Managing the Parts


Log in with a Google account from most webkit-based browsers (Safari, Chrome, etc.) on either the desktop or a mobile device to lead or create custom components for use in discussions. Use the provided prompts and roles with your custom topic or create your own. Evaluate discussions using the standard evaluation items (custom evaluations in a future version). Set up default settings for group size, whether to grow or shrink groups, whether to distribute prompts within groups or to whole groups and pre-load topics, prompts and roles before the discussion session begins. HeadsUp allows HTML to be inserted into description fields for topics, prompts and roles.


Browsers: Safari, Chrome

Username: Requires a Google account to Manage or Lead sessions.


HeadsUp is a powerful tool that requires preparation before class. The rest of this page walks you through the complete management process.

Log in

while anyone can participate in a session without logging in, an Google account is required to lead and create new prompts or roles. Topics can be created on the fly.

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Click/Tap “Manage”








Manage has two basic functions:

  1. Create and edit components — create building blocks for discussions
  2. Edit discussion settings — set up discussions before class

Think of the first as taking pictures and the second as placing them in a photo album. This way of organizing allows you to create any combination you want of topics, prompts and roles into a discussion.

Create Topics

Create Custom Prompt Sets and Prompts

Prompt sets are containers for individual prompts. Tap or click on the Prompts button to add, edit and prioritize individual prompts within the prompt set.








Creating individual prompts is just like creating topics but you can also prioritize individual prompts. Prompts will be distributed in priority order so that if you have two prompts, and your group size is three, the top-priority prompt will be distributed twice. If you have three prompts and only two people, only the first two prompts will be distributed.

Create Custom Roles








System-default roles will get you started, but feel free to customize, delete or add new ones. There is only one “special” role in the system that can’t be changed (other than the Description) — the Reporter role. This role shows up in the reporting stage. It is NOT a required role for a discussion.

Manage Defaults

Defaults could also be described as “next discussion.” All the settings related to a discussion are available before you go to class. All can be edited on the spot as well, which we’ll cover in the section on leading a discussion.

There are two basic aspects of a conversation to consider:

  1. Group — the people who will be doing the talking
  2. Discussion — what they will be talking about

Each option is discussed below.

Default Roles

All checked roles will be assigned and no roles are repeated. So, for example, if you checked all seven roles above and only had three people in the group, HeadsUp will assign two roles to two people and three to one. If you check a role, we assume that it’s important to you to include.

Group Size

You can set a default size and adjust it on the fly in the classroom. As with all defaults, it’s a starting point.


What if the groups don’t divide evenly? Grow/shrink tells HeadsUp how to resize groups to approximate the size you request. So, if you have thirteen people and you want groups of four, choosing “Grow” will give you two groups of four and one of five. If you choose “Shrink” you will have ┬áthree groups of three and one of four.

Prompt Distribution

Within Groups gives each person in a group a different prompt while Whole Groups gives everyone in a group the same prompt.

Prompt Set

Choosing a prompt set will distribute the individual prompts as determined by the prompt distribution setting, either within or to whole groups.


The topic is shared by all students and all groups.