When you're considering technology for your lectures, an important and often overlooked aspect is how customizable the product is. Whether it's an engagement tool, an LMS, or a digital textbook, some questions you might ask yourself include:
- Does this product fit into my unique course and schedule?
- Does it produce any data that I can view, edit and export?
- Does it allow me to create custom experiences for my students?
It's important to consider customization because a customized experience will drive student engagement with the technology you decide to use. And, when it comes to implementing new technology, it helps when students actually use it.
At Flipd, we've taken the time to understand the kinds of custom features our customers want and need in order to create the best experiences for everyone. Here are just a some of the ways Flipd creates a positive customized experience for students and educators:
1. Attendance Codes
Flipd makes it possible to set up a unique attendance code for each of your lectures. Your attendance code can be relevant to your lesson — like a chapter theme, topic, or word — or even something like a riddle or quiz. This is a fun and unique way to engage your students early on in the lecture and, if used correctly, can even help with retaining information and increasing attendance rates.
In addition to setting up unique attendance codes, educators tracking attendance on the Flipd dashboard find the report easy to read. “It's all about the attendance report! The contrast in colors makes it quick to see who was absent," says one professor from Salisbury University when we asked about his favorite Flipd features.
Sending messages to your students is an important way to tailor your communications with them. Email, however, is often a mess of threads that can become increasingly difficult to keep track of. What's worse, emails can be archived or deleted without ever seeing the contents of the message.
Keeping your most important messages out of their inbox is a unique way Flipd solves this problem for students. Instead of sending to their email, Flipd lets you send Messages that feel like a text notification, and students must open the message inside the Flipd app to view the contents and mark it as read. This ensures that your messages don't get lost, and you can keep track of how many students have seen them.
One UT professor says Messages is her favorite Flipd feature since she started using it. "It's my favorite part of the app. I like that it lands on right their phone," she says.
Finally, in addition to sending messages that feel more like text notifications, Flipd Messages can also be long-form messages, like articles and reports that are clickable and even have images. It's almost like sending an e-book but you get to choose the contents — and, unlike an email, you can see just how many students have read the message you sent.
3. Flipd Poll
Unlike typical polling apps that urge students to respond during the lesson, Flipd Polls are used to send a quiz-style question after the class has ended. Why is this? Each time students are drawn to their devices during class, an opportunity to get distracted arises. Phones are brilliantly designed to pull our attention toward unread texts, notifications, and enticing alerts, often leading to multi-tasking and the cone of distraction. So even when we don't mean to, glancing at our devices can significantly increase the chance that we'll get distracted.
That's why a Flipd Poll is different. Flipd encourages students to unplug and engage during class, and the Poll can be answered within 24 hours after class has ended. Educators can use a Poll for:
- Testing knowledge with a deeper and more thought-provoking question
- Gathering feedback about the lesson
- Encouraging an activity to explore outside of class
- A basic multiple choice question
Not surprisingly, students welcome the change to take time and thoughtfully answer the Poll after class has ended. "It was very helpful," says one student, "especially the questions following lecture that got us ready for the exam."
4. Class Leaderboard
“Students like the Class Leaderboard and get very competitive," said one UT professor in our customer survey. Flipd's class Leaderboard is a unique way to engage students in healthy competition and increase participation. The Leaderboard makes using Flipd a transparent experience for everyone and it holds students accountable for their participation. All the Leaderboard shows is their total time spent using Flipd and where they rank among their peers — grades and other private information are not shared.
Educators can customize the Leaderboard experience by choosing how they want it to be used. We've heard of some instructors even participating in their own Leaderboard, and giving away prizes to the top unplugged students in the class.
As one student puts it, the Leaderboard's competitive aspect helps create a better experience for everyone. "I wasn't as distracted by other students being on their phones in class," she explains.
5. Digital Wellness Hub
In addition to engaging students during and after the lesson, an important part of maintaining their engagement all semester long is digital wellness. What do we mean by digital wellness? Stress and anxiety are at an all-time high for college students, which increases the importance for providing tools and resources that will help them deal with these emotions.
That's why Flipd offers a Wellness Hub with over 50 curated audio tracks, including everything from focus sounds and music, to guided meditations, motivational podcasts, and even sleep stories. The playlists are always growing, and soon it will be possible for students to create playlists based on individual needs. "I like the outside features of Flipd too," says one student from Missouri University, describing the Wellness Hub. "The sleep feature was helpful with my sleep health this semester. I'd love to have this technology again with my school."
Making a positive impact on the health and well-being of even just one student can make a lasting difference in their academic experience. And, with Flipd, the experience is entirely yours to create.