LearnLab is an online presentation and collaboration platform that enables teachers and lecturers to make their lectures more interactive. LearnLab has five different modules. The module CoLab is free. CoLab combines the functionality of PowerPoint presentations with interactive questions. You can easily upload your PowerPoint slides, and organize them. You can add slides with interactive questions that you would otherwise have created with a Student Response System such as; Socrative, Mentimeter, Smart Notebook Response System, or Kahoot.
The advantage of LearnLab’s CoLab is that you do not have to switch between programs for content and interactive questions while presenting.
CoLab offers nine types of content. The basic content is uploaded from PowerPoint presentations, the other eight are shown below.
- Combines PowerPoint (1) content, and (2) interaction, through questions and responses in one program.
- CoLab combines the variety of questions, and visualisations of the responses that can be found in Socrative and Mentimeter.
- CoLab offers the possibility to work with a two-step interaction, namely first the question and thereafter participants can cast their votes or ‘like’.
- Some new multi-media features are available, such as upload of a picture by the participants which can thereafter be rated.
Disadvantages of CoLab
- Editing of content, such as font and layout, is limited.
- You cannot present a picture with the question.
- The videos in your uploaded PowerPoint presentation do not work any longer, so you have to create new slides for them in CoLab.
- You lose all animations, hyperlinks, actions that were built in the PowerPoint.
- You have no control over how to stop and close a CoLab session. You can activate a new lab session, but it remains unclear which lab session you have activated and how to deactivate it.
- Participants cannot delete sessions themselves. They remain visible.
- Participants have to open a browser, there is no App available for answering the questions like with Socrative.
- CoLab does not provide the option to let participants work through questions at their own pace.
CoLab is a nice and useful tool for presenters and lecturers, because it can enhance interaction and participation. For use in a classroom it is important to realize that the tool is likely to support teacher-centered learning, not student-centered learning.