Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New version of CTools integrates with Google, Box and more

The newest version of CTools, released Aug. 4, includes several new tools for faculty to use in their teaching and research.


Click here to learn more about the new CTools-integrated apps and how they can be used.

These tools provide new functionality and expand the capabilities of the existing services in CTools. For example, faculty now can use student course groups that are integrated with Google, share resources between online tools, set up groups in which instructors and students can work together in real time, and more.

"Our goal is to provide faculty with the tools and resources they need," said Sean DeMonner, director of the Information and Technology Services Teaching & Learning group. "We keep abreast of rapidly-evolving technologies so we can evaluate and quickly make the best tools available."

These developments are part of the NextGen Michigan program, a strategy for investing in the "next generation" of computing technologies. The new tools are:

• CTools + M+Google — Faculty, students and staff now can access the core Google apps — Calendar, Mail, Docs, and Google+ — from links in the CTools banner.

• CTools + M+Box — Box, a cloud storage and collaboration tool, can be added to any course or project site. Though users see Box in a CTools window, the cloud-based storage is external. All users can sign up for a 50GB U-M Box account where they can set up online folders for storage and collaboration.

• CTools + Piazza — Piazza is an online social media gathering place where students can ask, answer, and rate responses under the guidance of instructors. Instructors can endorse model responses, create polls, and track student participation.

• CTools + RCRS Research Integrity Project — This project delivers interactive training modules on responsible conduct in research to post-docs, fellows and students, as required by federal funding agencies.