Blending, or Blended Learning, involves selecting or creating online material and using online tools. We have made a list of tools that we support here at the Faculty of Science. Some of these are essential (e.g. Canvas) but most are optional and are meant for a specific purpose. If you’ve got a question about a specific tool, you want to test one out, or have any other question: don’t hesitate to contact us here!

The tools are categorised and listed below. Each category has a short description, and lists specific tools. Click on read more to learn more about those tools and how you can implement them in your teaching here at the Faculty of Science.

Student Activation


Votingtools are interactive tools that allow students to vote on certain topics or questions posed by the teacher. This can be done via mobile devices, laptios, but also via special voting devices (votingboxes). The use of voting in the classroom is a great way of adding an active element in your class, it allows students to test their knowledge, and allows you as teacher to figure out any discrepancies in knowledge. TLC-FNWI supports multiple votingtools at the moment.

Just like Shakespeak, Presenterswall is also an online voting tool. However, this tool does not use PowerPoint as hosting software – it is operated via an internet browser (both MAC and Windows-based), making it a flexible and easy-to-use tool.

By using voting devices during the lecture, students can answer anonymously on multiple choice questions. This stimulates active involvement. At the Faculty of Science, we have TurningPoint voting devices without a display.

Shakespeak is an online voting system that enables students to vote with their own device such as mobile phone, tablet or laptop. This makes Shakespeak highly suitable for use in large-scale lectures. Shakespeak can be used for asking open questions and multiple choice questions. Students can also give a short explanation for their answer.

Blended learning

Blended learning tools allow the teacher to ‘mix-and-match’ a variety of didactive formats. For instance, you can let your students work together on an assignment or a project, let them prepare for class by practicing online assessments, or study particular methods and skills, for instance for lab environments. Some of these tools are stand-alone, and some are integrated within Canvas. All tools are supported through the Teaching and Learning Center, and available for all teachers at the FNWI.

FeedbackFruits offers a range of (peer)feedback tools that are available in Canvas. The most common cases where lecturers at the Faculty of Science use this tool are:
– A peer review, in which students review work written by other students;
– Group member evaluations, in which students in a group project evaluate the skills and contribution of the other members;
– The addition of interactive elements to documents and videos.

CodeGrade is a stand-alone learning environment designed to suit the needs of modern programming education and that can also be used as a module in Canvas.  It makes grading and handing in programming exercises more insightful and effective for students and more efficient for teachers, by providing a variety of tools to enhance the handing in and grading processes in an intuitive environment.

Perusall is a social learning platform that prepares students for class. The platform incorporates a novel e-book reader with collaborative annotation tools to ensure students learn more, come to class prepared, and become more engaged in the learning experience.

Labbuddy is an online tool that allows students to learn the proper protocols for preparing and conducting experiments in laboratory environments by allowing them to virtually (and theoretically) conduct a lab experiment. Labbuddy offers a variety of didactic tools, such as automatic feedback, the option to keep a lab journal and record comments, and the option to export the lab journal to Word for handing in to the teacher.

eJournal is an online application that provides an easy to manage graded journal system focused on education. It allows teachers to track long-term development, such as multiple deadlines over a longer time span, requiring multiple submissions and where each submission is independently graded, for example. eJournal links with Canvas for an easy exchange of data.

The Faculty of Science has its own video studio (B1.48b) where you can create high quality educational videos, such as knowledge clips (kennisclips), or interviews with experts. You can use available hardware such as an iPad to present your Powerpoint or PDF presentation, in combination with video and/or voice-recordings. The studio is built to be flexible, so you can also bring your own laptop and create, for example, a software tutorial with a voice-over.

Articulate Storyline is an online environment that allows you to create your own online e-learning courses. It allows you to create highly interactive online and mobile courses, with templates, storyboarding, animation, multimedia support, character templates, & advanced editing features. You can add videos, quizzes and other interactive content.

VideoScribe is software that allows you to easily create whiteboard animations, for instance to explain difficult to grasp concepts. It comes with a full library of graphics and other tools, allowing one to quickly put a decent whiteboard video animation together. The end result – a video animation – allows for an immersive way of telling a story, concept, or topic, especially useful in combination with other didactic formats put together in an e-learning module.

Digital Assessment

These tools are used for digital assessment.

TestVision is a digital (online) asessment tool used by the the University of Amsterdam. It is suitable for most courses and examination types. The software allows you to create a variety of test (formative and summative), and provides multiple ways of analysing the test-resulst – automatically for closed questions – and giving subsequent feedback.

ANS is an application in which assessments on paper are online checked and graded. With ANS, you can grade a variety of things, such as tests written on paper, digital documents, coding scripts, and online quizzes. The tool also allows you to provide feedback to students. As data is (safely) stored in the cloud, you can grade whenever, and wherever you like, even together with colleagues.

Register Attendance

SOWISO is a stand-alone personalised learning environment for Math & Science but can also be used as a module in Canvas. You can provide your students with immediate personalized feedback while they are solving exercises.
You can use SOWISO for:
– Formative assignments with open mathematical questions;
– Creating an adaptive learning path for each individual student.

ProctorExam is a web-based solution created for students to take tests remotely, using their own equipment, and with minimum prerequisites. For supervisors, the tool allows up to three simultaneous feeds – including a dual-view, or even a 360 degrees video-feed from student’s phones. You can choose to monitor in real time, or review after the session.

Communication and Remote Teaching

These tools are used for communication and remote teaching

Webex Webinars is een online omgeving gemaakt om webinars te organiseren en te volgen. De tool is speciaal gemaakt voor grote groepen (3000 deelnemers, maar te streamen naar 40.000 kijkers). Deelnemers hebben geen account nodig, maar er moet wel een klein stukje software worden geïnstalleerd op de computer (wat later automatisch verwijderd wordt). De webinars kunnen op video worden opgenomen.

Webex Meetings is een tool gemaakt om kleine meetings te organiseren. Bijvoorbeeld vergaderingen, of online onderwijssessies tot 25 personen. Ook hier is geen account nodig, maar moet er een stukje software worden geinstalleerd.

Webex Teams is een tool gemaakt voor collaboratieve sessies van groepen tot 15 deelnemers. De app heeft onder andere een filetransfer systeem, een whiteboard systeem, en chatsysteem ingebouwd, maar uiteraard ondersteund het ook video (webcam) feeds.

SurfFilesender is a tool from SURF, that allows you to send files up to 1 terabyte and allows end-to-end encryption for files up to 2 gigabyte. The tool is free to use for UvA employees, and you can login using your UvA login credentials via SurfConext.

BigBlueButton is an open-source web-conferencing system. The tool is especially useful for online learning. It provides its users with real-time sharing of video and audio, slides (from various programs), whiteboard, chat and screen (screencapture). As with other web-conference tools, the tool provides webcam support and a role structure (such as viewer, or moderator, with the latter having more control over the call).


These tools are used to counter plagiarism

Turnitin is a module for Canvas that can be used for students to hand in their papers/assignments and check for plagiarism. Turnitin offer the ability to create (together with colleagues) response models and to give ‘standard’ feedback to place elements in the text of students.

iThenticate is a standalone plagiarism checking tool, which allows you to check research, grant proposals, assignments, or other documents for missed citations and other mistakes that could count as plagiarism. The tool is available both for teachers/staff and students.