Guest Post by Stacey Roshan

This is my fourth year using the flipped classroom model in AP Calculus AB and my second year in Honors Algebra 2. Since last year, I have put a lot of focus into trying to make the video watching less passive. Tools such as embedded quizzes, callout boxes and hotspots can be useful in creating a more interactive experience for students watching instructional videos and the pre-assessment can help set the tone for full-class discussion. Camtasia Studio provides these features in its editor and the results give feedback on how students are watching the videos.

There are many benefits of using the embedded quizzing. It provides a way for students to engage in an interactive activity yielding immediate feedback, for both teacher and student. A variety of question formats can be asked: multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer. The benefit of the first two options is automated, instant grading for student feedback while the advantage of the latter option is the ability to assess beyond recognition. I find the short answer option to be helpful in asking more inquiry-based questions, which can provide a nice segue into class discussion the following day. In addition to being a tool to help students self-assess, the quiz results provide teachers with a quick snap-shot of areas that need more attention in the classroom. Possible uses for these results include: setting the tone for full-class discussion, grouping students based on need, and as a way of pre-identifying necessary one-on-one work. Finally, teachers can use the feedback to assist in improving video lessons by recognizing which concepts are not being grasped.

To track student data, videos with embedded quizzes ask students to enter a name and email address. In addition to providing feedback on if and when students watched the video, Camtasia’s statistics let you know how much of your video each student has watched. I have definitely come to rely on this statistic.

Callout boxes are another way of increasing engagement by zoning students attention and providing a visual clue to important talking points. Much like margin notes or highlighted definitions are used in a textbook, callout boxes can be used to call attention to key concepts. These callout boxes can force the video to pause, which might be strategically placed to focus students’ attention. For example, the video might pause instructing the student to grab a calculator. The LessonPaths playlist below will give you more details on this process.

  1. A sample Honors Algebra 2 video, with embedded quizzing and callouts
  2. A quick video showing how to add a quiz
  3. A quick video showing what the quiz results look like and what data is included

I recently did a survey with my AP Calculus AB students, asking them a series of questions about how they like the flipped classroom videos and more specifically if they find the embedded quizzes and callout boxes helpful. I’ve included some of their responses:

What do you like most about the video lessons so far?

  • “I can ask you questions when I’m doing the problems in class, so now I’m not trapped at home totally confused beyond repair anymore.” ß this one definitely made me laugh!
  • “When I don’t understand some problems, I can always go back and watch it again.”
  • “I can watch at my own pace, pause and take notes, and ask questions in class on material I did not understand.”
  • “I really like that I come to class everyday with solid notes.” ß keep in mind that I ask students to fill out the PPT that I print and hand out in class
  • “I like to see you work out each problem step by step and explain what you’re doing during it” ß note: I ink and talk in real time (not a voiceover of a pre-written solution) and I think this is important

Do you find the embedded quizzes helpful? (Most of these responses pointed to the fact that students feel the embedded quizzes help keep them engaged, draw attention to important points in the videos, and helps them assess their understanding in the moment.)

  • “Yes, I can see right away what I understand and what I don’t.”
  • “They make me pay attention.”
  • “It reinforces what is really important for us to know and take out of the videos.”

Do you find the callout boxes (the blue boxes that pop up) helpful?

  • “Yes because they have important clarifying information. I know I have to pay attention to what is on the screen when it pauses.”
  • “Yes. They really stress some key tips or reminders that could be helpful in the future. If I’m zoning out, then the pause wakes me up again.”
  • “Yes, because after watching the video for so long, it helps me a lot when something pops up on the screen.”
  • “Yes, makes sure I am still involved and forces me to press play to resume.”
  • “Yes! I always write them down with a star next to it because I know they’re really important.”