Written by Perusall
New Perusall Platform Features | August 2023
The Perusall team has been hard at work creating exciting new features within Perusall—many of which came directly from instructor feedback. Read more below on how our newest features can increase student engagement, support innovative pedagogical practices, and improve learning outcomes for your students!
Join us for a live walkthrough of these features at our New Feature Show & Share webinar, led by Perusall co-founder and fellow educator Brian Lukoff, on Tuesday, August 8th.
Course set-up upgrades
Import content from Google Drive, your LMS, and quiz tools
We’ve added new ways for you to get your content into your Perusall course. You can now import files from Google Drive—including Google Docs and Google Slides presentations—or from the cloud storage in your Canvas course. Canvas users can also import Canvas Pages into Perusall for a social reading experience around that content. Finally, you can now import quizzes into Perusall—just export your quizzes from your LMS or your existing quizzing tool as a QTI 1.2 or 2.1 package.
Text-only quiz questions
Since introducing quizzing last summer, we’ve added a wide variety of answer choices: everything from traditional multiple-choice to short essays to algebraic expressions that students can enter with a graphical math editor. And you can now add “text-only” questions that present students with a stimulus in a quiz without having a question attached.
Personalize terminology used in the UI
If you use Perusall outside of a traditional course context—for example, in a workshop or professional development session—you can now customize the terminology used in the interface to match the roles of the participants. For example, if you use Perusall in a workshop context, you could replace “course” with “workshop”, “instructor” with “leader”, and “student” with “participant.”
Helping students get more out of social learning
We’ve worked with faculty in STEM, humanities, and the social sciences to develop pre-built assignments that introduce students to social learning and help them learn how to write high-quality comments. You can add one of these assignments to your course by navigating to Assignments > Add > Making the most of Perusall.
Dynamic feedback for students
Have your students ever asked how they can improve their score in Perusall? Perusall will now proactively help students work towards a better score (and ultimately, more engagement and improved learning outcomes for them!) by nudging them with suggestions about what they can work on:
Perusall now seamlessly integrates with your institution’s Turnitin subscription. When configured by your institution, Perusall will automatically scan all student assignment submissions for originality. To view the Turnitin Report, click on the score in the Gradebook and then select the Turnitin similarity report tab.
The new Audit panel in Perusall lets you monitor student comments for a range of potential issues. You’ll see comments that have been flagged by other students, comments Perusall has automatically flagged as duplicates, and comments that include text that students have pasted in from outside Perusall. From the Audit panel you can easily review the comment in context within the assignment and take action where appropriate.
Perusall can now help students create in-text citations or reference lists for content in Perusall. Perusall can automatically extract bibliographic information for many PDFs, EPUBs, videos, and podcasts, and students can get a reference or in-text citation for the content they have open by opening the citation panel.
As part of our commitment to bringing accessibility features to students without requiring them to have special software installed on their computer, Perusall now enables you to dictate comments by voice. The dictate comments tool is located within the comment text box.
Add a GIF to your comment
Ever wanted to reply with a GIF? You and your students can now add GIFs to comments to inject some whimsy into the social learning experience.
Quote a comment
You can now quote a student or instructor in your comment to respond to a particular comment earlier in the conversation. To do this, highlight part of their comment and then click Quote this in my reply. The resulting quote automatically contains an @-mention so that the person you are quoting will be notified you were talking about them, potentially bringing them back to keep the discussion going!
To better get to know each other, each student can personalize their profile by adding a short bio to their Perusall account. The bio will appear when hovering over the user’s photo or initials everywhere it appears in the platform.
Generate discussion prompts
Many instructors like to create their own highlights in Perusall with prompts for students to respond to and discuss. However, it can be time-consuming to write those prompts! Now you can use AI to help: just highlight some text in the reading and then ask Perusall's experimental AI bot to suggest a possible discussion prompt. You can even combine this with the "puzzle piece" icon that requires students to respond before seeing their classmates' comments!
See you at the New Feature Show & Share on August 8th!