Tools and software

The Digital Education Office recommends the use of a limited number of tools for learning, teaching and assessment in 2020/21. This baseline does not preclude the need to use additional tools for disciplinary or pedagogical requirements. See the tool descriptions.

New tools for 2020/21

The DEO already have a working list of additional tools which should be available next year. Currently these are:

  • BB Annotate - the Blackboard inline marking tool.
  • Padlet - a simple tool for collation, curation and publication of collaborative content.
  • Verbit integration for Re/Play captions - Newly available.
  • H5P - a tool to create online interactive resources. Newly approved, use free version until available.
  • Mentimeter - a tool to create online polls and quizzes. Newly approved, use free version or TurningPoint until available.
  • Mosaic - new version of Mediasite Desktop Recorder. Newly approved, use free version until available.
  • Flipgrid - available for staff and student use, but not supported as an institutional tool.

A mediasite video about redesigning a lecture for online teaching on a laptop. On the table the laptop is on, there is also a tablet, a mouse, a hard drive and sheets of paper. A garden is visible in the background.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash.
Free for any use, attribution appreciated but not required.

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Blended teaching and learning requirements gathering

The DEO and IT Services have been identifying gaps or improvements to the core delivery toolkit (the suite of software used to enable blended learning) to ensure the right things are in place for 20/21 and beyond.

The requirements gathering for teaching block 1 is closed, but requests can be considered for future teaching blocks. Please visit the Requirements for IT resources for online and blended learning page and fill in the appropriate form there.

Tool descriptions


Use these where possible. Support and training is available from DEO.

  • CheckmarkAvailable through Blackboard
What you can do with the "Recommended" tools
Blackboard Build your course in this online learning environment offering an online space for learning activities and a range of tools for communication, collaboration, assessment, feedback, reflection and content management. Checkmark
Blackboard Ally Make your course more accessible. Checkmark
Blackboard Collaborate Run and record live online sessions with interactive options like polls and quizzes. Checkmark
EesySoft Find relevant guidance, contextual support and look at course participation statistics with this Blackboard add-on. Checkmark
Re/Play Record, edit, publish and manage lecture videos, see analytics. Checkmark
Turnitin Use for submissions to get similarity reports comparing students' text submissions with other text sources, mark and give feedback. Checkmark
Camtasia Capture your screen and audio, edit the video. Newly available for University Windows 10 devices and Mac, soon available for personal Windows devices.
Padlet Create interactive and collaborative learning activities.
Questionmark (QMP) Deliver and manage online formative, high-stakes summative assessment and examinations. Alternative to Blackboard tests.
TurningPoint Create polls, quizzes and surveys, then deliver them online or in person, live or scheduled, and store the responses for analysis.
Xerte Create - or ask students to create - interactive and accessible online learning materials containing text, images, media. Available to anyone with a UoB login.

Also available

May not be free to use. Limited advice and support may be available from DEO.

What you can do with the "Also Available" tools
Audacity Audio recording and editing software. Free and easy to use.
Articulate Storyline Create interactive learning materials. Licence/ subscription required.
MS Office Create materials, record lectures, ask students to produce resources individually or collaboratively. Support from IT Services.
MS Teams for education Video conferencing and collaboration tools. Technical support from IT Services.