Wednesday, April 16, 2014

YouSeeU by Nishele Lenards

YouSeeU is a web-based software tool that provides recording, sharing, interacting and learning through video submissions. This software is the perfect tool to deliver asynchronous oral presentations, video discussions, case study presentations, and oral exams. YouSeeU was initially designed for online or distance education but is now used for blending learning and Face-to-Face courses as well.

The unique feature of YouSeeU is that the software synchronizes the student video with their PowerPoint slides through a 3 sync player. The video and PPT slides are 2 separate presentations but are synchronized with the software after the fact. The third component of the 3 sync player is the ability for the instructor to provide feedback along the video/oral presentation timeline (video time stamp). Other forms of feedback include a customized rubric, numeric grading, and audio/video feedback options.

Benefits of this tool include:
  • Ability to practice in a less threatening environment 
  • Improvement through behavior based feedback
  • Various means of connection with instructor/peers
  • Interactive feedback-rich digital environment (independent of time/place) 

How do I use the YouSeeU software in my program? Students are assigned a special project that must be delivered as an oral presentation. They must record the video and also prepare PowerPoint slides. These are synchronized into one comprehensive oral presentation that is shared with the instructor and peers. I provide feedback along the video time stamp so students can see feedback in the exact location of the oral presentation. A rubric is used for grading, which inputs a numerical grade into the system. I also use the video feedback option to record messages for the students at the beginning of the course and for their presentations.

While the software is not free, it is available at a minimal price. Instructors can try the tool (a trial basis) before purchasing/implementing.  The cost is approximately $1/minute per student (for example $20 for 20 minutes). The student can purchase the minutes directly through YouSeeU or the instructor can establish a special course fee and be direct-billed by YouSeeU.

For more information, visit

Submitted by Nishele Lenards, Medical Dosimetry

Explain Everything by Josh Hertel

Explain Everything is an app for creating and sharing screencasts on iOS and Android devices ( I have used this interactive whiteboard in my own classes to introduce new content, review exam solutions, and discuss homework problems in-depth. Although there are a number of screencasting applications available for tablets, there are several reasons that I think Explain Everything shines above the rest. First, the app has basic editing features that allow the user to pause, rewind, and record over previously saved audio or video. This is particularly useful when you make a small mistake in a screencast and want to redo the audio or video (or both). Second, the app allows the user to easily break up a screencast into multiple pages. These pages can then be uploaded as one continuous screencast or several individual videos. This type of functionality is very helpful because it lets you split up a long discussion into smaller parts. Additionally, when combine with the app’s editing features, multiple pages allow you to replace portions of a screencast without having to redo an entire video. Third, Explain Everything can upload videos to a number of different sites including Youtube, Dropbox, Google Docs, and Evernote. In my own courses, I found that exporting screencasts to a share folder on Google Docs was an easy way to share them with students. Fourth, the app supports importing pdfs and images as screencast backgrounds making it simple to work through an exam or discuss a diagram. 

These features coupled with an intuitive user interface make Explain Everything my go-to application for creating screencasts on a tablet. At a price of $2.99, the app is an affordable option for anyone hoping to incorporate screencasting into his or her teaching. One additional note, heavy users should consider buying the Explain Everything Compressor ($14.99). This program allows you to transfer raw screencast files to a mac/pc, compress the video, and then upload the finished screencast. Without the compressor, lengthy videos (10 minutes+) will take a long time to compress and upload on the tablet making the device unusable during the process.

Submitted by Josh Hertel, Mathematics

Diigo by Kristin Koepke

I use Diigo ( to collect and tag articles of interest.  When I find an article, website, resource, etc. that I find useful and would like to refer back to someday, I mark the site (from a Diigo web add-on) on a Diigo list. I have lists for various topics -- blended, teaching tips, online instructor training, etc.  I can then share the lists of resources with multiple people.  For example, I created and continually update a Diigo list that contains resources for online instructors.  The Diigo list (contained as a single URL) is shared with groups of faculty that complete online trainings.  Example: This link is continually updated whenever I add a new tagged site but the link does not change. These are the features that I use in Diigo but there are even more features that I have yet to explore (online highlighting, reading offline, interactive sticky notes, etc.) Here is a tutorial all about features of Diigo:

Submitted by Kristin Koepke, CATL