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Directory of Instructional Tools

The directory provides a summary of the tools that have been approved for use, not recommend, or under review. We recommend you read the full review for any tool you are interested in using. If the tool you have in mind has not been reviewed yet, help us prioritize our list by letting us know which tools you are interested in using or what types of functionality you need.

Explore Evaluated Tools

See a growing directory of third party web-based instructional tools, apps, and resources used by UC San Diego instructors to supplement and enhance their courses.

View the Directory

Discussion Board Alternatives

Instructors use a variety of tools to interact with their students and to enable peer-to-peer learning.  With the onset of the pandemic and completely remote teaching, discussion forums and chat tools are more important than ever.  

Recognizing the need for “Piazza-like” alternatives, ETS  has compiled a list of popular free discussion board software. These tools have not been purchased or licensed by UC San Diego, nor reviewed for adherence to privacy, security, and FERPA standards.

This is an evolving list - and we welcome your questions, comments, and additions

To view the aggregated list of communication tools, please navigate to this Google spreadsheet and log in with your UC San Diego Google account. For each tool on the list, you'll find the availability of the following popular features:

  • Chat: Enables real-time conversations from student to student and student to instructor. Note each tool may have different functions, such as break-out chat rooms, or support for uploaded images/documents.
  • Question & Answer:Includes the ability to ask the class questions, and have students or the instructor upvote the most relevant answer. Students can also ask each other questions about the course content.
  • Discussion board: A designated place to host a specific discussion topic, with threaded responses and timestamp.  May also support uploaded images/documents.
  • LaTeX support: The ability to input correctly formatted mathematical expressions and notation.

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact