Tool Review Tuesday: BounceApp

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Welcome to Tool Review Tuesdays, a blog post series that explores how we can hack our classrooms and our research with composing, editing, networking, and other writing-related EdTech tools! This is an extension of our Hack n’ Yack series, where the DRC fellows offer up some quick tips and perspective on tools they’ve found especially useful.

Writing students commonly create portfolios by the end of their courses, and increasingly, instructors are giving students opportunities to digitize their portfolios, using blogging platforms and other e-portfolio tools. Encouraging students to revise work for a portfolio while thinking more carefully about digital composition and publishing is a win-win, but a lot of students’ expectations for writing and revising change when they’re asked to compose work in an online platform, often for the first time.

My institution uses WordPress for students’ digital portfolios, and as an instructor, one of my first questions was: how do students conduct peer review if they publish their work in WordPress? Asking students to copy and paste the text and put it into a document editor seemed silly, not to mention a poor way to get them thinking about how people revise website content.

That’s when I started to hunt around the Web and I discovered a tool that I love… 

Tool Name: BounceApp

 

What Does this Tool Do?

  • Generate a screenshot of any working webpage.
  • Create a space for users to click and drag on any part of the webpage and write a comment about it.
  • Generate a stable URL for users to access the comments any time they’d like.

What is it like to use BounceApp?

When you enter in your URL to the homepage above, you see this loading screen:

BounceApp2.jpg

Then, your screenshot gets generated!

BounceApp3.jpg

You can enter in a name that will appear alongside your comments and a title and then click anywhere on the webpage to create a comment! To see the comments, you hover over the comment boxes, like below:

BounceApp4.jpg

Who is this Tool For?
I primarily use this tool with students, but I could imagine using this tool with colleagues too, especially if we want to give feedback to each other on website design, or we’d like to privately comment on something without it being visible on a blog.

How Accessible is this Tool?
For vision-impaired students, BounceApp won’t be accessible, unfortunately. The comments are not compatible with screen-reading software.

Will it integrate into my institution’s Learning Management System?
Not directly. However, because BounceApp generates URLs, it’s easy to link URLs into learning management content.

Will I Need to Pay to Use It?
Nope! All of the functionality of BounceApp is free!

The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a way for students to give feedback to each other on webpages, whether it’s for an e-portfolio or any other kind of web design activity, BounceApp is a great tool to facilitate conversation!

About Author(s)

Jenae Cohn is a PhD candidate in English and Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies at UC Davis. Her research explores how materialities of reading and writing technologies affect established and emerging writers' perceptions of reading and writing experiences. She works in her university's WAC program as a graduate writing fellow and also serves as a HASTAC Scholar. She blogs irregularly at www.jenaecohn.net and to get herself writing, she lights candles and dons the fuzziest of socks.

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