Near the beginning of the pandemic, I wrote a piece called Perusall: New #EdTech That’s Worth Your Time. I described it as a collaborative eReader to transform the typical isolated reading experience (yawn!*) into one where students can engage in social annotations of the material that would then be auto-graded based on their participation. I’m happy to report that this free product has continued to make improvements to broaden its utility beyond course readings to other media, such as videos and podcasts.
With the recent updates to Perusall, you can now link video and audio content for student commenting. All you need is a URL to any public facing media file—such as on YouTube, a Zoom recording saved in Google Drive set to public sharing, or the RSS feed. I’m so excited for this feature since I know some instructors were already uploading their PowerPoints to solicit questions from students. Now there will be an all-in-one experience, similar to VoiceThread or Zoom chat, where students can comment directly on lecture content as they listen.
The other big change is the ability to enable a Student Upload Folder so students can upload PDFs (hopefully this will be expanded to more file types soon) to the Perusall course site. This is a great option for activities where a rotating student chooses a relevant reading for the entire class each week or informal peer review of drafts.
I encourage you to try the latest features and, as always, please reach out to CITT for a consult if you would like assistance implementing any educational technology into your course. You can also learn more at their free conference, Perusall Exchange, and our UF Instructor Tools page.
*Editor’s note: Isolated reading is one of my favorite pastimes, but Heather still has a good point here.