Thursday, December 16, 2010

Transform YouTube into an ACTIVE learning tool for your students

Nina Arjarasumpun, from Knewton Inc., was kind enough to write me an email out of the blue earlier this week. In her email she wanted to introduce me to a novel way in which the GMAT Prep team at Knewton was leveraging YouTube’s free video hosting service. She likened their work to the classic ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books that are popular with kids. In fact, it is simple branching logic where the system presents different content based on the decisions made by the user. The staff at Knewton are translating this simple idea into practice in the context of multiple choice questions using video segments. It’s awesome. I tried a few of their questions while wearing my student hat and the logical branching system coupled with the videos really makes the learning active and fun. Next term I am teaching a distance course in chemistry, and I will try to make a few of these types of learning objects to try out on my students. I’m excited to see how it works for me.

Chris Black at Knewton has prepared a great blog post that describes how to make these interactive logical branching videos. It’s a great posting that explains all the details. Very cool! If you currently use a similar strategy in one of your courses or if you end up trying this out in your course, let us know about it by leaving a comment below.

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