NowComment
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Overview Video Marketing education 03

Discussion is a proven method of intellectually engaging student; moving some of the discussion online can make it even more effective:

  • Greater student understanding of the material

  • Greater student participation and engagement

{Show NowComment homepage}

NowComment, a free Web app from public interest group Fairness.com, has been successfully used for online commenting in a variety of university courses for the past three years. We’ll start with a simple example of discussing an assigned reading online.

  1. You assign the reading

  2. Students comment while reading

  3. In-class discussion

  1. You assign the reading

Did the students do the reading? Did they understand it? What parts did they focus on, and what important points did they miss? Online commenting gives you great feedback on all these points.

2. Students comment while reading

Many students feel more comfortable making online comments than speaking in front of their peers and the Instructor.

  • { shy students

  • non-native speakers

  • students who like to formulate their ideas before speaking}

Students can comment on any number of things: what they find interesting or boring, what passages they don’t understand, what connections they discover [with/to] previous readings, etc. Each comment made helps the commenter grapple with the ideas in the text, and also invites classmates to respond with their perspectives and interpretations of what the original students perceived.

There are other advantages to doing this initial intellectual work online:

{show bullet list drawn from verbal points below}

  • More ideas can be shared in the same amount of time

  • Everyone gets an equal chance to express their ideas

  • Scheduling convenience (for teacher and students)

  • Written transcript available for grading & student review

{give URL as source: Top 10 Reasons document}

  1. In-class discussion

With the benefit of the students’ additional engagement (some points discussed with their peers, some questions answered, some weaker interpretations already disproved) the Instructor-led conversation can start at a high level… with some online comments providing great starting points.

Why use NowComment?

NowComment improves on older generation discussion tools:

Unlike message boards and online forums, Nowcomment shows comments in context with the document; students can see all the comments on an interesting passage with a single click. {show scrolling/highlighting}

Unlike editing tools like Microsoft Word and Google Docs, Nowcomment was designed specifically for online conversations: it’s built to do it better. Here are some of its unique features:

  • Sorting Comments (makes grading a breeze)

  • Handles images and videos as well as text

  • Showing summaries of comments (for quick skimming)

  • Time and date controls over the commenting time frame and also whether students see each others’ comments

  • Multiple views of documents and comments (default 2-pane or 1-pane)

You’ll also like NowComment’s flexibility. You can:

  • Create workgroups and subgroups as needed

  • Let students upload and share their own documents without instructor involvement. (it’s especially good for student workshopping and peer review)

  • Use it with any size group, from intensive 1:1 collaborations to large courses with hundreds of students.

Whether you’re in teaching in a blended or distance setting, NowComment really does Turn Documents into Conversations. Create a free account in 30 seconds and see how engaging online discussion can be!

DMU Timestamp: September 14, 2012 19:31





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Quickstart: Commenting and Sharing

How to Comment
  • Click icons on the left to see existing comments.
  • Desktop/Laptop: double-click any text, highlight a section of an image, or add a comment while a video is playing to start a new conversation.
    Tablet/Phone: single click then click on the "Start One" link (look right or below).
  • Click "Reply" on a comment to join the conversation.
How to Share Documents
  1. "Upload" a new document.
  2. "Invite" others to it.

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