Sunday, September 30, 2012

Using YouTube's New Quizzing Feature

I've seen quite a lot of tweets lately about YouTube's new quizzing feature currently in beta format.  All the tweets I see link articles that give me the same "press release" announcement, so I wanted to try it out for myself. This isn't really a review, as the feature is in beta and not meant to be full functional.

The first trick is activating the feature.  It doesn't just automatically appear.  You need to go here and opt-in to the beta for your YouTube account.  Once you've done that, it is available in your YouTube channel.

To use it, go to the video you want to add the quiz to and click "edit".

After that, click on the "Questions" tab.

From there, it is pretty self explanatory. Just click, "add question" and you get this screen:

It's really that simple.  Much easier than adding several Annotations to make your own quiz feature.  There aren't many options to make the questions more appealing.  But, I'm guessing they may add that in later.

Now, for the analytics...
Remember, this is in beta, so I didn't expect it to be perfect yet.  With Annotations, the analytics tell you which annotations were clicked, by how many people, etc.  With the quizzing analytics, at the moment, it just tells you if an answer was chosen or if the user closed the video.  Not much detail at the moment.

Also, another limitation over annotations is that your can not jump to different videos or a different part of the video based on the viewers answer.  If they answer incorrectly, they are prompted with a hint and the video remains paused.  If they click correctly, the video just starts playing again.

I like the promise of this feature, but since it is still in beta, it doesn't have a lot of functionality yet.

Here is the video I added the quiz to if you want to see how the quiz looks and operates. The quiz is 23 seconds in:


Please note this is just a simple practice quiz and not intended to be something identical to what I would use with my students.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Why I'm Apprehensive About Sharing My Videos

That inevitable questions always seems to come up...
"Is there a place where we can see your videos?" 

I'm asked this question every time I present to an audience of new flippers.  A substitute at my school even asked the other day because she wanted to show them to her daughter.  And, every time the question is asked, I cringe a bit. I'm hesitant to tell them my YouTube Channel has over 70 videos public and nearly that many private or unlisted. I couldn't understand why that was my initial reaction. I'm not ashamed of my videos. Some people are embarrassed to have their face seen by strangers. Others worry their content isn't "up to snuff". I got over that a long time ago. There isn't anything a stranger can say about my videos that my brutally honest middle school students haven't shared. So, why the apprehension?

Then, last night while I was working on my presentation for NCTE in November, it hit me.  I was thinking back to a conversation I had last year at NCTE with a well-respected teacher that was anti-flip. His biggest complaint was that flipping was just bad lecture on video. He asked if I could share with him what I thought was my best video.  I told him that was difficult because the video is not the biggest piece of the flip. What happens in my class time is the key component.  So, my best videos are the ones that complement what the students do in class and allow them to receive small bits of content efficiently and asynchronously. Replaying the conversation in my head made me realize that is where my apprehension lies. If my videos are viewed isolated from the entire learning cycle, they aren't that special. Letting strangers view my videos independently gives them an incomplete picture of what is really happening in my class.  My hesitation then is not because I don't want them to see my video, but rather I don't want them to have an incomplete understanding of what #flipclass is and judge it based on that.

For those that want to see my videos, here is my YouTube Channel. But, if you really want to see what my flipped class is all about, you need to visit my classroom, talk to my students, and see our pre- and post- video discussions to really grasp what is happening.

Added Note:  Visit a Flipped Class in your area on one of the Flipped Class Open House days. You'll be glad you did!