Part 4: Fall 2016 Labs

44 SoftChalk with John Hollenbeck — 10.07.2016

John HollenbeckLast week’s Active Teaching Lab was about SoftChalk, which is a digital course content authoring tool that integrates easily into learning management systems. John Hollenbeck from Online Learning Commons, shared how his department uses this program to create online courses.


  • Softchalk is easy to use — once you get past the initial setup (it runs on Java, which can be quirky). It also has a dated look and interface, but it does work well.
  • Create content in MS Word or Google Docs using headings, and import it into Softchalk; headings (1,2,3) will maintain organizational elements once inside Softchalk.
  • If you want an easier option to make interactive lessons (but not the quizzing options that Softchalk has), look at Sway by Microsoft.
  • Softchalk is not free, but an interesting tool to take a look at.

If you’re interested in learning more on how to get up and running with this tool, watch the videos below and review the session’s Activity Sheet.

Active Teaching Labs are held every Friday from 8:30-9:30am in room 120, Middleton Building. Check out the upcoming labs or read the recaps from past labs. To stay informed about upcoming Labs, check back to this website or sign up for regular announcements by sending an email to

John’s story:

Want to know what happened next? Watch the discussion video:

What is SoftChalk?


Active Teaching Lab eJournal Copyright © 2016 by DoIT Academic Technology and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy; Jennifer Hornbaker; John Martin; Julie Johnson; Karin Spader; Margaret Merrill; Margaret Murphy; and Jeffrey Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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