Curation of Remedial, Enriching, and Student-Made Videos |

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Curation of Remedial, Enriching, and Student-Made Videos

Hassan Wilson
Biology Teacher, Friends Seminary
New York City, NY

May 2017

When I first started flipping my classroom, I was adamant about using my own videos. At the time, I believed that I owed it to my students to create my own content. Since I was no longer delivering instruction to my students in real time, I thought I should at least create the videos to keep some sort of connection. In addition, it was tough to find content that explained the ideas and used the same terminology from my lessons.


Over the years, my thinking on this has shifted. While most of the videos I use are still my own, I also curate videos for some topics, especially for optional enrichment and required remediation. My course is asynchronous, meaning students work at their own pace. There are always students who work ahead of the recommended pace and finish the mandatory topics before the end of the school year. I provide optional units and topics for those high-achieving students. Since only a few of my students finish the required topics before the end of the year, I use curated videos for these optional topics, rather than making my own videos. For example, after the unit on monohybrid Punnett squares, some students wonder how to solve more sophisticated problems. I let those students watch a video on dihybrid crosses (a topic they will learn about in their high school biology course), and then they create and solve their own practice problems. Students who want to push their critical thinking even further watch a video on using the laws of probability to solve trihybrid crosses and beyond.


When a student fails a quiz, he or she must complete steps to be eligible for a retake. One of these steps might include viewing and taking notes from a slightly different video on the same topic. I have curated playlists of videos from other educators covering the same topics as my videos. Perhaps a new voice, new examples, or new ways of framing the content from a different educator might help the student. In those cases, remediation videos provide extra support. Often, the refresher provided by a similar video is enough to help students, and is analogous to watching one of my videos again.

Student-made videos

I also curate videos made by my students. At the end of each topic, I provide students an opportunity to demonstrate understanding of the content above and beyond the required assignments. These so-called mastery projects serve 2 purposes. First, students who complete mastery projects show what they've learned. Students create learning artifacts such as problem sets with answer keys, songs, short stories, and tutorial videos. By creating these artifacts, they apply their understanding in a highly ordered way. Second, I curate these mastery project videos made by students in a remediation library for future years. The same struggling students I mentioned earlier might choose to watch a student-made video rather than a video made by an educator. A class favorite is a silent animation made by a former student to demonstrate the steps of protein synthesis.

Whether you believe educators should make their own videos or not, consider curating videos made by others for enrichment and remediation purposes. If it is possible for your students to publish their own videos, then I recommend curating them. They can be used as extensions for the creator and later shared with other students who require intervention.