Teaching a Class Entirely Through YouTube

I read an interesting article on Wired Campus today called “What Happens When a Course Is Taught Entirely via YouTube?” The basic idea was that a class was taught entirely through YouTube – class interactions were filmed and posted, discussions happened through comments, etc. Of course, this design does violate just about every Instructional Design standard in the world. Not surprisingly, the instructor felt like it was a failure.

I have to say – of course it was. Why design a course entirely in YouTube, only about YouTube? Here are some of my thoughts on this:

  • Why not make it on something more interesting than just YouTube? Why not try to do something on art, history, culture, or a hundred other topics more suited for the medium?
  • Why not use Google Videos in the first place – and keep the videos private?
  • Why not use Google Groups to discuss the videos, and upload other assignments?
  • When you use a site that was not built for social presence, of course you are going to lose social presence and immediacy. Try using some tools that can increase social presence, like maybe Google Sites?

Just taking these suggestions in to account would have negated most of the criticisms on the accompanying blog post. Most of these reflections I would have predicted before the class even happened, but I think this was still an interesting experiment. I am interested to hear if anyone has used Google Sites to teach a course? I am setting something up in there now, and it is an interesting free tool.

Matt Crosslin
Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.

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