Mural is approved for academic use.

What is Mural?

Mural is a virtual collaborative whiteboard tool. While the pen and drawing tools are rudimentary, Mural really shines as a mind-mapping tool with virtual sticky notes.

What is the purpose of Mural?

The tool can serve many purposes, similar to using a whiteboard in the face-to-face classroom, providing a space for visual collaboration in a synchronous environment.

  • Features include manipulable sticky notes, icons, shapes, connectors, images and a drawing option for placement on a framework chosen for the lesson.
  • Flexible features are designed to help students work together and visualize trends, results, ideas, opinions, connections, sequencing, storylines and feedback.

Why use Mural?

The primary value of Mural is as an interactive tool that provides a shared communication space for whole group or class cognitive and social participation. Mural can foster learning with:

  • Activities to challenge, build on and integrate students’ conceptualizations.
  • Opportunities for hypothesis testing, reasoning and interpretation.
  • Shared cognition, facilitating exploration of ideas and negotiation of new meanings in accord or in contrast to others’ perspectives.
  • Creation of shared and evaluated ideas.

Learning Technology Ecosystem (LTE) Principles

Mural most directly address these LTE goals:

Active and social Learning is a process of meaning-making, constructed through learning with others, and as a part of an intentional, deliberate system within a course and across experiences. 


Best Practices



 Synchronous activities for collaboration in real time

 Use for assessment purposes

 Asynchronous to class time (group brainstorming, project creation; solo work for organizing and presenting)

 Mapping content

 Problem-solving and decision-making with voting option

 Design processes


Idea creation


Support for Mural

Technical Support

(Why isn't this working?)

Vendor Supported


Training Support

 (How do I learn to use this tool?)

Vendor Supported


Teaching Support

 (How do I teach with this tool?)

Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning Supported

Tool Evaluation

Technologies are evaluated based on their alignment with the Learning Technologies Ecosystem Principles.  Click to see explanations of each principle and a justification of the rating. You can also view a complete blank rubric to see more details or read about the assessment process.

Learning must be found easily at any time, and all learners and teachers have equitable access, regardless of culture, language, ability etc. 
More Information

Rating: Works well

  • Accessibility standards:
    • The tool meets common and legal accessibility guidelines.
    • Features are designed to make use of the tool more equitable.

  • Cost of use for USask students:
    • Free of charge for students; cost for membership to instructor or department.
    • Requires typical equipment that students and instructors are likely to have access to.

  • Platform:
    • Users can effectively utilize the tool with any standard, up-to-date device and/or browser.
    • Weaker internet bandwidth can cause lags in use of the tool in a group.

  • Offline Access:
    • No offline access for engagement in the tool.

Learning is a process of meaning-making, constructed through learning with others, and as a part of an intentional, deliberate system within a course and across experiences.
More Information

Rating: Works well

  • Collaboration:
    • This is the tool’s area of strength and designed to support both asynchronous and synchronous opportunities for communication, interactivity, and transfer of meaning between users.

  • Sharing:
    • The tool is designed to allow users to choose multiple options for sharing learning, including public, to limited viewers, and private.

Learning is refined and extended through prompted and supported opportunities to focus on understanding and next steps.
More Information

Rating: Works well

  • Reflection and revision:
    •  Designed to allow annotation or versioning as a part of core functionality.

Learning is most effective when systems are designed to help learners find, create, and/or repurpose significant content for the value of themselves and others.
More Information

Rating: Moderate concerns

  • Creating:
    • Designed for easy generation of content that can be manipulated and reused.

  • File format:
    • The tool allows for exports in common file formats so that work can easily be shared and remixed with after file conversion.

Learners create and control spaces for learning, understanding and retaining ownership, and purposefully choosing how and when they share.
More Information

Rating: Moderate concerns

  • Data privacy and ownership:
    • See Mural’s security practices.
    • Users maintain ownership and copyright of their intellectual property/data.
  • Sign Up/Sign In:
    • Use of the tool does not require the creation of an external account, additional login or integration, so no student information is collected and shared.

  • Customization:
    • Tool is easy to customize to suit the classroom context and targeted learning outcomes.

Learners need to work in a system that is fluid and requires a minimum number of steps in systems that are intuitive and integrated.
More Information

Rating: Works well

  • Interface:
    • The tool has a user-friendly interface, and it is easy for instructors and students to become skillful and personalize the tool.
  • Additional Downloads:
    • Users do not need to download additional software or browser extensions.

  • Functionality:
    • The tool is designed to offer all the key functions associated with its purpose effectively. Little functional difference exists between the mobile and the desktop version, regardless of the device used to access it.

Learners exist in accessible networks, and connect to the experiences, concepts, people, and ideas that they need.
More Information

Rating: Works well

  • Scale:
    • Can be scaled to accommodate any size class with the flexibility to create smaller sub-groups or communities of practice.
  • Flexibility of Media:
    • Allows users to communicate through different channels (audio, visual, textual) 
    • With student directed boards, students can direct how information is accessed.

  • Engagement:
    • Instructors who want to provide active learning opportunities, multiple methods of feedback, and responses to student learning behaviors get good information and easy channels to interact.

Learning and feedback are iterative, and assessment comes from multiple sources, including self, peers, teachers, and outside experts.
More Information

Rating: Moderate concerns

  • Feedback:
    • Commenting on quality of others’ work is possible however not a feature purpose of the tool
    • Feedback can be stored with the content and is easy to view and be added to.
    • Outside experts can join the board as a guest to give feedback

  • Engagement:
    • Instructors who want to provide active learning opportunities and responses to student learning behaviors get good information and easy channels to interact.