The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning encourages the exploration of digital technologies with an emphasis on tools that encourage active, collaborative, and creative teaching and learning. The McGraw Center’s Educational and Classroom Technologies (ECT) and Online Learning Environments (OLE) groups exist to foster the purposeful application of evolving technologies to enhance teaching and learning at Princeton. Center staff not only offer advice on the effective implementation of new technologies but assist in the development of online course and new digital projects. We work with campus partners to connect faculty members with the most effective resources and expertise. The Center encourages a critical reflection and discussion concerning the impact and merits of digital tools and the teaching methodologies afforded by those tools.
Digital platforms for learning
Blackboard and Canvas, Princeton’s learning management systems, feature assessment tools and rubrics to help you create tests that are automatically graded, and which can offer instant feedback to students. Rubrics help to ensure grading consistency across your instructional team. McGraw can assist you in using these tools effectively in a way that enhances your pedagogical goals.
The McGraw Commons is Princeton’s digital platform for course blogs, galleries, and other projects related to coursework. Websites hosted on the platform can integrate maps, timelines, audio, video, and can be made available publically, restricted to campus, or to the participants of the course.
The Online Learning Environments group support a number of online platforms for delivering course content to students as well as tools for them to engage in individual and collaborative work. Online coursework may take the form of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Flipped, hybrid or blended courses, or Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs). For more information, visit the Online Learning Environments page.
Google Apps for Education provides numerous tools that lend themselves to collaborative coursework, including, Google Drive, Google Sites, and Google Hangouts.
The Educational and Classroom Technologies (ECT) group routinely works with faculty to plan, prototype, and develop custom online platforms for teaching and learning. Examples of such projects include archives and databases, websites for public scholarship, and annotation tools.
Multimedia production and digital narrative
The Digital Learning Lab provides the software, support, and expertise in support of audio and video assignments. Examples of past class projects include podcasts, video essays, and student-created mini-documentaries. The Digital Learning Lab not only features software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere useful in multimedia production, including expertise and support for training.
Tools such as Knight Lab’s TimelineJS, StorymapJS from Northwestern University, Palladio from Stanford’s Humanities + Design Research Lab, and ArcGIS Online’s StoryMap platform are easy-to-use online tools that simplify the creation of maps, visualizations, timelines, and multimedia narratives.
Assessment and feedback
Classroom Response Systems allow you to prompt students with questions during class and get immediate feedback via ‘clickers’ or an online clicker analog, generating real-time graphs of responses. Classroom response systems can encourage participation and collaboration even in very large classes.
The ECT group maintains an automated grading device used to automatically score multiple-choice, bubble-sheet assessments. Tests can be quickly graded using an instructor-provided answer key. Each test can have up to four variants and 100 questions. Analytical tools can help to identify “bad” questions and provide data on your class performance. Some answer sheets also have a space for subjective grading (such as a short essay) that can be manually graded and included in the auto-graded score.
Qualtrics enables the creation of elaborate, branching surveys and tools for industry-standard surveys. Simple tools, such as Google Forms or the Qualtrics Polling tool, can get quick feedback using the most commonly used types of survey question (i.e true/false, multiple choice, or short text entry.) The Blackboard and Canvas course management systems offer sophisticated test and survey tools. Google Forms serves as a simple and useful tool for gathering information.