Guidance for using external tools in your teaching

External websites such as social media are increasingly being used for teaching purposes.  Staff doing so often want to take advantage of new opportunities not available inside of Blackboard, use more feature rich versions of tools like blogs or wikis or experiment with opening elements of their teaching or research up to the wider world.  Staff have also used such external tools to build a dynamic web presence for research centres or other external-facing opportunities like CPD.

However there are unique considerations when using these external tools which don’t exist when using University-provided ICT facilities.  For instance, you have to choose the most appropriate and reliable tool from a variety of options.  Student accounts will need to be set up and connected to each other in the environment.  Privacy of student work is another consideration: if you open the teaching environment up to world-wide scrutiny, this could invite critical comments from outside experts (as well as potentially spam) but also make your students more reluctant to post honestly as they feel more exposed.  There are other considerations as well, which is why we are creating some guidance for staff members who want to use these tools.

Based on staff experiences of using these external sites, we’ve created some draft guidance about considerations when using these tools.  We’re very interested in further feedback, so please comment on this post or email Brian Irwin in Outlook if you have ideas for how to improve the guidance.

Note: some individuals seem to be having trouble accessing the above link.  Here is an alternate link to the guidance in case the above one doesn’t work for you.

4 thoughts on “Guidance for using external tools in your teaching

    • Hi Vic, it seems to be working for me. However I’ve added a second link in the post, where I uploaded the document using an alternative method. Can you please let us know if you’re still having trouble with it?

  1. Pingback: Guidelines for using external web and social media tools in teaching « e-learning at Sheffield Hallam

Leave a Reply