The Problem:
Online discussions play a critical role in connecting students with the content and one another. However, the linear and threaded nature of traditional models of online discussions often result in shallow, disconnected exchanges that fail to engage students meaningfully.

Fewer than 25% of instructors are satisfied with their institution's current learning management system. The top five things the LMS does not help instructors do:
5. Engage in meaningful discussions with students
4. Generate new ideas and knowledge
3. Make connections between ideas and across modules and courses
2. Identify emerging themes and trending ideas in discussions
1. Shape discussions based on student needs and interests

LMSs fail to support learning through online discussions and fail to create environments conducive to authentic learning. Because collaboration is at the core of the educational experience, a primary cause of the LMSs' inability to engage students and instructors in authentic ...
The Problem:
Online discussions play a critical role in connecting students with the content and one another. However, the linear and threaded nature of traditional models of online discussions often result in shallow, disconnected exchanges that fail to engage students meaningfully.

Fewer than 25% of instructors are satisfied with their institution's current learning management system. The top five things the LMS does not help instructors do:
5. Engage in meaningful discussions with students
4. Generate new ideas and knowledge
3. Make connections between ideas and across modules and courses
2. Identify emerging themes and trending ideas in discussions
1. Shape discussions based on student needs and interests

LMSs fail to support learning through online discussions and fail to create environments conducive to authentic learning. Because collaboration is at the core of the educational experience, a primary cause of the LMSs' inability to engage students and instructors in authentic learning is the design of traditional discussion forums. These forums fail because of their linear approaches, lack of visuals, and self-limiting creativity.

The Solution:
Pretzl is a cloud-based platform that propels student learning through discussion by creating easily accessible insights into trending ideas and emerging themes generated from student-driven data. Pretzl creates conditions to promote meaningful discussions and shows the connections between themes and ideas that instructors can use to promote the creation of new ideas.

First, through the use of discussion modes, Pretzl helps instructors establish the conditions that promote meaningful discourse. Second, through the Burst Visualizer, Pretzl shows the connections between ideas to promote the creation of new ideas. Third, by creating easily accessible and meaningful insights, Pretzl helps instructors and students identify emerging ideas and trending themes to move learning in new directions.

Pretzl reimagines the possibilities of online discussions by introducing a visual approach to online discussions and combining social and educational elements to help instructors and students easily create and share knowledge. Through visual representation, instructors and students engage in an interactive exploration of emerging themes and patterns, leading to more spontaneous and organic discourse. By providing meaningful and impactful insights into student-driven data, Pretzl enables instructors to build knowledge.
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