EDpuzzle is self-described as a platform to turn any YouTube video into your next lesson by allowing you to edit for length, add your own voice-over recordings, comments, and embedded questions.
Video: A 21st Century Reality
As bandwidth has increased, video has slowly taken over the internet. According to Cisco, global internet traffic in 2016 reached 78.2 Exabytes per month (or the equivalent of 20 billion DVDs per month), and is projected to reach 58 billion DVDs per month by 2021.
A recent analysis by nScreenMedia projected that by 2019, 77% of all internet traffic would be video.
Your students crave the engagement created by video.
However, we know that simply adding video does not equal added learning.
Video is usually utilized for entertainment purposes, which leaves educators struggling to find the balance between catchy, eye grabbing videos, and the high quality content necessary for learning. While it doesn’t answer every question, EDpuzzle addresses three big questions many educators have:
- How do I find a video that’s not too long?
Research is emerging that shows that video length is one of the single most important factors in student engagement. A leading Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provider (EdX) researched this very question by analyzing literally millions of video watching sessions. The summary of their results:
“The optimal video length is 6 minutes or shorter — students watched most of the way through these short videos. In fact, the average engagement time of any video maxes out at 6 minutes, regardless of its length. And engagement times decrease as videos lengthen: For instance, on average students spent around 3 minutes on videos that are longer than 12 minutes, which means that they engaged with less than a quarter of the content.” – Philip Guo, EdX
While this research is based on online courses and access, it is helpful: we need to provide shorter videos for our students.
The first great feature EDpuzzle provides is video cropping.
Once a video has been selected (from nearly anywhere on the internet: YouTube, Khan Academy, National Geographic, etc.) the teacher is prompted to crop it – trimming the video from the beginning, end, or both.
One of my favorite educational video series on YouTube is Crash Course started by John Green. Crash Course is fast paced, visually engaging, and has many great series: World Mythology, Sociology, Physics, Astronomy, Literature, Anatomy & Physiology, Psychology, and many, many more!
Crash Course does have a downside: the videos average 11-12 min. in length.
With EDpuzzle it is easy to take one great Crash Course video and turn it into two or three shorter, more engaging videos.
Cropping also allows you to remove superfluous sections and really encourage your students to focus on the material they need to learn.
- How can I ensure that students are actually engaging with the video’s content?
Even if you have found a short, engaging video, it is necessary to hold students accountable to watching them.
One of the most common complaints against flipped classrooms is students coming to class unprepared because they failed to watch the required content. Often we are left to wonder whether or not our videos are being watched.
With EDpuzzle, wonder no more. Not only can we tell when students have watched a video, but we can see how many times students have watched specific sections of videos.
- How do I know what my students have learned and what they haven’t?
Obviously watching a video cannot be equated to learning new content. In my opinion, the best feature EDpuzzle offers is embedded questioning.
My normal preparation for using a video in class involved:
- Watching (and re-watching…) the video,
- Writing guiding questions,
- Noting where key concepts fell in the videos,
- Creating a quiz (paper or in a quizzing software).
I would then find myself rushing across the room to pause the video at a key moment in order for students to respond to the questions.
Giving feedback on these questions meant grading papers (which delayed feedback to students), using a separate quizzing program, or spending further time discussing each question in groups or as a class.
Instant feedback and questions posed at just the right time are both features provided by EDpuzzle.
The preparation process is similar, but instead of using multiple programs, everything can be done within EDpuzzle.
Questions are added at specific points in the video and can be multiple choice or short answer format. Students can be allowed to skip questions, or be forced to answer before viewing the rest of the video. Instructors are also given the ability to add voice and text comments within the video to prompt students or provide further explanation about content.
After students have watched the video and answered the questions the teacher can see results (for multiple choice questions), grade short answer questions, and analyze class/student performance.
- Classes can be added to EDpuzzle which allows for grading and anylysis within the system.
- Multiple methods are provided for adding students to classes: class code, email, tweet, or share a link, or through Google Classroom.
- Video curation: videos from other EDpuzzle users and video streaming sites are available and curated for teachers.
- Embed code is provided for embedding the video in your LMS.
- By embedding questions, teachers are able to clarify content that didn’t come through clearly in the video.
Additional blogs about EDpuzzle from Flipped Learning: