Critical Watching: Incorporating Videos into your Lessons with Ponder


When reading at text Ponder readers select text to create micro-responses on; for videos, watchers create micro-responses along the timeline of the video.

For example, at 2 minutes and 40 seconds into Obama's 2015 State of the Union, where President Obama says refers to the benefits of a Pacific free trade agreement, a student may create a response using the sentiment "I would like examples." This is a reasonable question, and something to discuss in class. With Ponder, as students ask questions, they accumulate along the timeline so you can quickly see color-coded clusters of issues for discussion and follow-up.



But as a watcher or an instructor, you might well ask "Do you create the response while the video is playing? Do you pause the video? How exactly will this work?"

While doing the development, prototyping and focus grouping of this functionality, we came up against the same issue. Unlike with reading, you can't control the speed at which video comes at you - it just plays. There's no momentary pausing, back-peddling, re-reading, resuming - you can pause, but it's a lot of clicking and jumping to try and re-think while a video plays. Which also means its difficult to make notes to yourself or ask questions.

So in addition to making it possible to create responses along the timeline of a video, we added some additional video navigation tools, and recommended workflow to go with them.

The first navigation tool is the "What!?" button - which when clicked simply jumps the playing video back 10 seconds without a pause. That's simply for when you missed something you want to quickly hear again. The second is the "" button which we liken to dog-earring the page of a physical book while reading. Sometimes you do it because you have to stop for a while, sometimes you want to go back, sometimes you want to make note later, etc.

Close up of the new navigation from the screenshot above:

Pretty simple, right? These two tools support a watch-twice model for video content hat we have found works well. 

Watch the video through once first, without trying to make notes or micro-responses. Use the "What!?" button when you need to, and whenever something catches your eye, makes you scratch your head, squint, frown, smile, etc, simply click the  button. 

When you're done watching, you'll have a pretty good idea of what it's about, and you'll have left a trail of 's along the timeline of the video. The  buttons let you jump from one  to the next through the video. You can re-watch, or if you keep the video paused, now that you've had a moment to gather your thoughts, follow up on your  and create a micro-response at that location.

Usually this will result in a complete re-watch of the video, often even more times. 

This has lead philosophers the world over to contemplate "How long does it take to watch a 10 minute video?"


Filtering Activity

Above the timeline, underneath the video, you will find a set of filter drop-downs corresponding to the activity on the video.

The first drop-down allows you to filter the responses by group; for example, so a teacher can see one section or period of a course they are teaching at a time. The numbers in parentheses indicates the number of responses created by that group.

Ponder Video Group Filter Menu

Want to see just your responses, or those from a particular student?  The second drop-down shows each responder, sorted by the number of responses they created which are indicated in parenthesis adjacent to each username.

Ponder Video User Filter

The third drop-down shows the mix of sentiments used in the responses, sorted by frequency (indicated in parenthesis), and allows you to filter for them.

Ponder Video Sentiment Filter

And the fourth drop-down shows the themes used in responses on the document, sorted by frequency indicated in parenthesis:

Ponder Video Theme Filter

As you can see, much of the Ponder power you are familiar with when navigating ideas across documents are now available for minute dissections of a single video.

And don’t forget, these capabilities are all available for custom integration on your platform through the Ponder API.


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