Student Paced Lessons


Pear Deck is often used to engage students in a lesson in real time. But with Student Paced Mode, you can allow students to join any presentation Session independently and work through your slides at their own pace, on their own time! Please note: Students must have a stable WiFi connection to join your Pear Deck Sessions, whether in Live or Student-Paced Mode - it won't work offline! They also need their own Google or Microsoft Office 365 account to join if you require email login before presenting your Sessions.

Peary_Normal (Forward)Student Paced Mode is especially beneficial for:

  • Remote learning
  • Flipping your lesson
  • Differentiating or scaffolding instruction in the classroom
  • Giving quizzes
  • Assigning homework 
  • Assigning the lesson to a student who missed class
  • Substitute teaching

How to Start Student Paced Mode

You can turn on Student Paced Mode:

  • When you start a new Session
  • Inside a Live Presentation Session (from the Projector View)
  • From a Sessions Menu

When you start a new Session

  1. Launch your Session in Student-Paced Mode instantly from one of the following places:
    1. Pear Deck Home. Click on the Deck File Name you want to present. When the modal window (below) opens, click Start Student-Paced
      Home, deck modal, ppt, zoomed
    2. The Pear Deck for PowerPoint Online Add-in. 
      Ppt, present with pear deck, red arrow, cropped
    3. The Pear Deck for Google Slides Add-on.
      Gslides, sidebar, start lesson, red arrow
  2. In the Session Launchpad, choose Student-Paced Activity:
    2. Choose Mode_Arrow-3For the teacher who has Premium access, the private Teacher Dashboard opens automatically so you can see students' names next to their responses, see who is on each slide, give students feedback, and more.

      Inside a Live Presentation (from the Projector View)

      1. Scroll over the bottom of the slide to open the Navigation Bar.
      2. On the Navigation Bar, click the More Actions (three-dots) button.
      3. Click Turn on Student-Paced. Screen Shot 2020-06-10 at 11.29.36 AM

      From a Sessions Menu

      1. Go to Pear Deck Home.
      2. Click on the Deck File Name you want to present.
      3. Make it Live. If it's closed, click the More Actions (three-dots) and click Reopen Session. 
      4. Open More Actions and click Turn On Student-Paced. You can also Turn Off Student-Paced here when you want to close the Session and have students stop responding.Deck modal, gslides, turn on student-paced, red arrow
      5. Now, send students the Join Code or Join Link from your Session from the Projector or Dashboard View so they can work through the Session anywhere (note: students must be connected to WiFi to use Pear Deck). You can even close your browser or turn off your device. To verify that it's in Student Paced mode, you can go to your Sessions page and refresh the page to update all Session statuses.

      How to Stop Student Paced Mode

      You can stop Student Paced mode at any time. For example, you may want to draw students' attention back to you and sync their screens to your Projector View. Or, perhaps you want to end a homework Session or a remote lesson. Choose one of these options:

      • Go to the Navigation bar and click Stop Student-Paced. This stops Student-Paced mode, but makes the Session Live and gives you control of the slides again. The Student View will sync up to your slide on the Projector View. Projector view, navigation bar, stop student paced circled
      • Stop Student-Paced mode in your Sessions menu. Find the Session, open the three-dots menu next to it, and click Turn Off Student-Paced.
      • End the Session entirely. This keeps students from having access at all. Open the More Actions Menu and click End This Session. Or, simply click END. Projector view, end session, arrows

      See what students are doing

      Peary_Normal (Forward)When you turn on Student-Paced Mode, students can suddenly flit through the slides on their screens. Open the Teacher Dashboard (a Premium feature) to help you keep track of what each student is doing, evaluate responses, send feedback, etc. without disrupting what your students are doing.

      What students see in Student-Paced Mode
      When Student-Paced Mode is active, a simple Navigation Bar appears at the bottom of the Student View. Now students can move through all of the slides and respond to Interactive Questions at their own pace. Here's an example:

      • You can open the Teacher Dashboard to view the Progress Bars and number of students on a slide. At the bottom of each slide thumbnail, a little green progress bar shows you roughly how many students are done with a slide. The blue person icons tell you the number of students currently on the slide.
      • Open the Dashboard and click on the blue person icon to see who's on each slide. This can help you see who is struggling with a slide or speeding ahead. Now you can check in on them.Dashboard, student-paced, person thumnail,  students on a slide
      • Leave a comment for a student by clicking on the Feedback Button. Students receive their own feedback on the Student View. Dashboard, MC with feedback, zoomed


      What is the difference between Instructor Paced and Student-Paced Modes?
      In an Instructor Paced Session, you have control over the slides. When you move to a slide on the Projector View, the students' screens sync up. In Student-Paced Mode, on the other hand, students are free to move through all of the slides and answer all of the Interactive Questions on their Student View.

      How do I save my students' responses?
      There's no need to save! All responses are saved automatically in every Pear Deck Session. You can review them by opening the Projector or Dashboard View in your Sessions menuSessions menu, projector and dashboard views (2)-3

      Can any kind of Session be put in Student-Paced mode?
      Yes, any Pear Deck Slides Session can be Student-Paced.

      Can students use this at home?
      Absolutely. Just start your Session, turn on Student-Paced, and make sure students have the Session Join Code or the Session URL. Click here to learn more about how students join a Pear Deck Session.

      Is it okay to turn Student-Paced on/ off in the middle of a lesson?
      Yep. You can toggle Student-Paced mode on or off anytime, whether students are logged in or not. No data will be lost! But if students are in a Student-Pace Session when you turn Student-Paced Mode off, their screens sync back to whatever slide you're looking at on the Projector View. If you turn Student Paced-Mode on again, each student will return to the slide they were on previously.

      Do students' responses show up on the Projector in Student-Paced mode?
      While Pear Deck still saves responses automatically, the responses cannot be displayed on the Projector View during a Student-Paced activity. If you want to show answers to the class later, simply turn off Student-Paced, go back to the slide on your Projector View, and show responses

      Can I see what my students are working on in Student-Paced mode?
      You can see which slide students are on with the private Teacher Dashboard, a Premium feature. Check out the See what Students are Doing section above to learn more.

      Will it still work if I close my browser or turn off my device?
      Yes, you can close your browser or even turn off your device and it will still work! You choose when to end Student-Paced mode. To verify or manage the Session status, go to your Sessions menu and click on the 3-dots button. Click on the 3-dots button to update the status. It must be live before you can turn on Student-Paced.

      Sessions menu, student paced status, circled

      How long does a Student-Paced Session stay open/live?
      It stays live or in Student Paced mode as long as you want it to. However, Sessions that have seen no new student responses for 30 days are automatically archived regardless of their status. In that case, you can still find them in the Archived list on your Sessions page. If a teacher or student accesses an archived Session via its Projector, Dashboard, or Student Join link, the Session will be automatically restored and students will be able to join it again.

      Can I add voice recordings or audio instructions to my slides?
      Yes! Here are a couple of options:

      • Recommended for Student-Paced Lessons: The Pear Deck for Google Slides Add-on has a button which allows you to insert a new audio recording or upload one (of 10 MB or less) directly onto your slides. You can learn about it in the Add Audio Recordings to your Slides article.
      • Make a website slide and insert a URL with your audio or video recording (from Edpuzzle, YouTube,, etc.). In a Student-Paced Lesson, students can listen to instructions or play a video one slide, then answer an interactive question on the next. This is currently the best option if you use Pear Deck for PowerPoint Online.

      If you have additional questions, please reach out to us at!