My nephew, Johnny, is 14 years old. He likes school but likes playing video games a bit more, to say the least. His sister, Ronni, 16 years old, loves uploading videos of her and her classmates on Instagram. And their younger brothers? Oh, they won’t talk to me over the phone if it’s not via video chat.
Video is the way Generation Z communicates, and it’s what the future brings to a college education. Unlike millennials or earlier generations, for the Z folks, video is about interaction—and not only the act of staring at a screen. Even though video is becoming a primary source of academic support, using YouTube links and so on, keeping learners engaged is a challenge that’s only expected to grow.
Interactive video tools
In his recent UBTech article, Sean Brown discusses the active process around watching videos online, which involves commenting, discussing video content and following up with further reading. To build on that, I would argue that there’s much more to this active learning process that can be done from within the video itself, using interactive video tools.
I’m not alone. In fact, according to the 2019 State of Video in Education report, 98% of educators and students see video, and in particular, interactive video, as critical components in personalized and self-paced learning.
So what more can you expect from video? Not only capturing, commenting and sharing, but true interaction within the video itself. Video quizzes, for example, are a great way to keep students engaged instead of passively watching a video. Video quiz creation tools allow educators to create questions that will pop up while a student is watching a video (just like a pop quiz in class). Question types vary from multiple choice and true/false, to open-ended questions and reflection points. All of which can count towards the overall grade in class.
Ninety-eight percent of educators and students see video, and in particular, interactive video, as critical components in personalized and self-paced learning
But the next level of interactive videos is branching videos, also called video paths. These interactive experiences allow learners to choose their own paths within their online video learning experience. And guess what? You don’t need to hire anyone from Warner Bros. to create these. Online interactive video creation tools allow anyone to easily upload videos and create these experiences with their own content—just like one would with an online slide deck.
Combined with analytics, educators can use interactive tools to track a learner’s understanding, more than score-tracking via an online multiple-choice exam. For example, video analytics from multi-stream interactive video players can help educators understand whether a student-focused more on slides or the speaker, or when the video was paused or stopped, which could hint that something wasn’t clear.
Tracking the most-watched videos within a course, or the video paths that were selected most times, allows educators to understand their students’ thought process and optimize their content accordingly. With only 34% of educators currently looking at their video analytics for insights, there’s great room for growth and emphasis on the value of video analytics.
82% of the State of Video report’s respondents expect students’ expectations for how much video should be part of their learning experience to increase. And as video becomes the norm in class, students will expect more. Not only YouTube links, but interactive video tools in the context of their classes that will allow them to collaborate, create and take a more active part in video learning experiences. As video tools expand, so will video analytics, and thus the way we evaluate comprehension and create personalized learning paths for each learner.
Noa Oron is the director of business development at Kaltura, a video platform that enhances any website or tech platform with customized video, photo and audio functionalities.