What is PeppeR?
The Pepper Project is a research initiative dedicated to the design of educational software that fosters 21st century skills. The project’s core technology, called “Pepper”, is a web-based collaborative workspace where students can engage in in-depth inquiry. Pepper offers a variety of specialized knowledge building features and social networking tools that support learners of all ages in their efforts to share information, identify key ideas, and progressively work to improve those ideas.
Second-Generation Knowledge Building
PeppeR was developed at OISE as a support for online and face-to-face course-based communities. PeppeR empowers learners of all ages in their efforts to share information, identify key ideas, and progressively work to improve those ideas.
Based upon extensive user testing and feedback, Pepper is intuitive and easy-to-use, yet also powerful and feature-rich. PeppeR includes a variety of specialized knowledge building features including social networking tools that allow the creation of online workspaces. Here, students, teachers and even researchers can share multimedia resources and engage in community-wide discussion. The extensive, easy-to-use reporting system provides instructors with immediate feedback on student levels of activity and productivity.
Supports Community Building
PeppeR was designed with a wide range of social affordances. Borrowing heavily from social media, PeppeR includes such features as hashtags, Like buttons, news feeds, profile pictures, public bios, and a list of users who are simultaneously co-present (logged in) promoting a sense of community and a greater sense of comfort when people interact and share ideas online.
PeppeR’s design eliminates compartmentalization by allowing people access to any tool, whenever they need it. Students do not need to navigate from one webpage to another to make use of different tools. While composing a note in an editor, a student can simultaneously access course calendar, review messages in other discussion threads, engage in a private text chat, or download course readings. Collaborative workspace creation which optimizes flexibility of learner tools. No interruption of workflow to navigate from one virtual space to another.
The PeppeR team is based out of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
University of Toronto
252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V6