Ponder - Proven Effectiveness

Grades 2-12 | Language Arts | Cloud-based

Study shows Ponder engages at a rate 12x over the control discussion forum

Two researchers from San Francisco State University conducted a long-term study of Ponder's effect on student participation and performance. Researchers studied four classrooms taught by one teacher; two of these classes used Ponder and the other two used San Francisco State's iLearn discussion forums. The latter group acted as the control group of the study. Most participants were already familiar with iLearn, while none had ever used Ponder before and received no instructions on how to use it. Despite this, students quickly adapted to Ponder.

Here are the results of the Ponder classrooms:

  • Over 90% of Ponder students participated
  • On average, each student contributed 26.9 responses
  • On average, each student read 329 minutes throughout the study
  • On average, each student read 208 documents
  • There were a total of 1,747 responses

And the iLearn classrooms:

  • Only 75% of iLearn students participated
  • On average, each student contributed 2.2 posts
  • There were a total of 123 posts

Additionally, data analysis indicates:

  • The average final grade for Ponder students was B+, a half grade higher than control group students' average of B.
  • Researchers found a positive correlation between Ponder activity and performance on quizzes, class participation, and group projects.
  • Researchers found a negative correlation between iLearn activity and class participation.
  • More students participated more often in classroom discussion in the Ponder classrooms.

These results suggest that students produced a greater quantity and higher quality of work, leading to a statistically significant average half-grade increase from the control group. Qualitative survey results showed that students of the Ponder group also appreciated the online component of the course more, made them want to read more, and made them more likely to recommend it to other professors than students from the iLearn group.

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