Other Instructional Tools

In addition to the other main instructional technologies (i.e., Brightspace, Collaborate, Panopto, and Teams), Dalhousie provides other tools that may be helpful for your teaching. This includes tools for originality/plagiarism checking (Ouriginal), exam proctoring (Respondus), student response systems (Top Hat), content and activity building (SoftChalk, Campus Pack), and accessibility (ReadSpeaker). 


Turnitin is an add-on tool for Brightspace that is an automatic text-recognition system made for detecting text similarly between a student’s submitted work and other students’ previously submitted work, the internet, and published materials. Turnitin seamlessly connects to and is set up through the Assignments area in Brightspace. You also have the option of similarity reports with students as formative learning opportunities.

Contact Academic Technology Services (ATS) at Dalhousie or visit Turnitin’s help pages.

Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor (Exam proctoring)

LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Brightspace to prevent students from using additional resources during the testing period.

Respondus Monitor builds upon the power of LockDown Browser, using a student’s webcam and video analytics to prevent cheating during non-proctored exams.

Contact Academic Technology Services (ATS) at Dalhousie or visit the Respondus support website.

Top Hat (Student response/clicker system)

Top Hat is Dalhousie University's preferred student response/clicker system. Top Hat’s active learning app helps instructors engage and motivate students in online, blended, and face-to-face courses. 

If you wish to use Top Hat with your students, they will need to purchase a licence


SoftChalk (Build interactive course content)

SoftChalk is a software that works with learning management systems such as Brightspace. You can use SoftChalk to create interactive learning experiences such as lessons, quizzes and surveys. 

Contact Academic Technology Services (ATS) to get a SoftChalk licence (available in limited numbers).

Support for SoftChalk

ReadSpeaker (Text-to-speech tool)

Add this to your course to allow text-to-speech functionality, making your course content more accessible.

How-to video
Adding the ReadSpeaker TextAid Browser Extension (2:22, CC)