Sunday, December 14, 2014

A discussion forum for on-line office hours

The problem
I would like to hold virtual office hours.  I have considered Skype and Adobe Connect but it's not clear how they would show me their work, how I can give feedback quickly and effectively, and avoid answering the same question again and again.

I anticipate that most questions will be a photo of their handwritten work with the question "What am I doing wrong?"


The solution

* A discussion forum with threads on different subjects like, e.g. Reddit.

* Login is required to post questions and I control who can log in

* There is a teacher mode and a student mode

Student mode:

* Text-entry that supports equations (e.g. Mathjax)

* Students can easily post photos of their work, so seamless integration with webcam, tablet and smartphone is needed.

* It should also be possible to write/draw using a tablet.

Additional features in the teacher mode

* When answering the question, the question, including any pictures, is copied and it is possible to write/draw on the picture using a tablet.

* When answering questions it is possible to record the screen + audio and embed the resulting video automatically.

I need this feature so I can answer quickly, but I don't want the students to be able to pose questions as recordings because I can read the question much faster.

* Optionally: a feature where I can choose to get email notification when a new questions is asked (for off-peak hours).

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