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Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning applies to tools that change instruction based on the reported skills or knowledge of the student. Most often, it is seen in web applications that guide students through learning a concept by giving each student an individualized path. If a student is immediately proficient, his/her path may be shorter than a student who does not immediately grasp the concept. The latter student would then be directed to further questions to build knowledge before progressing forward. Examples of adaptive learning software are McGraw-Hill Connect, Pearson MyLab, or Cerego.

Adobe Flash

Flash is a browser Plug-in created by Adobe to add interactivity and video playback to web browsers. At UMSL, it is used for technologies such as VoiceThread and watching web-based videos on Canvas and YouTube.
Download Flash

Assignment Tool

The Assignment Tool is a feature of Canvas that allows students to upload a file from their computer to fulfill a course assignment. The Assignment Tool automatically generates a corresponding column in Gradebook.

Assignment Tool Resources for Students
How to Submit an Assignment (video)

Auto Access

Learn about Auto Access

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Blogger is a web tool designed to make it easy to set up your own blog. Some instructors may use it to have you create blog entries and submit them as an assignment. Blogger is part of the Google tool suite of applications so you can log into Blogger with your UMSL SSO ID and password as part of UMSL's integration with Google Apps for Education.

Blogger Resources for Students
Instructions to Set Up a Blogger Blog (handout)

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Canvas - Canvas is a Learning Management System that hosts the online courses taught at UMSL as well as electronic grade information. MyGateway is sometimes used synonymously with Canvas as it is the name for UMSL's online academic services.

Canvas Resources for Students:
How to Navigate Canvas 
How to Set Up Notification Preferences 
How to Upload a Profile Picture 
Uploading an Assignment 
Use Canvas Student App
How Students View Feedback in Canvas SpeedGrader (in 3 steps)

Chat - Chat is a course tool that is available to all students in the course.

Collaborations - Collaborate on the projects using Google Docs. Note: remember to use your UMSL Google Apps for Education account in order to work on the shared Google Doc.

Concept Mapping - Concept Mapping is a process of graphical representation of ideas and concepts. Concept maps are tools designed to help build structure and connect information.


Mindomo is a web tool for building concept maps to explain complex ideas and relational topics in a visual diagram. Students can sign into Mindomo using their Google Apps for Education login credentials. The tool is free for creating one concept map. 
How to Create and Share a Mindomo Concept Map (pdf document)


Popplet  - Learn more about Popplet


MindMeister  - Learn more about MindMeister

Conversations/Inbox - Conversations is the messaging tool that allows instructors and students to communicate with a course, a group, an individual student, or a group of students.

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Dashboard is a first page you see when you log into Canvas. It helps you see what is happening in the courses you are taken.  


A discussion is an asynchronous, text-based tool for conversing in an online environment. In a discussion, an original participant makes a post to the discussion forum (based on the selected topic) for other participants to read. Other participants can then leave a reply on that original posting, leaving both the original post and the reply visible for future participants. 

Discussion Board Resources for Students:
How to Use a Discussions (video)


Downloading a file means moving a file stored on the Internet to a place on your local computer. 

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Email (short for electronic mail) is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet. It is also possible to send digital files as attachments via email but depending on the restrictions of the email service, these are usually restricted to 10MB in size. Email can be used for communicating with the instructor or your peers.


Excel is a desktop spreadsheet application designed for keeping data, completing mathematical equations, and setting up tables. Excel is part of the Microsoft Office Suite. It is installed on all UMSL computers and downloaded for home use at TritonApps.

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Flash - See Adobe Flash.

Flipped Classroom (or Flip Teaching)

Flipping the classroom refers to modifying the traditional lecture format of many courses into a format where lectures are recorded and assigned to be viewed before each class period as homework. The class period, then, is used for active learning exercises, application of the material, or assignment feedback and assistance. The success of this model relies heavily on the expectation that students use the materials provided before each class so that class time can be used for effective application. More Information

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Global Navigation

Global Navigation menu is located on the left red side panel and provides quick access to Canvas features.

Google Chrome

Chrome is a web browser available for Windows, Mac, or Linux. It is supported by Canvas. It also has numerous extensions to add to its functionality.
Download Google Chrome


Google Apps - Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, etc.


Originally named Google Docs, Google Drive is a completely web-based office productivity suite designed to promote sharing of documents and resources. Google Drive offers a word processor, spreadsheet database, presentation creator, and form creator. Any document created on Google Drive will be stored online, but may be downloaded to a personal computer for offline editing. You can now log in to Google Apps with your UMSL account at https://mydrive.umsl.edu. Be sure to enter your full SSO ID (name@umsl.edu) and SSO password. Faculty/staff have unlimited storage on their Google Drive accounts. 


Google Apps Resources for Students
Logging on to Google Apps at UMSL (video)
Logging on to Google Apps at UMSL (handout)

Google Drive
Getting Started with Google Drive (video)
How to Share Files and Documents From Google Drive (video)
Using Google Drive (handout)

Google Docs
Getting Started with Google Docs (video)
Basics of Google Docs (handout)

Google Sheets
Getting Started with Google Sheets (video)
Basics of Google Sheets (handout)

Google Forms
Getting Started with Google Forms (video)
Basics of Google Forms (handout)

Google Meet
Joining a Google Meet Room (handout)



Grades is the electronic gradebook of Canvas. It is web-based and has a spreadsheet layout with column names corresponding to graded activities, and row corresponding to student names. Gradebook allows file attachments to be downloaded in bulk for electronic homework. It also automatically grades objective-based questions on exams and quizzes. At UMSL, faculty use of Gradebook to maintain student grades for both traditional and online courses is strongly recommended so students can understand their standing in a course.

Grades Resources for Students
How to View Grades in the Course (video)
How to Use Icons and Colors in Grades 
The What-If Grades Feature 
How to View Grades for the Concluded Course 

Groups Tool

The Groups Tool is a feature of Canvas that allows instructors to easily divide their students into groups and then provide each group with a personal area in which to communicate and work on group assignments. The Groups Tool is accessible in the Global Navigation Menu on the left-side. Below is a video overview of the tool.

Groups Tool Resources for Students
Overview of Group Tools for Students (video)

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HTML (short for HyperText Markup Language) is a programming language used to create web pages. HTML allows text creation, table formatting, linking to other address, and much more. HTML is the backbone of the Internet. This table of commonly used HTML tags may be helpful for basic edits. More Information



See Conversations.

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Java is a Plug-in from Oracle that allows web applications to temporarily run as desktop applications and/or utilize your computer resources. At UMSL, it is used to create Kaltura Screen-Recordings. 
Download Java Plug-in


A journal is a digital tool used to create personal entries of one's thoughts, feelings, or learning. While similar to blogs, journals are usually not public, allowing for a different type of entry and personal learning. A single entry journal could be created through Assignment tool in Canvas. Multiple entries journal could be created using Google Docs.

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The Kaltura tool is a video storage solution for Canvas. Kaltura has a few different purposes: it can store video files from your computer that you wish to share with students; it can be used to record instructor lecture videos; and it can be used as a tool for students to record videos of themselves. For more information about how to use Kaltura in your course, watch the videos below:

Kaltura Resources for Students
How to Record a Video from Your Webcam Using Kaltura (video)
Using Kaltura Capture to Make a Screen-Recording/Presentation (pdf)
Using Kaltura Capture to Make a Screen-Recording/Presentation (video)
Adding Kaltura Video to Canvas (video)
How to Make a Video Quiz with Kaltura (pdf)

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Learning Module Tool

The MyGateway Learning Module tool is an alternative way (to the folder) to organize course content. It arranges the content in series with an internal table of contents. Click to view a video showing how the Learning Module tool operates within MyGateway.


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Module has two definitions. In general educational terms, a module is a grouping of like-minded course content into a content area folder or calendar period. A module is also a tool in Canvas that allows faculty to group content into a designated area that adds an individual table of contents for those materials and allows the option for sequential viewing of the materials.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is a web browser for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. It has been approved for use with Canvas and has a library of add-ons that can increase its functionality. Firefox also comes with a built-in PDF reader. 
Download Mozilla Firefox

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NetTutor is a web-based tutoring tool that allows students to get real-time, personal tutoring via video conference. It is available for the following disciplines: Biology and Life Sciences, Business and Economics, Chemistry, Math, Physics, Writing Center, and World Languages - Spanish. NetTutor is accessible through the Tools link in UMSL online courses.

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Online Testing Center

The Online Testing Center is an on-campus location where students of online course can take proctored exams (if required by the instructor). Students must arrange a time to take their exams with the Center.

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Panopto is a lecture- and screen-recording tool licensed by UMSL to assist in the creation of educational videos. It is most often used for asynchronous online courses. Silverlight, a browser Plug-in, is required to view Panopto recordings. To record a lecture or screencast, users must download and install the Panopto Recorder here: Windows  |  Mac

Panopto Resources for Students
How to Use Panopto - Students 


Short for Portable Document Format, a PDF is a file format used to represent documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. PDF reader software is required to view PDF documents but comes with some browsers such as Google Chrome. 
Download Adobe Reader


PowerPoint is a desktop application, created by Microsoft, that allows users to create slideshow presentation from text, images, video, graphics, or a combination of these. PowerPoint presentations are often used as a supplement to lectures. PowerPoint is part of the Microsoft Office Suite. It is installed on all UMSL computers and downloaded for home use at TritonApps.

PowerPoint Resources for Faculty
Quick Ways to Improve Slides in PowerPoint (video; requires Microsoft Silverlight Plug-in)

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QuickTime is an Apple video-playing software that plays MPEG4 and MP4 videos locally and on the web. It can be downloaded here: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/

Quizzes - See Exam also.

A Quiz is an assessment tool used in Canvas to test student retention of material. It is shorter than an exam and may be composed of a variety of question types including: multiple choice, multiple answer, short answer, fill in the blank, true/false, and others. Below is a video overview of how to make a quiz in Canvas.

Quiz Resources for Students
How to Take a Quiz on Canvas (video)

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Tools that may assist you with your research include Diigo, Mendelay and Zotero. 


Diigo is a free web-based bookmarking application that can be used to save, highlight, or annotate web pages. When saved pages are revisited, the highlights remain, making Diigo a great app for collecting educational resources and writing research papers. Diigo also offer special educator accounts.


Mendeley is a free reference manager and an academic social network. Manage your research, showcase your work, connect and collaborate with over six million researchers worldwide.


Zotero is an Internet bookmarking and citation application that gathers referential information from an article, website, ebook, or other document for later review. The tool is very helpful in creating works cited or bibliography pages as it can easily output MLA, APA, Chicago, or other reference styles from saved materials.  


A rubric is a document, usually in a grid-style, that conveys the expectations of an assignment to a student. The grid is made up of the components of the activity on one axis and the levels of achievement on the other axis. Canvas has a rubric-building tool that helps make it easier to grade online activities with the Canvas Gradebook. Below are some video resources about the rubric tool and how to implement it into your online course.

Rubric Resources for Students
How to Make a Rubric in Canvas  
How to Attach a Rubric to an Assignment  
How to Grade an Assignment with a Rubric  

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Silverlight - see Microsoft Silverlight.


StudyMate is a games-based learning tool. It allows instructors to easily create flashcards, crossword puzzles, and other word games using text documents. 

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Turnitin is a plagiarism verification service that helps educators and students ensure that content in written documents is cited properly. Papers submitted to Turnitin may be compared against billions of Internet documents, archived Internet data that is no longer available on the live web, a local repository of previously submitted papers, and subscription repository of periodicals, journals, and publications. TurnItIn is available for student use through the UMSL Writing Center

Turnitin Student Guides


TritonApps is a remote service technology that enables us to provide some of our applications and software to students and faculty anytime, anywhere. Applications available through the TritonApps remote delivery include: AMOS, GARS, SPSS, Mathcad, MATLAB, STATA, and Microsoft Office 2010. Search Triton Apps

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Moving a file from your local computer to a storage place on the Internet is called uploading. 

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VoiceThread is a collaborative slideshow web application where faculty or students can upload media content (images, videos, or documents) and leave a voice comment on them. Others can then leave follow-up comments. The tool uses a Canvas LTI and has a gradual learning curve. The tool is used at UMSL for lecture recording, group collaboration, and student presentations.

VoiceThread Resources for Students
How to Comment on a VoiceThread in Your Online Course (pdf)
How to Create a VoiceThread for Individual Presentations (pdf)
How to Edit a Shared Group VoiceThread (pdf)
How to Change Your VoiceThread Account Profile Image
How to Add Closed Captioning to VoiceThread 
How to Share a VoiceThread

If you are still having problems with VoiceThread, click the Help button on the VoiceThread homepage (as pictured below):
help button

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A Wiki is a web document which allows people to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser. Wikis often include images or other multimedia and can also include external links to other websites or files. Because a Wiki has multiple authors, there is less chance of incorrect information remaining in the document (multiple proof-readers). Wikis are often used at UMSL for group projects within a course where a group of students is assigned to create a wiki explaining a concept or idea. Google Docs is one of the ways students can create a Wiki. 

Windows Media Plug-in

Windows Media is a Plug-in used to play web-based Windows Media videos (.wmv). The Plug-in is included when installing QuickTime for Windows users, but Mac users may need to install the Flip4Mac Plug-in (free version)


Microsoft Word is a word processing desktop application for creating and saving documents. It is part of the Microsoft Office productivity suite and is installed on all UMSL computers. It is installed on all UMSL computers and downloaded for home use at TritonApps.

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YouTube is a video-hosting website, owned by Google, that allows users to upload recorded video for public viewing. YouTube is a resource for educational videos, lectures, and how-to explanations. Users that upload video have the option of sharing it publicly, sharing to only those to whom a link is distributed, or sharing to other specific YouTube accounts.

YouTube Resources for Students
How to Set Up a YouTube Channel (handout)

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Zoom (Web Conferencing)

Zoom is a web conferencing tool used to meet virtually with others using video, audio, and chat. Participants can make use of screen sharing, a whiteboard tool, breakout rooms, and text chat. Zoom sessions can be recorded and automatically added to Kaltura My Media in Canvas.

Zoom Resources for Students
Using Zoom for Virtual Meetings (pdf document)

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This site is maintained by CTL. If you find any mistakes or would like to request additional videos or documents, please contact ctl@umsl.edu