The number of free and open educational resources (OER) has grown rapidly in recent years, as tools have developed that enable anyone to create and publish learning content. Even rich media content, such as educational videos, has become relatively straightforward to produce and make available to anyone, anywhere.
Once you’ve found some video resources you want your students to use, how do you get your students access to those resources? One way is to simply link to the video, making the URL available to students in your LMS (if you’re using one) or student portal.
But just linking to an external resource has a lot of disadvantages. If you simply send students a link out to YouTube or some other service, it will likely be very hard for students to find that resource any other way than by navigating to the page where you’ve placed the link. Students lose the ability to search for the video based on its title or topic. Furthermore, you most likely won’t be able to customize that resource with additional engagement or assessment tools, which add substantial educational value to that resource. And, most importantly, there’s a good chance that you will not have the ability to track anything that your students do with the video—including whether they’ve even watched it.
There are three great advantages to choosing to deliver your videos through a video portal like Kaltura, as opposed to simply linking to an outside resource. And this is true, as we’ll see later, even for OER videos that you might find on YouTube.
Make it seamless and searchable
One of the downsides of embedding a link to a video resource in your LMS or student portal is that in many cases the jump from one system to another can be a difficult user experience. The video may come in a pop-up, or in a new window, and may not be obvious to some users how to navigate between the video experience and their other learning environment(s), especially on tablets or other mobile devices.
Ideally, the experience of finding and playing a video appears to the user as a completely seamless experience, where the video appears inside the learning portal just as any other native object would, and is as easy to navigate to and interact with as any other feature of the learning environment. Kaltura’s integrations with the major LMSs, as well as Kaltura’s MediaSpace portal, provide this seamless experience.
And then there’s the ability for students to find what they are looking for. Students in a Kaltura-powered environment can simply search for the asset they want, by title, topic, tags, and much more, which enables them to find a video they want (without having to remember how to navigate to it) and even to discover additional videos that they might want to watch. This means that in addition to the resources you assign, you can also host a media library (tagged as you see fit) in which students can search for additional resources to supplement and enhance their own learning.
This ability to search for specific videos, and discover new ones, is something that simply putting a link to an external source can’t provide.
Make it engaging
Videos can be powerful teaching tools. For example, students can watch, and re-watch, a video until they understand the concept. The ability to watch multiple different presentations of the same concept until the student finds one that “clicks” is another tremendous advantage.
But videos can also lull teachers and students into a false sense of learning. There’s a very big difference between leaning back and watching a video and engaging with it in a way that furthers understanding of the material. Even for diligent students, given the number of distractions available with digital devices, it’s all too easy to simply press “Play” and not really pay attention.
The ideal way to solve this is with tools that can engage students, and which are built-in to the video experience. And Kaltura provides exactly this, with its in-video quizzing features.
Kaltura’s in-video quizzing framework allows you to create questions that are delivered at specific points in the video experience. You can choose whether these questions are graded or not, whether students can skip them, whether they can see the correct answers, and more. This means you have the flexibility to create video experiences that are intended for students to use as a self-check on their own understanding, whether they are for you to check the level of understanding of your students, or whether they are delivered as a graded assessment.
At minimum, these kinds of engagement tools encourage students to pay attention to the video, and encourage them watch and re-watch until they understand the concept—something that a non-interactive video cannot provide.
Make it measurable
One of the problems with just sending students to a URL is that it’s very hard (and often impossible) to get any information on whether students actually watched the video; and more importantly, whether they understood it.
In the best case, you can administer some kind of assessment outside of the video experience – but this doesn’t tell you much about whether the student watched the video, or how helpful the video was in teaching the concept, as you lose the immediacy of measuring your students’ understanding in real time.
If you deliver your video through Kaltura, you have a number of tools to help you understand exactly who watched the video, how much they watched, and whether they understood it.
Kaltura’s media analytics can show you exactly which students watched the video, and for how long. And Kaltura’s in-video quiz feature can tell you, in as granular a form as you care to measure, whether your students understood what they just watched.
And for those who are using Kaltura along with a standards-compliant LMS, there are two additional benefits to consider: LMS gradebook integration and Caliper analytics.
If you are using one of the major LTI 1.1-compliant LMSs (like Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace, or Moodle) you can have the grades from your quizzes ported straight back into your LMS gradebook. All you need to do is create the quizzes, assign those videos to your students, and Kaltura will take care of making sure that the quiz results get transferred into the gradebook, so you can see how well your students understood the material.
And more than that: you can get great visibility on how your students are engaging with their video resources through Caliper analytics. Caliper is an emerging IMS standard for student activity data, which allows Kaltura to send information about student activity within video experiences to any Caliper-compliant LMS or Learning Record Store. This means that information about how often a student started, paused, restarted a video (and more to come!) can be gathered and analyzed to help improve your content and personalize student learning.
What about videos on YouTube?
Now to come back to the promissory note from earlier: You might be wondering whether taking advantage of these Kaltura features will require that you get a copy of the source video file, and upload it to your Kaltura repository. Which might sound not only like extra work, but also might make you worry about whether you have the right to do so for intellectual property reasons.
Fortunately, even if an OER happens to reside on YouTube, you can still deliver it through Kaltura, and take advantage of the search, engagement, and measurement features that Kaltura offers. You simply have to create an entry in Kaltura which points to the YouTube video, and then treat it like any natively-uploaded video asset.
Kaltura’s platform features can then be applied to the content that is streamed directly from YouTube without needing a copy of the source video file. You can embed the video right into your LMS, allow students to search for the right video based on its topic or tags, create quizzes that are delivered inside the video experience, and measure student activity in the video, just as if the video file was uploaded to Kaltura.
Whether you upload your video to Kaltura, or stream the video straight from YouTube, you can take a video and make it seamless and searchable; make it engaging; and make it measurable. And thereby make any video, including free and open video resources, much more valuable to the learning process.
Kaltura's mission is to power any video experience. Our wide array of video solutions are deployed globally across thousands of enterprises, media companies, service providers, and educational institutions, leveraging video to teach, learn, communicate, collaborate, and entertain.