About DropThought

DropThought is a real-time feedback tool instructors can add to their courses in Canvas to gather timely, anonymous feedback from their students. Instructors can respond to student comments without compromising their anonymity. Intended as an alternative to generalized end-of-term course surveys, DropThought can be used to give students multiple opportunities throughout the term to candidly comment on specific items, providing instructors with substantive feedback they can use to improve future course content or, if necessary, address ongoing issues before the term ends. At Indiana University, instructors interested in using DropThought in Canvas can sign up to participate in the Next.IU DropThought pilot.

On this page:


Signing up for the pilot

To join the DropThought pilot, go to Next.IU, click Pilots, and then, under "DropThought", click Sign up for the pilot. Fill in the fields with your information, and select DropThought (Student feedback) from the "Sign up for a pilot" drop-down menu. Someone from the Next team will contact you with more details. Pilot participants will have DropThought installed in the appropriate Canvas courses.

Using DropThought in Canvas

DropThought is integrated into Canvas as an external tool and is available in all Canvas courses. It does not appear as a tool in the course navigation, but you can add it to your course as either an assignment or a module activity.

Setting up DropThought as a required assignment lets you give students credit for completing it and may help ensure higher response rates. Adding it as a module activity lets you receive feedback immediately following a course activity (e.g., an assignment, discussion, or quiz). For more, see Whether to Make Feedback Required or Optional on the DropThought website.

Setting up DropThought as an assignment

To set up DropThought as an assignment in Canvas:

  1. In the Assignments tool, click + (the plus sign) to add an assignment.
  2. Click More Options to edit the full assignment.
  3. Give the assignment a meaningful name; it will serve as the question or prompt for the feedback you wish to collect.
  4. Assign an appropriate number of points. Students who complete the assignment will receive all the points. Students who do not complete the assignment will receive no points. Alternatively, you may select Complete/Incomplete from the Display Grade as drop-down list.
  5. For "Submission Type", choose External Tool.
  6. Click inside the "External Tool URL" box, scroll down through the list that appears, and then select DropThought.
  7. Complete the settings for the assignment, and then save and publish it.
  8. On your assignment list, click your new assignment to open it. You should see a message confirming that the DropThought link was established. (This is a necessary part of setting up DropThought as an assignment.)

Setting up DropThought as a module activity

To set up DropThought as a module activity in Canvas:

  1. In the Modules tool, access the appropriate module, and then click + (the plus sign) to add a new module element.
  2. From the "Add" drop-down list, select External Tool, scroll down through the list that appears, and then select DropThought.
  3. Click Add Item.
  4. On the Modules page, find the DropThought module element you just added, and then, on the right, click the gear icon.
  5. Choose Edit, and then change the title to a meaningful question or prompt for requesting feedback. (This is the only way to actually ask a question or give a prompt with DropThought.)
  6. Click Update, and then publish both the module element and the module itself.
  7. On your modules list, click your new module element to open it. You should see a message confirming that the DropThought link was established. (This is a necessary part of setting up DropThought in Modules.)

Viewing and responding to feedback

When you set up your first DropThought activity, you will receive a welcome email message from DropThought containing your DropThought username and password, and a link to the DropThought Dashboard. To view and respond to student feedback, log into the DropThought Dashboard using your DropThought username and password. For more about the DropThought Dashboard, see the following pages on the DropThought website:

Getting help

For pedagogical or technical assistance with DropThought, consult the DropThought Education Support page.

Teaching and learning centers

Instructors can get help using technology in their teaching at the teaching and learning centers on each campus; see How do I contact the teaching and learning centers at each IU campus?

UITS Support Center

For help using DropThought, email the UITS Mission Critical team. You can also contact your campus Support Center directly; note that consultants will be best able to help during the following hours:

  • Monday-Thursday 7am-10pm
  • Friday 7am-5pm
  • Saturday noon-8pm
  • Sunday 10am-10pm

This is document ablv in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2017-11-10 14:06:43.

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