LectureTools Student Information Guide

If your instructor is using LectureTools in your class, don't fret! LectureTools is easy to use-- and as an internet-based lecture supplement, it's a great study tool! You will be able to go through slide presentations at your own pace before, during, and after lectures, take notes in connection with each slide, and even mark a slide confusing or send your instructor a question during class! This guide contains everything you need to get started using LectureTools.

Note - this document is for students. If you are an instructor, please see our Getting Started Tutorial.

This page has three main sections. To jump directly to a section, select a link.

  • Navigating Slides - Viewing and navigating slides, browsing slides, and viewing hidden slides.
  • Interacting with Slides - Marking slides confusing, bookmarking slides with the flag button, and drawing on slides with the Pen tool.
  • Other Features - Answering and asking questions.

Navigating Slides

Viewing and Navigating Slides

  • Your instructor’s published slides will appear in the Slides tab.
  • To navigate through slides during lecture, use the left and right arrows below the current slide, or click Browse Slides to view thumbnails of all lecture slides.

To view a different set of slides (associated with a different lecture date), see the instructions for Navigating Between Lecture Dates, linked below.

Using Browse Slides

You can use Browse Slides to find and navigate slides quickly.

  • Click on the Browse Slides tab to open and close the slide thumbnails. Here you will find all slides from the current lecture.
  • Scroll and locate the thumbnail of the slide you would like to view. Click the thumbnail and the slide will load in the Slides pane.
  • Display only thumbnails for slides you have marked confusing or flagged as important by using the Filter Slides By: buttons.
  • Close the navigation by clicking the Browse Slides tab.

Viewing Hidden Slides

  • Your instructor may choose to hide certain slides from students prior to class. In a published lecture, the slide will appear with the text “Hidden Slide.” During class when your instructor reveals a hidden slide, you will be able to view the slide’s content.
  • Navigate to the hidden slide, which will become visible automatically when revealed by your instructor. Alternatively, when a hidden slide is revealed, a Click for Unhidden Slide notification will appear. Click the notification to jump to the hidden slide.
  • Your instructor may hide or unhide slides at any time and, after class, may choose to hide slides that were revealed during lecture.

Interacting with Slides

Marking Slides Confusing

  • Click the Confusing button (looks like a flag) to report comprehension difficulties on a particular slide. This alerts your instructor that a certain percentage of the class is confused on a particular slide.
  • Quickly find slides you marked confusing in a lecture by opening Browse Slides and clicking the flag icon next to "Filter Slides By:".

Bookmarking Slides with the Star Button

  • The Star Button allows you to bookmark important slides for further study. Unlike the Confusing Button, bookmarking a slide does not relay any information to your instructor.
  • Quickly find slides you bookmarked in a lecture by opening Browse Slides and clicking the star icon next to "Filter Slides By:".

Drawing on Slides with the Pen Tool

  • The Pen Tool allows you to draw directly on the lecture slides.
  • Click on the Pen Tool and select either black or white ink to begin making annotations.

  • Click and drag your cursor on the slide to annotate on the slide.
  • Choose the trash can icon to erase your drawings from the current slide.

  • Your drawings are private. No one may view them who does not have access to your LectureTools account.
  • Your drawings will continue to be accessible until you erase them, even if you log out and return later. Once you erase them, they are gone forever.

Taking Notes

When viewing slides, you can access your notebook to their right. Here, you can take notes associated with each numbered slide and format them simply with bolding, italics, underlines, bullet points, numbered lists, and colored highlighting.

Some features to remember:

  • Your notes are private. No one may view them who does not have access to your LectureTools account.
  • Notes are frequently auto-saved, but you also have the option to save manually.
  • You can also minimize or expand slide notes with the arrow next to each note section's number.
  • If you don't want to study electronically, you can also print your notes from each presentation, using the print button at the top of your notebook. Each set of notes will be printed next to its corresponding slide.
    • This feature enables you to print the slideshow presentation whether or not you have taken any notes.

Other Features

Answering Interactive Questions

Your instructor may include any number of interactive activities in each presentation, which you are expected to answer for participation points. Check your syllabus to see how heavily this "lecture participation" is weighted. For more information about interactive questions, please see the tutorials linked below.

Asking Questions

  • To ask a question, click on the Ask a Question button in slide view, or switch from slide view to Question view using the Questions button above the slides.
  • In both cases, you will see a box in which to type your question with buttons labeled Submit and Cancel. Type in your question, then click Submit.

  • In Question view, you can see all the questions you have asked for this lecture (under My Questions), as well as questions asked by other students (under Other Questions).

  • Answered questions will appear in color at the top, with the option to expand or collapse the instructor's answer (using the '+' or '-' button next to each question).
  • Unanswered questions appear in gray at the bottom of My Questions until the instructor answers them.


  • Only questions for the current lecture will appear in Questions view. If you asked a question while looking at a different set of slides, you will need to return to that lecture to see your question.
  • Your questions may or may not be anonymous, depending on the settings your instructor has chosen. At any time, your instructor may choose to view the name of a student who asked a particular question.
  • Your classmates will never know who asked your question (unless you tell them, that is!).