For the last month I have been piloting the use of eduCanon with some of my classes. This has allowed me to create and assign content-based videos as homework and monitor student progress. Many students found the video lessons useful, and I certainly liked being able to see which students were completing the lessons as well as when. Unfortunately, about 40% of my students experienced some type of difficulty with eduCanon. Either the video would not load properly when they tried to complete a lesson, it would get to the first question and freeze, or any one of a number of other issues would crop up. Troubleshooting this became a bit of a hassle for me, as we are not a 1:1 school, and students were trying to access eduCanon on a variety of devices and computers using a variety of browsers. I think eduCanon is a great platform when it works, and the application is still in beta, so I have high hopes that they will get the kinks ironed out.
Not wanting to give up my quest to find a way to use out-of-class video in a more engaging manner as well as be able to assess student completion and performance of the assignments, I reached out to my friendly neighborhood librarian who provided me with this list of “8 Good Web Tools to Create Video Quizzes For Your Class” via Twitter. I decided to try using a Google form, which allows for embedding of videos from YouTube. All you need is a free Google account, and then you access all the Google Docs, including forms, in your Google Drive. The screencast below, created with Screencsast-O-Matic, shows how this is done.
Once I created the form, I placed the link on my class blog and had students respond. No students reported any problems accessing the form, watching the video, or completing and submitting the form. Many students also preferred the Google form over eduCanon because of the ability to freely move forward or rewind when playing back the video in order to respond to the questions, which is not possible in eduCanon, as the video remains frozen at a predetermined point once a question is reached. Another advantage is that students do not need to make an account to access the form, but can do so by just by clicking the provided link.
One big disadvantage of Google forms is that the students do not get immediate feedback on whether or not they answered the questions correctly. In fact, Google forms does not actually have any way of indicating a correct answer when creating the form. Instead the student submissions must be graded by comparing each response to an answer key. Fortunately, there is a third-party script called Flubaroo, which can be freely installed within the response submission spreadsheet, that will do this automatically for you (see screencast below).
Another advantage of using a Google form is that you can use the response submission spreadsheet to create reports which automatically generate graphic analyses for each one of your questions. Overall I am pleased with the functionality that Google forms provides for creating video-based flipped lessons. Although there are a few minor shortcomings, these are overcome by Google’s robust platform which is extensively tested and supported.