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Tools for Making Online Lectures Interactive and Effective

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The flipped classroom is a new take on the traditional format of class lecture and homework where students view an online lecture at home and participate in discussion, activities or projects in class. It is growing in popularity as it can provide a more in-depth and hands on learning experience that allows the instructor to be present for guidance and a resource while working. While the in-class activities are certainly more engaging than the instructor lecturing at the front of the room, the key is to also keeping the students engaged at home while viewing the lecture, as the information provided beforehand is meant to be the foundation to what they will be working on in class.


There are more and more apps that are emerging that allow instructors to create more engaging material for at-home learning.  Tools such as EdPuzzle allow instructors to crop an existing online video to use only the most pertinent content and can customize that video with voice-overs, audio comments, and embedded assessment questions. With Vialogue instructors can upload an original video, embed one from YouTube, or use an existing Vialogues video and open that video to discussions that can be made public or private. Echo 360 allows the user to record, edit and assign instructional videos from your laptop or mobile device and take polls to see how well students are responding to the content. The Vizia app also allows instructors to add a poll or questions that can be open response or multiple choice. Poll and questions responses can be reviewed by the instructor to allow them to assess students understanding and participation.


These apps are not only great tools to enhance the flipped classroom experience, they also provide elements that are fairly simple to implement for instructors and best of all they’re all free to use.

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