Distributed Active Learning Integrated Technology Environment myDALITE— is a free open-source web-based platform that promotes conceptual learning. Its pedagogical foundations are guided by social learning and based on learning principles and practical know-how. It engages students in cognitive tasks that include written self-explanation, comparison and evaluation of explanations produced by peers, and reflection.

With myDALITE, teachers can use the same questions in class in polling mode, or assign questions as out-of-class homework through any learning management system. Teachers can peruse content based on analytics and get reports for how their students are doing over time. Check the features on myDALITE below

myDALITE has a growing database of questions in subjects ranging from chemistry to the humanities. It is funded by the SALTISE/S4 grant and aims to be the home of an open-source community offering high-impact high-quality learning resources built for teachers by teachers.

Importing DALITE questions into your Moodle course. The process is divided into two sections:

1- creating a preconfigured tool (only needs to be done once)
2- importing questions (done whenever you want to bring questions into the course)

Creating a Preconfigured Tool

  1. Turn editing on by clicking on the blue button labelled turn editing on located on the top right of the Moodle toolbar.
  2. Click on the Add an activity or resource option
  3. In the Add an activity or resource menu, select External Tool, and click on Add.
  4. In the Adding a new External tool window, click on the “+” next to Preconfigured Tool dropdown menu.
  5. In the External tool configuration, you will need to fill in the boxes.
  6. The information required can be found on your account page under the “Assignments” tab. If you click on the “i” icon after any of your assignments, a dialog box will appear, giving you the
    – Lauch URL
    – Client Key
    – Shared Secret
  7. Click Save Changes, then hit Cancel in the page for adding a new external tool (we just went into the process of adding one in order to add our preconfigured tool). You should get the message: “Preconfigured tool added”

Importing Questions

  1. While surfing the DALITE question bank, if you find a question you would like to import in your Moodle course, note the assignment in which it is found as well as the question ID number associated with that particular question.
  2. The question ID and question number can be found on your MY Account page, in the Assignments, beside the chosen assignment by clicking on the “i” icon.
  3. In your Moodle course, click on turn editing on, and then click on the Add an activity or resource option. In the Add an activity or resource menu, select External Tool, and click on Add. (If you need a visual for these steps, please refer to the section Creating a preconfigured tool above).
  4. In the Adding a new External tool window, give a name to your question by filling out the Activity name box.
  5. Click on the dropdown menu of the Preconfigured Tool and choose your newly configured tool name DALITE Tool.
  6. Click on Show more…
  7. In the Custom parameters, enter the assignment id and the question id.
  8. Click on Save and display.

No need for an LMS to use DALITE in our outside of your classroom. Here is a first tutorial to show you how to use myDALITE right away.

Born out of a design-based research project that brings learning theory and practice together, the Distributed Active Learning Integrated Technology Environment (DALITE) takes peer instruction online into an asynchronous environment.

myDALITE is an asynchronous peer instruction tool for any LMS

Peer Instruction, popularized by Eric Mazur of Harvard University, is one of the most prevalent classroom activities today. Something fascinating happens during these peer discussions, whereby students can convince each other of the correct thinking. But what about instances when the class size is too small for diversity of answers, or the teacher wants to have students prepare for class using a similar approach? This is where DALITE was born!

DALITE (Distributed Active Learning Integrated Technology Environment) was developed by a team of Montreal area research-practice partnership team – Elizabeth (Liz) CharlesNathaniel LasryChris WhittakerMichael Dugdale and Kevin Lenton. These learning scientist and physics education researcher (PER) come from three Montreal area colleges – Dawson, John Abbott and Vanier. Working in collaboration with Jim Slotta (at time, University of Toronto, OISE)  and his graduate students, and supported by grants from Dawson College and the Ministry of Higher Education in Quebec. Read more about the research results involving DALITE.

myDALITE – Since 2015

HarvardX, a founding member of the edX consortium, financed the development of DALITE into an [open source], LTI compliant tool, making it available through most major Learning Management Systems, including Moodle and Canvas, Desire to Learn (D2L) and Open EdX. Since 2015, DALITE has been used in three Massive Open Online Classroom (MOOCs) on the edX platform, including PhysicsExercise ScienceEthics and morality, HarvardX’s most popular MOOC. For more information contact Sameer Bhatnagar.

Check out this great article written by the SALTISE group: Taking DALITE to the next level: What have we learned from a web-based peer instruction application?

This tool is maintained by Sameer Bhatnagar.