Writing Tools

All writing tools can be used as graded or ungraded assignments. Click on the column header for instructions on specific tools.




Discussion Board





Post thoughts about topic and have time-based interactions

Threaded discussions on a topic that allow conversations to flow by topic rather than by time posted

Private interaction, with only instructor and individual student able to access

Collaborative Writing

List important terms and definitions

What is its purpose?

Sharing ideas about a topic and receiving feedback.

Discussing a major topic, theme, question, unit, or chapter.

Gauge individual student comprehension or receive feedback about student experiences.

Collaboratively writing information about a topic. Can be edited by all users as necessary.

Reviewing key terms and ideas unique to a course.

Why would it be useful as a part of the learning experience?

  • Elicits collaboration, discussion, reflection, and connection to class community

  • Students receive and respond to peer and instructor comments

  • Allows for more social participation, classroom community development, and continuity between class sessions

  • Better for answering questions and challenging all students to express their opinions or apply learning to new situations

  • Allows better understanding of the student's goals, personal growth, problem-solving skills, perspective, values, or ideals

  • Integrates into in-class time better than the other writing tools

  • Create a vocabulary list or glossary of terms that students can define and edit, then study and review

  • Students can share links to tools or resources that they find useful and encourage peer review

  • Create a vocabulary list of terms that students can use as reference tool or study guide for review

How difficult is it to use?

Medium for students; medium to grade or track class and individual student use.

Medium for students to use; hard to track individual student use and grade, but easy to track class use.

Easy for students to use; easy to track student use and grade.

Medium to hard for students to use; hard to track class and individual student use, but easy to grade.

Easy for students and instructors to use.


If you have further questions about which tool to use, please contact Instructional Technology at (512) 313-4017.



This page was last updated on Jul. 10, 2013.
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