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How to Make an Interactive Lesson Using Youtube

Posted in Teacher Tools on December 15, 2010 by


We’ve been getting a lot of questions ever since our GMAT Choose Your Own Adventure video went up. Well, one question, really: How can I make one for my students?

Answer: It’s easy! Youtube has a great tool called Spotlight that lets you make any video interactive. It’s really handy for lessons and quizzes. Essentially, you can ask students a question — or a series of questions — and when they answer show them a personalized video response according to how they did.

Quizzes aren’t always the most exciting things in the world, so this adds a bit of adventure to the experience. This kind of personalization works great for our GMAT prep course, but any teacher can use the process to create a fun, interactive Youtube lesson.

Here’s how to do it.

1. Get to know the Spotlight Tool

In your Youtube account (they’re easy to set up if you don’t have one), take some time to check out the Spotlight tool. We found this great tutorial that walks you through the process, so you can start by watching that.

2. Add a video link

Spotlights let you create a clickable area in any part of your video that links to another video on Youtube. In our case, we first wanted to give students a choice between three questions, presented by three different teachers. Our first job, then, was to film a video that presented that choice — then annotate it so they could pick a question by clicking on the teacher of their choice.

For our first video, the Edit Annotation screen looked like this:

The box makes Jen clickable when you’re watching the video, and the link connects to a later video where she presents her question. So the next question is: What kind of quiz do you want to make?

3. Plan out your quiz experience

You can keep this pretty simple. We wanted a quiz where students could pick their question, then on each question choose the answer they thought was the best fit. If they got it right, great! If not, they’d get an explanation of where they went wrong, and a chance to click and try again.

We also threw in a “hint” box where they could get extra help, and a bonus video for each right answer. So we ended up with a video plan that looked something like this:

Each box is a short video — all we had to do was shoot them, then start linking them together!

4. Annotate away!

So, back to that first video we annotated. We put a Spotlight around Jen, so now when you get to the first video you click on her to choose a question:

For Jen’s question, we had her read through the problem, then ask students to click on the answer choice they thought was right.

To make that work, we just had to go back and add annotations to the answer choices:

That’s a few steps, but a pretty simple concept: There’s a video for each question and answer choice, so whenever you see an answer you like you can click right to it.

When you find the right answer, you get a quick explanation of why it’s correct, plus a link back to the original video so you can choose another question.

Notice the box around Jen? We also added a bonus video to each right answer just for fun. In this case, you can see Arlo’s sweet dunking skills:

And that’s it! Once you connect all your videos together, your students get a practice quiz that feels like a treasure hunt instead of just homework.

Here’s the full video if you want to check it out again:

Let us know if you have any questions or feedback, and happy Youtubing!