I wanted to let you all know about a cool tool I found out about this weekend at TLT2014. This tool is a question and answer/discussion tool called Piazza.
What is Piazza?
Piazza is a free, robust discussion board tool that can be embedded into your learning management system. It allows for communication between students and instructor in realtime. It allows students to participate in discussions by either posting their username or as anonymous (in case you have those shy students). To learn more about Piazza access their PDF here.
How to set up Piazza
I know it looks like a lot, but it doesn't take anytime at all to set up an account. To set up Piazza please follow the instructions below:
- Navigate to https://piazza.com/signup
- Select instructors get started
- Type in your school
- Click continue
- Enter your school domain, if you don't know your domain click "My school doesn't have it's own email domain"
- Select I agree to the terms
- Click Continue
- Select the term for your class (summer, spring, fall, winter)
- Name your class
- Create new class
- Enter the class number
- Enter the class enrollment number
- Click create course
- Join the class as a student, TA, or professor
- Enter the email address you want to use to enroll
- Click enroll me
- Enter your verification code (as per the email)
- Create your login information
- Welcome to your class! Congrats!
Piazza Set up
Once you have created an account, you will be directed to your course page on piazza. From this point students can either self enroll (with the code you provided) or you can invite students via email or a class list. Piazza also gives you a snippet of text to put in your syllabus explaining piazza. You can add questions/comments/ discussion points by organizing your class into folders. I made each week as a module and then had final project, chat, and other folders.
I created a welcome message in each folder, along with a poll, and file (an article for discussion). Students are then required to collaborate about the topic in the article. Now all I have to do is wait for responses!
*For more help regarding Piazza please visit here. You will find video and text tutorials.*
How to use it with your class
- Post announcements
- Ask questions to promote discussion
- Put students in groups to promote group discussion
- Answer questions related to homework
- Use it as a discussion board
- Create polls
- Load files and resources for collaboration
How do you use Piazza? How do you plan to use Piazza?