CATL Vlog: Make Your Videos Engaging

Our first blog post on videosUsing Video Responsibly, focused on some guiding best practices to consider when creating videos for your class. While the bulk of that previous post focused on ways to add low-bandwidth alternatives to your videos in order to make content accessible for students without reliable high-speed internet, the end of the post teased strategies for keeping your students actively engaged while watching the videos. We know that many of you have found ways to use video to not just share information with your students. You are using video to check comprehension, frame discussions, and support student success initiatives. Today, we’re following up on that tease and spotlighting some of the ways UW-Green Bay faculty are transforming videos from passive learning to active engagement with their students, and, to do it, we’re turning our blog into a vlog! 

Low-Tech Solutions 

The idea of adding engagement to your videos may seem daunting, but there are a few low-tech ways built right into Canvas that can make it easier. We’ll demonstrate how to use quizzes and discussion boards with video, and the CATL team would be happy to brainstorm solutions with you specific to your teaching style and course content.  

Student Success 

Another low-tech way to help your students engage with you and your videos is to teach student success skills. One of the challenges of teaching and working remotely is not seeing your students in person. It can be hard to have conversations about success strategies. But short videos on success tips specific to your class can help students engage with your course and feel supported by you, even when they are at a distance. This video specifically showcases notetaking of a video lecture, but you could build a library of short success strategy videos tailored to your class including reading and annotating texts, providing peer review feedback, posting to discussion boards, and preparing for exams. 


Medium-Tech Solutions 

Those who feel a little more adventurous and confident with technology, may want to explore two tools that integrate with Canvas. Both tools can take an existing video from your My Media library and add interactive elements to the playback experience, transforming that experience from passive to active. Instead of placing your video into an active context like a Discussion or Quiz as suggested above, these tools let you place the action into the video. The first tool we’ll demonstrate is Kaltura Video Quizzes, a simple tool built into My Media in Canvas that enables you to prompt your students with formative quiz questions in your videos. 

The next tool we are demonstrating is PlayPositPlayPosit takes the concept of in-video interactions and expands it far beyond what is capable with Kaltura Video Quizzes. It’s something of a Swiss Army knife for adding interactive elements to videos. PlayPosit introduces an in-video-player note-taking interface, in-video discussion boards, polling, attention-drawing video hotspots, and several additional quiz question types. Learn more about PlayPosit and how you can join UWGB’s pilot of the tool by watching the PlayPosit “bulb” below: 

UWGB started its PlayPosit pilot in Fall 2020, and it has already won over a couple of faculty champions. UWGB’s own Jolanda Sallmann, Associate Professor of Social Work, was kind enough to record a video testimonial about her use of PlayPosit for inclusion in our vlog. 

Going Deep 

There are A LOT of tools out there for working with video, and we want to wrap up this vlog by quickly highlighting a few more. Our last video shows two tools available for dipping your toes into the world of video editing and highlights toolthat can let your students comment on your videos with videos of their own. 

Stay in Touch!

We want to thank you again, in text-form this time, for reading and watching this vlog post. Please reach out to CATL if you have any questions about engaging uses for video in your classes. We’d love to hear about what you do with your videos to keep students engaged and what excites you the most about these strategies, so please leave a comment below or email us at 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *