Over the last year, many faculty members have turned to numerous tools offered by ITS to create content for online learning. One crucial tool in this shift has been VidGrid. VidGrid allows the Pomona community to develop materials such as lectures, virtual field trips, demonstrations, and more. For ITS, VidGrid proved crucial in training sessions offered during the year on tools available for online learning and remote work. For example, when training for VidGrid, overview videos were shared prior to live training sessions to communicate foundational knowledge and allow for deeper and more meaningful sessions. In addition, these overview videos allowed attendees to arrive at a session with questions about best use methods and troubleshooting already in mind. The videos also served as a resource that attendees could come back to before dedicated tutorial videos could be developed.
While engagement during asynchronous learning can be especially challenging, VidGrid offers several tools that help keep students engaged. VidGrid allows users to create interactions and engagement even when viewing asynchronously. Creators can add comments, quizzes, calls to action, and guest recording in order to create engagement.
There are two methods for commenting on VidGrid: a forum-style chain of messages and a timeline. The forum-style comment feature is similar to comments on many social media or video-sharing sites such as YouTube. With this type, viewers can leave a comment below videos in a continuous chain of messages. This feature helps facilitate asynchronous discussions and allows users to ask questions. The timeline feature for comments is helpful when a video creator wants to add little nuggets of information to expand on a topic. Alternatively, creators can insert information that may have been forgotten during the recording process. These comments pop up in the corner of the video at the desired time and duration of the creator's choosing.
Questions and Quizzes
Video creators can add questions that pause the video until answered, offering opportunities to check for information retention or to create polls. Once a user responds, video creators can make the video jump to a specific location based on a user’s response. This feature can be used to either bypass remedial material or guide students back to material for review.
Calls to Action
Many times, there are actions that students should take after a lesson. These can include things like assignments or reviews of external source material. Call to action buttons can be created in order to link viewers to “next step” actions outside of the video itself. These pop-up buttons pause the video and allow students to resume where they left off once they are ready. The call to action button can also be used in conjunction with guest recording to create video responses to the primary video.
Users with a creator permission level can give anyone access to the VidGrid recorder or allow for uploading a video through a link. Once complete, the video is sent directly to a specified folder owned by the creator. This feature allows viewers to upload or create video content, making video projects and responses possible, even without a creator account.
Looking Forward: VidGrid and In-Person Learning
As we look ahead and prepare to return to in-person learning in the fall, our hope is that faculty, staff, and students can find new and interesting ways to use the tools that we’ve come to know during our time apart such as VidGrid, to make our new normal as meaningful and engaging as possible. VidGrid’s ability to create, store, and share content, makes it a great tool for sharing pre-recorded demonstrations or lectures. Should an unplanned event such as a cold or injury occur, a lecture can be quickly and easily shared.
To date, ITS has posted nearly 200 (and growing) tutorial videos available in the VidGrid Org Library when logged in. We encourage other departments to use VidGrid in the same way as we return to campus, creating repositories of equipment or lab demonstrations and more.