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Learning designMoodlePedagogy

Turn online videos into engaging learning objects

Attributes of online video learning objects

Thinking of including “links to” or embedding online video in your Moodle courses? Simply using online video can be frustrating for students and teachers alike.  Issues include scrubbing to the ideal starting point in a video, ensuring that the students do not watch too much of the video (indicating and end point of the intended viewing) and student engagement.

To make a video relevant and engaging a developer should position comments, questions, hyperlinks and extra information into or near a video to create a learning object.   These additional elements incorporated into the online video experience can enhance content comprehension, linguistic support and reduce viewing fatigue.

Ensuring that students can view an online video while they are considering questions or prompts has been an issue with digital quizzing systems in the past.  It is important to allow students access to the video while attempting related activities.

To summarize, I was looking for online video enhancement tools that could:

  • set in/out viewing points
  • insert a basket of question types
  • provide a linked discussion area
  • offer commenting (audio, text, image) or prompts
  • display the video and the interactive activity on the same screen

The Tools

As an educator and learning object designer, I have been experimenting with several technologies that can make the online learning video learning experience more effective.  Software client resources including Hot Potatoes, Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate allow developers the tools to wrap video with learning features such as questions, prompts and questions on the screen as the video played.   The results were satisfactory.  However, when trying to build development capacity in an educational institution, the learning curve and the licensing costs (except for Hot Potatoes) were prohibitive.  I started exploring more efficient online options.  A few were easily located.  However, finding tools is one thing, but ensuring that they are intuitive and produce acceptable results is another.  The following tools offer features to make learning with video more sensible for your students and are realistic for an educational budget.

Four online video enhancement tools I have identified and have been using are detailed in the paragraphs below.  There is a tool quick start guide for you to get started at the end of each paragraph.


Vibby allows you to easily crop any YouTube video and share it.  Cropping refers to setting a start and an end point for a video.  The original video on YouTube is not edited, your duplicate simply displays as your settings define.  Vibby’s real strength is that a teacher/designer can create multiple segments of a video rather than just one start and end point. This tool allows you to show a full-length movie in a digest format so you can focus on what is important. Imagine that you can select many small segments from a long movie so that the students only view relevant segments of an online video. Sadly, Vibby does not include questions or discussion features.  Download a Vibby Quickstart guide.

Ted Ed Lessons

Ted Ed Lessons provide the tools to create custom lessons that wrap around a video.  Learning event sections include Think, Dig Deeper, Discuss, and And Finally. Think includes standard multiple choice and open-ended questions. Dig Deeper can contain additional information, hyperlinks to additional resources, images, videos, or animations. The Discuss section functions as a normal online forum. The And Finally section allows instructors to prompt further learning.   Do not be mislead by the name TED Ed, any YouTube video can be featured.  Download a Ted Ed Lessons Quickstart guide.


EdPuzzle is an innovative tool that allows teachers to add questions and comments based on a chosen YouTube video.  It provides intuitive tools for teachers to add multiple choice and open-ended questions based on video content.   Other features include video cropping, inserting text, image or audio comments.   Download an EdPuzzle Quickstart guide.


H5P is a free tool that allows you to create custom lessons with online video.  The H5P feature, Interactive Video, allows resources and interactive features that overlay on the video itself.  This provides a maximum video viewing area on any screen, which is desirable for mobile device users.   H5P learning events are label comments, interactive text, interactive images, a summary question, highlight text questions, multiple-choice questions, single-choice questions, drag and drop image questions, drag and drop text questions, cloze questions, hotspots, crossroads, questionnaire and text hyperlinks.  The presentation is contemporary which draws the students in and allows them to engage with the content. Download an H5P Quickstart guideDownload the H5P Interactive Video Quickstart Guide

Final Thoughts

The tools listed here are free, hosted on the Internet, allow sharing to websites, learning management systems, and some social media sites through a web address or an embed code. Most of them allow members to re-purpose the work of others to save you preparation time as well.

I have benefited by using these tools as an instructor by manipulating video and creating interactive activities to increase student engagement with videos in the classroom and online. Knowing that most teachers are already too busy to dedicate the time to learning and producing engaging learning events with video, I recommend these resources as the most efficient tools currently available.

If anyone else out there has had a similar experience or can add to this post, please comment below.


EdPuzzle https://edpuzzle.com

H5P https://h5p.org

Ted Ed Lessons http://ed.ted.com

Vibby https://www.vibby.com

John Allan

John Allan

John is a Canadian who writes about learning object development and online facilitation from a teacher's perspective.

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