Center for Educational Computing Initiatives

PIVoT: The Physics Interactive Video Tutor

Read about the results of a multi-year evaluation of students' experiences using PIVoT.(Adobe Acrobat Reader required.)

PIVoT, the Physics Interactive Video Tutor, provides a unique 24-hour-a-day opportunity for students to conduct "virtual office hours" PIVoT home pagewith renowned MIT Physics Professor Walter Lewin, using streaming digital video and the Internet. PIVoT offers a comprehensive on-line learning environment to students enrolled in MIT’s Introductory Classical Mechanics.

Streaming Video

PIVoT gives students instant access to their professor through a collection of digital video clips in which Prof. Lewin explains difficult concepts, demonstrates physics principles, steps through problem solutions, and answers students’ most frequently asked questions (FAQs). PIVoT also offers 35 lectures by Prof. Lewin which were videotaped by our MIT Video Productions crew in fall 1999, and digitized by our colleagues in Streaming Media and Compression Services.

Other Features

PIVoT also features an on-line textbook, FAQs, physics simulations, and practice problems. PIVoT content is organized based on 210 topics and 450 key words. Additional features include a search engine and a "Personal Tutor," an intelligent agent that provides individualized help based on each user's clicks through the web site.

Access for Users with DisabilitiesWalter Lewin

MIT is collaborating with the National Center for Accessible Media on a three-year project investigating web accessibility for users with vision and hearing disabilities. PIVoT has exceptionally challenging accessibility issues because of its scientific content. Research will focus on site design, video captions and descriptions, and text tags for complex graphics. More information is available at

PIVoT was designed and developed by the Center for Educational Computing Initiatives and the Educational Media Creation Center, under the direction of Professor Richard C. Larson, Principal Investigator. MIT students have used PIVoT since September 1999.

To learn more about PIVoT: