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Archives: Department of Psychological Science: Course Redesign Project

The following resources were used in a presentation to faculty in the Psychology Department. The presentation introduced faculty to a number of technologies that may be useful in carrying out the department’s course-redesign project sponsored by a WIDER-PERSIST grant from the National Science Foundation.

Concept Mapping

“A concept map is a type of graphic organizer used to help students organize and represent knowledge of a subject. Concept maps begin with a main idea (or concept) and then branch out to show how that main idea can be broken down into specific topics. (Source: Electronic concept maps can be created with a wide variety of web-based applications and apps for mobile devices, including Lucidchart, Popplet, Inspirations Maps, and Cmap.

Celly (NOTE: This product is no longer available.)

Celly lets anyone create an instant social network called a cell. Cells can be any size and work on any device. Members join by simply sending a text message, using the Celly app, or joining on the web.


Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called tweets. Registered users can read and post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them. Users access Twitter through the website interface, text message, or mobile device app.

REEF Polling

REEF Polling is a web-based student-response system that operates on any device with a web browser. It was officially adopted by Boise State in December 2015, replacing the Turning Point system previously used on campus.

Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere is a web-based student-response system that can be used with a smart phone, a tablet, a laptop, desktop computer, or even “dumb phones” (via text messaging).

Google Forms

Google Forms are online forms and surveys that can be customized to capture and store a wide variety of information provided by students or other users.


According to the developers, Piazza is a “free online gathering place where students can ask, answer, and explore 24/7, under the guidance of their instructors.” A mixture of a wiki and an online discussion forum, Piazza provides a place for students to ask and answer questions, view announcements posted by the instructor, and access course resources (for example, homework assignments, lecture notes, and PowerPoint slides).


Trello is a project-management and collaboration application that runs on the web, on Android devices, iPhones, iPads, and Kindle. It’s underlying structure consists of boards that represent a project, to which are affixed lists of tasks.


An e-Portfolio is an electronic collection of evidence that demonstrates a student’s “learning journey” over time. Typically, evidence contained in an e-Portfolio consists of a variety of electronic artifacts, including text, images, and rich media. An e-Portfolio often serves as both a method of demonstrating a student’s abilities and knowledge and as a means of self-expression. Currently, the e-Portfolio applications supported by Boise State are Google Sites and Blackboard’s e-Portfolio Tool. (See also: “Portfolios” in Blackboard Help for Students.)

Blackboard Wiki and Blackboard Groups

In Blackboard, a wiki “is a collaborative tool that allows students to contribute and modify one or more pages of course-related materials, providing a means of sharing and collaboration. Pages can be created and edited quickly while tracking changes and additions, allowing for effective collaboration between multiple writers. The Instructor can create one or more wikis for all course members to contribute to, or create wikis for specific groups to use to collaborate.” Source:

Blackboard Groups is an area within a Blackboard course site, populated by a group of students. Each Blackboard Group is a separate workspace within the course site, equipped with a variety of tools for collaboration, including a chat room, a file exchange, group blog, group discussion board, group journal, group wiki, and an e-mail application.