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Quick Start for Instructors

Here's the place to get you started with Pivot Interactives

Trevor Register avatar
Written by Trevor Register
Updated over a week ago

Setting up and using Pivot Interactives is quick and easy. It won't take long for you to get classes created and get your students working on interactive lab activities.

Here are links to common questions and tasks:

Use the search tool above to find answers to other questions. Or, you can follow the process below to get started.

Step 0: Sign up for a free trial, or purchase access.

Once you've created an account and logged in, you can begin to set things up for your courses.

Step 1: Explore the Pivot Interactives Library

Let's start by exploring the Pivot Interactives Library to find ready-made activities you can use with your students.

  1. Click Activities.

  2. Click Pivot Interactives Library.

  3. Use the dropdown menus to select the filters you wish to apply.

When selecting multiple filters, please consider the following:

  • When multiple filters within the same dropdown menu are selected, activities that match one or more of those filters are shown. For example, if Physics and Chemistry are selected from Subject, all the activities that fit physics, chemistry, or both will be displayed.

  • When multiple filters within different dropdown menus are selected, only activities that match all of the selected filters are shown. For example, if Physics is selected from Subject, Kinematics from Topic, and High School from Difficulty, then only activities that are labeled as Physics, Kinematics, AND High School will be displayed.

2. Preview an Activity

Here's an example of what you'll see when you open the activity "Hill Runner (Jessie Diggins)". You can find it by applying the Subject filter for Physics and the Topic filter for Kinematics. You may have to scroll through to later search result pages to find it.

  • Our activities come with pre-written instructions for students. They can be used as-is or modified. (Instructions on how to modify activities are in Part 4 below).

  • Select the question mark (?) in the upper left of the video player frame (which was formerly an "i") to find information and hints about the video.

  • The interactive tools needed to analyze a video can be found by selecting the tool icon in the upper-right of the video frame. In the screenshot below, there are three tools. A stopwatch, a ruler, and a protractor.

  • Clicking the ruler icon places this tool in the video frame.

  • The ruler can be moved by clicking and dragging, or rotated by dragging the any of the circular handles at the midpoint of any edge.

  • Many of our videos allow the user to change parameters in the video. In the activity shown below, users can select whether Olympic Gold medalist Jessie Diggins carries a backpack or not.

  • In this activity users can also select between real time (30 frames/sec) and 8x slow-motion.

  • Be sure to hit GO. The new video won't load until GO is selected.
    ​When you open an activity in preview mode you can not type in the text boxes. You can type in the data tables and create graphs. However, when you assign the activity, your students will be able complete the tables and answer the questions.

Detailed instructions on how to use the data table and graphing tools can be found here.

3. Add an activity to your Personal Library

When you find an activity that you'd like to use or modify:

  1. Go back to the Pivot Interactives Library

  2. Find an activity you want, then click Copy to Library.

  3. Select Personal Library from the dropdown menu and then click Copy Activity.

4. View and/or Edit the activity in your Personal Library.

  1. Click to view all of your libraries

  2. Click Personal Library.

  3. Click Preview to view an activity as a student would (except for the Show Notes & Answers feature which is only available to instructors).

  4. Click Edit to edit the activity to suit your students' needs.

  5. Click for additional options.

From the My Classes page you can:

  1. View and manage all of your Pivot Interactives classes.

  2. Create a new class.

Clicking on the name of the class opens up a new page with more details and options.

NOTE: Integrating Pivot Interactives with an LMS? If so, please skip these steps and instead link your Pivot Interactives class to your class in your LMS. Then link an assignment in the LMS. Students clicking a linked assignment from within their LMS will automatically place them in the correct class as well as link their LMS/Pivot Interactives accounts, which will ensure grades transfer properly.

Invite students to your class

Copy the class key or the join link for the class.

  • Once your new class is created, you can see and edit the class by clicking on the class title from the My Classes page, then selecting "View Class & Roster."

  • To invite students to join the class, give them the eight-character Class Key or the Join Link.

Distribute the class key to students and invite them to join by going to and clicking Students: Join Class

If using a class key, students will be asked to first enter it after clicking Students: Join Class.

They will then be prompted to create an account by manually entering in their information or by using SSO (single sign-on).

7. Open the Grading Tool

1) Select My Classes from the top toolbar.
2) Click the three dots opposite the assignment name to view the different grading options. You can Grade by Student or Grade by Question.

8) How to use the Activity Editor (OPTIONAL)

Once in the editor, you can freely modify any and all aspects of an activity to suit your students' needs. There are two panels where you can edit information:

  • Activity Info - the name of the activity, a short description, tags and categories, as well as instructor notes at the top.

  • Activity Content - Add, remove, or edit sections and components within the activity.

Activity components are organized into sections. The kinds of components you can use are:

  • Announcement - Text that will be offset by a golden bar

  • Numbered Instructions

  • Data Table & Graph

  • Data Table

  • Open Ended Question - Manually graded question that accepts text and image uploads as a response.

  • Numerical Question - Manually or automatically graded question that takes a number as a response. These can also be randomized. Students can receive customized feedback based on their response.

  • Multiple Choice Question - Manually or automatically graded question where students select one or more correct answers. Students can be given between one and unlimited chances to get the question correct as well as receive customized feedback based on their response.

  • Video Instance - An instance of a Pivot Interactives video.

  • Student Instance Upload - Students upload, calibrate, and take measurements of their own videos.

  • Instructor Instance Upload - Upload a video you've taken and calibrated for students to take measurements from.

  • Embedded Web Content - Embed videos, images, etc.

See the Deep Dive article series (bottom of the page) in our help center for more details on editing activities.

Once you've finished editing the activity, hit the Save button or the Save and Close button at the bottom of the editing page.

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