Create Free-form Whiteboard Exercises

As handy as they are, sometimes, keyboards just aren’t enough to capture your student’s input in your digital exercises. Sometimes, you want them to draw something, be it on a blank sheet of paper, or on a picture you give them.

A handy solution for free-form exercises such as these is the Whiteboard widget: you provide a picture, some instructions, and your students can draw whatever you want them to draw on it.

Whiteboard widgets are not only great for subjects such as biology, geography, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, they can also be very fun for the less scientific subjects such as languages and arts.

In this blog post, we’ll walk through some examples of what you can do with the Whiteboard widget and its extended version, the Split Whiteboard widget.

Annotating Pictures

A simple whiteboard can be nothing more than an image, with instructions for your students to draw something on it, such as the biology exercise below:

Blood Flow Whiteboard

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Using the different drawing tools and colors, students can annotate the picture with straight lines, freehand lines, and text.

When they’re done, they can submit their answer to you for reviewing.

The whiteboard above works for the simplest of instructions. If you want to be more verbose in your instructions, you can put them right on the whiteboard:

Europe Whiteboard

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Students can go into “distraction-free” mode by hiding the instructions using the buttons in the top-right corner.

Physics & Maths Whiteboards

Whiteboards are great for maths and physics, where exercises such as simplifying formulae, transforming matrices, or even performing simple long division are hard to do with just a keyboard on your tablet or computer.

Additionally, for these specific subjects, the Whiteboard widget has an extra trick up its sleeve: when solving your whiteboard exercise requires complex computations, you can let students access a scientific calculator, right from within the widget:

Ramp Physics Whiteboard

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Let students add their own photos

If just drawing on your pictures wasn’t enough fun already, you can let students take their own photos. They can use the camera on their device to take a photograph, add it to the whiteboard, and draw on it.

This works very well for e.g. biology classes, where you can ask your students to go out and find something, and annotate it with the terms they have learned:

Leaves Whiteboard

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Rich instructions with Split Whiteboards

So far, the instructions on the whiteboards have been very simple, and always fit on the whiteboard. Sometimes, however, your instructions become more complicated, and no longer fit on the whiteboard. For this situation, you can use the Split Whiteboard widget. This widget dedicates half of the screen to instructions, and the other half for the whiteboard.

Another benefit of the Split Whiteboard widget is that the instructions aren’t just limited to text: you can add images, videos, sounds, … This is great for listening comprehension exercises, for example, where you can provide spoken instructions for annotating the whiteboard on the right:

The Mall Whiteboard

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Paint-by-numbers Whiteboard

Whiteboards are fun for all ages. Even the youngest can enjoy learning through drawing. For example, you can give simple math problems to solve, and let them use the solution to find out the color to use for painting the drawing:

Paint By Numbers Whiteboard

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Just Draw

Whiteboards don’t always have to be about solving exercises. Sometimes, you just want your students to let their creativity go free, and draw. A whiteboard widget can be a great intermezzo to activate the right part of the brain, while the left part takes a well-deserved rest.

Creating your own (Split) Whiteboard Exercises

The Whiteboard widget is very versatile solution for exercises where a keyboard just doesn’t cut it. Not only can you put these exercises into standalone Whiteboard and Split Whiteboard widgets, you can also embed whiteboards as separate questions in your Quiz widgets.

If you want to find out how to create your own interactive Whiteboard or Split Whiteboard exercises with BookWidgets, just have a look at this simple step-by-step tutorial:

Whiteboard Widget Tutorial

Ready to give it a shot? Just hit the button below, sign up, and start creating Whiteboard widgets (and many other widget types) with a free BookWidgets trial.

Remko Tronçon

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