LoravoreTM Learning Design Notebook | Entry: 004 “Flipped” Peer Presentations

This entry on “Flipped” Peer Presentations elaborates LoravoreTM Learning by Bluknowledge Design Notebook Entry: 003, which shares tips on how to increase  learning opportunities during peer presentations.

LoravoreTM Learning by Bluknowledge Design Notebook Entry: 004 Date: 8.30.2019
Instructional Design Bytes byte-sized instructional design tips for blended learning


Often, we ask learners to engage in an active learning experience (e.g., research or design project) where they investigate a topic using multiple resources and synthesize this newly discovered information into a work product (e.g., slide presentation or poster). 

In contrast, on “presentation day(s)”, we ask learners to engage in a passive learning experience where they watch or listen to a series of learners summarize information they discovered or use the discovered information to explain their position on a topic or possible solution to a real-world challenge.

Sadly, the active learning during the investigative and creative phases of a project morphs into passive learning as they transition into the information-sharing phase.

“Flipped” Peer Presentations are a redesigned peer-presentation experience that engages all learners in higher-level thinking as they collaboratively discuss and synthesize information shared by their peers. 

“Flipped” Peer Presentations maximize learner’s thinking and participation by structuring opportunities for learners to ask and discuss questions, consider different perspectives, and generate connections across their peers’ work products and presentations.

Prior to “presentation day(s)”, learners read, view, or listen to digital artifacts related to the presentations (e.g., video, podcast) and plan questions, comments, or feedback for discussion.  On “presentation day(s)”, learners ask and discuss questions, generate connections, and share feedback. Following “presentation day(s)”, learners exchange and record summaries or synthesis of key ideas in a collaborative document or space (e.g., Padlet, chart paper and sticky notes).

“Flipped” Peer Presentations sustain the active learning during the investigative or creative phases of the learning experience into the information-sharing phase.

Leverage digital technologies for work product creation, sharing, and synthesis.

In many classrooms, learners are already creating digital work products. 

School-based application suites, such as Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Education, offer a variety of tools, such as word processing, slide presentation, and user-friendly web page design software. These tools enable learners to create digital artifacts that make visible their research and design ideas in written and visual modes.

Format-specific tools, such as Adobe Spark, Flipgrid, or Audacity support learners to communicate their thinking via visual design, video, and podcast, respectively. Even simpler tools, such as the video recording app on smartphones or tablets, can transform learners’ written essays or slide presentations into oral or voiceover performances.

The collaborative features for Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Education support learners to share their work products with each other for review prior to “presentation day(s)”. For example, work products can be displayed and accessed via Google Sites or Sway. Similarly, a digital portfolio tool like Seesaw can also support the sharing of different work product and presentation formats among learners. 

And while Padlet features the ability to post links, audio or visual recordings, images, and written text, this tool can also be used as a digital collaborative space when learners synthesize their new or revised ideas following “presentation day(s)”.

For “flipped” peer presentations, consider the digital tools available to your learners and leverage them to support the different components of the learning experience: work creation, presentation, and synthesis.

Plan questions for review and discussion.

Planned questions help learners to thoughtfully review, discuss, and synthesize their peer’s work products and presentations. 

To help learners prepare for the discussions on “presentation day(s)”, ask them to consider questions during their review of peers’ work products and presentations. These questions should scaffold them to (a) attend to relevant information, (b) identify points for clarification, and (c) generate connections. During the small-group discussion, provide time for learners to share prepared responses to the above questions. 

Also, provide them with discussion questions that facilitate turn-taking, guide them to share ideas that emerge from the thoughtful consideration of each others’ ideas,  and scaffold synthesis of their learning. For example

  • After each presentation, take turns sharing one new idea you have because of what you learned during your peer’s presentation.
  • After your group has discussed all presentations, take turns responding to the following question: Which two presentations communicated the most similar/different perspectives, evidence, or solutions? 

Depending on learners’ experiences with academic discussion, provide appropriate supports such as question or sentence stems. These scaffolds along with co-established classroom norms for academic discussions and multiple opportunities for practice (accompanied by specific feedback) will increase learners’ proficiency in the review, discussion, and synthesis of their peer’s work products and presentations. 

Encourage roles to facilitate discussion.

Discussion roles 

  • structure learners’ participation in academic discussion
  • offer opportunities for learners to engage with content from different perspectives
  • provide learners with practice posing and responding to different types of questions.

For “presentation day(s)” discussions, assign learners discussion roles, such as provocateur, (one who offers questions and comments to challenge presenters’ thinking or approach), dissenters (one who offers counter arguments and evidence for presenters to consider), and discussants (one who identifies ways to strengthen presentations individually and collectively).

As learners embody new or recurring discussion roles, they diversify their abilities to critically discuss their ideas and thinking with their peers.

Support synthesis to deepen learning.

Remember, the purpose of “flipped” peer presentations is to sustain the active learning during the investigative or creative phases of learning experience into the information-sharing phase. 

At the end of or following “presentation day(s)”, design a learning activity that provides learners the opportunity to reflect on and integrate their learning from peers. This can be done as a whole class or in smaller groups. (e.g., combine two small groups so they can exchange and synthesize ideas). 

Depending on your standards or learning objectives, determine the necessary level of synthesis. For example: 

  • Summative: During a class discussion, learners listen to peers share key ideas that were presented on “presentation day(s)”. After the discussion, they submit a written summary that highlights 2-3 key takeaways. 
  • Comparative: In small groups, learners review their peers’ notes from other small-group discussions on “presentation day(s)”. They discuss the noted claims and evidence to determine which argument was the most persuasive and why.
  • Generative: On “presentation day(s)”, learners evaluate and discuss their peers’ choices and rationale for one of two solutions. As a whole class, learners create a list of pros and cons for each solution. After reviewing the list, learners collaborate in small groups to propose an alternative solution. 

As mentioned earlier, digital tools can facilitate synthesis among learners. Be sure to select tools that make learners’ ideas visible to each other (e.g., learners post written summary to Padlet or review each other’s notes using the collaborative features of Google Classroom) and foster discussion during and beyond the learning experience (e.g., use comment features of Padlet to communicate agreement or add ideas to peers’ posts).

The ideas shared in this blog are intended to inspire new learning designs in schools, classrooms, and communities. When you implement “flipped” peer presentations in your learning environment, please share your experiences with us!


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