Flip More of Your Class With Ponder

Typically, the flipped class involves a video of a lecture, often with a screencast illustrating the content of the lecture. There are some great tools out there to embed assessments into these videos. Yet, important aspects of the classroom experience are not replicated. Students control the pace of the lecture, but to what extent is their interaction with the material scaffolded? What are students thinking about? What would you like them to be thinking about? Are they making connections between ideas? Can they infer what’s left out of the lecture? In short, what questions are they asking as they watch? Or are flip video lectures like most video content, consigned to remaining a passive watching experience?

We believe, if you can’t already tell, that a great deal of learning happens from questioning and asking questions of learning material. So, we’ve decided that students shouldn’t┬áhave to save their questions for the next day.

With Ponder, students can ask questions as they watch video by annotating the video with micro-responses, a scaffolded approach to critical thinking adapted from micro-reading responses which were originally developed for text. Instead of answering basic assessment questions, students engage in a conversation with the content aided by a set of nuanced “sentiment” tags that guide them through the kinds of questions you’d like them to be asking as they watch.

Their responses are timestamped and shared with their classmates. They can even respond to their classmates’ responses, generating a live discussion of nuanced expressions of understanding, evaluation, and emotion. Requiring students to process the content of the video, consider the sentiment they’d like to react with, and engage their classmates’ ideas offers an essential scaffold to their learning.

We’ve been conducting research at NYU-ITP on flip-video interactions. You can read about it here and here.

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In other words, with Ponder, you can flip more than your teaching. You can flip students’ learning, too.

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