to create a plan, build a team, assign tasks, and update status.
The UL Ops and Planning Team uses both tools to track major projects, including the implementation of the student engagement platform Mason360.
All Mason staff have access to Microsoft Planner through http://office365.gmu.edu. Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize and assign tasks and track progress. (Source: Microsoft Planner)
New to Microsoft Planner? Watch the video below (click on the image or the link to launch the video).
Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process. (Source: Trello Help)
Cost: Free (free version has limited features)
Telli & Birgit use Trello to track their projects and tasks. We'll be happy to share our tips!