An update to the University of Toronto Learning Portal was performed at the start of the 2011 summer session. This version introduces five new tools that can be used to enhance collaboration, content delivery and student evaluation within a course.
1. Wikis: The Wiki tool allows students to create and edit web page content within a course. Single or multiple wikis can be created for all members of the course or for specific groups. Students can edit wiki content to work collaboratively on the development of documentation, assignments or projects. Detailed version information and a history of student contributions to the wiki can be reviewed and graded by the instructor.
2. Mashups: The Mashups tool provides instructors with a convenient method of searching for and displaying multimedia content from external websites. Videos, images and presentations hosted on YouTube, Flickr and SlideShare can be added to a course as standalone pieces of content or as supplements to test questions, discussion board topics or assignment items.
3. Textbook Information: Instructors can search for or manually add textbook information to a course using the Assign Textbook tool. Once added to a course, textbook links are also displayed within the Course Catalogue allowing prospective students to review required course materials prior to enrolment.
4. Lesson Plan: The Lesson Plan tool can be used to define the objectives and curriculum resources associated with a particular lecture topic. The default sections within a lesson plan can be fully customized to include desired learning outcomes or assessment measurements. Individual sections can be made available to students or can be used solely as planning tools for instructors. This can be useful for sharing lesson information with a co-instructor or guest lecturer.
5. Rubrics: Rubrics can now be created within a course to help instructors and TAs explain their evaluations to students. They can be associated with graded blogs, journals, wikis and discussion board forums. Rubrics can also be added to columns within the Grade Center providing instructors and TAs with a convenient view of evaluation criteria when assigning grades.
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