Grokit: Creating Video-Centered Learning Experiences

YouTube® videos are a tremendous resource as just-in-time learning materials, but a lecture’s a lecture whether it’s videotaped or not. Grockit Answers offers a way to link questions, answers, and reflections to particular time points in a video to create a more interactive experience.

The technology (or what are my powers?)

In beta, registration to Grockit is free. To start, you simply add a link to a YouTube video. (You can also search using keywords if you don’t have a particular video in mind.)

Your video appears and you have the option to view the public Q&A or start a private one as a moderator.

Adding questions is simple and guided by prompts.

The only “tricky” thing is that you can’t go back and edit times when questions appear. You’ll have to delete a question and reinsert it if you decided that you didn’t exactly place it correctly. As a moderator, however, you also have the power to remove answers that might be inappropriate.

An interesting feature of Grokit is that it prompts viewers to comment on the questions themselves, which might in turn prompt other questions and answers at particular points in the video.

When you’re finished you can share your video and questions via a link (which you can also post to Edmodo, Twitter, Facebook, or Google +) or by inserting a provided embed code into your website.

You can also embed a search list of videos with their associated Q&A’s on your website, allowing you to invite students to compare and contrast different viewpoints.

A how-to video of Grokit is shown below.

Instructional strategies

Grokit provides a platform for making video viewing more than a passive experience, but how much of a learning experience it is all depends on your questions. One particularly nice feature of Grokit is that answers now update in real-time so you can get something a synchronous discussion going. Learners can add their own questions as they come up with them.  Although you may think of Grokit as a tool for schools (and Grokit is being used as a platform for test prep), I think it’s also great way to enhance videos for workplace learning.

(And just in case you’re not a fan of classic sci-fi, here’s more about the meaning of grok.)

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