ConnectYard Widget Talks to Social Networking Sites from CMS

ConnectYard, which builds education-related applications, has developed a widget that can be added to a course management system for delivering queries to the user via social networking sites and other means. QuickConnect Widget works with Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, and other LMS platforms, according to the company.

Students post homework and study questions via an HTML form on the QuickConnect Widget. Those questions are then delivered to other class members via their preferred method. Both students and instructors have the option of replying to questions via Facebook, Twitter, text message, or e-mail. All responses are then added to the discussion thread within the course management system for other students and instructors to view and respond to. Threaded discussions can be forwarded to other classes and groups to expand the conversation.

Instructors don't need to join any social network; they can respond to queries via e-mail, while allowing students to participate in the conversation using their preferred mode of communication.

"E-mail alone is no longer an effective tool to reach today's students and although some students rarely log into their institution's [learning management system], they check their phones and Facebook accounts multiple times per day," said Donald Doane, ConnectYard's CEO. "The QuickConnect Widget provides an optimal channel for instructors to reach and connect with students outside of the classroom where they live and socialize."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.