EDpuzzle Review: Easy-to-Use Tool Lets Teachers Quickly Turn Online Video into Lessons

There is a staggering amount of free video available online that makes great fodder for teaching students, particularly in flipped classroom settings. Instead of giving students YouTube links or telling them to search for a video on a particular subject, with EDpuzzle teachers can select videos, edit them down, assign them to students, and quiz them as they watch.

EDpuzzle is a very simple tool that walks teachers through the video lesson creation process, with only a few limitations. With this solution a teacher can make the most of the video assets he or she has access to, plus everything the Internet has to offer. It is also an easy enough experience that you can quickly create individualized video lessons for different students and their particular needs or areas of interest.

It is not a replacement for a MOOC platform or LMS, but it is a nice complement to those and perfect for the teacher that wants to make sure that online video assignments are actually being watched and that students are grasping the concepts and information being presented.

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Likes

  • Ridiculously easy to use and the site does a great job walking users through each step.

  • Lets you search for video content from multiple sources within the site, or upload your own video. It’s also easy to “crop” videos so you are only showing the section of the video you want students to watch instead of the whole thing.

  • Insert questions anywhere in the video you want and have multiple choice questions automatically graded.

  • Teacher view shows you which students have watched the video and how they fared on the questions.

 

Dislikes

  • You cannot show different parts of the same video or combine two or more videos into one assignment (you must create a separate assignment for each “chunk” of video).

  • You cannot rearrange the order of video assignments within a class (although you can hack this by numbering the video assignments when you name them).

  • No partial voiceovers – you must either record an audio track for the entire video or none at all.

  • No direct links to assignments for students – you instead have to have them log into the EDpuzzle web site and use a code to access the specific class you have created.

 

What Else is Out There?

metta is another free video lesson editor available, and while it has many of the same features (cropping videos, adding questions, etc.) it does not have the same level of teacher reporting, such as seeing if each individual student watched the lesson and how they performed on the quiz. The lessons themselves are a little more visually appealing, but I would not trade that for the robustness of EDpuzzle. That said, it does allow teachers to combine more than one clip into the same lesson, so that could be appealing to some.

TED-Ed has a tool called Create a Lesson that lets teachers create lessons out of videos, but it is seriously lacking compared to EDpuzzle as it only lets you use YouTube clips, there is no cropping, the questions do not pop-up for students at specific times and the creation UI is very buggy using the Chrome browser.

What Are Others Saying?

We’re not the only ones that think EDpuzzle is a great tool for teachers that are trying to flip their classrooms. “EDPuzzle is a great resource for the flipped classroom, allowing teachers to create and present innovative lectures in a safe environment” according to Education World.  Getting Smart agrees as well, saying that “Once you learn the knobs, tabs, curves, edges, and overall potential of this educational website, you will surely add it to your teaching repertoire and consider it a piece of the blended and flipped puzzle.”

iLearn Technology also finds value in being able to really monitor how students are doing with the online lessons. “As students watch, you can check understanding and ensure active watching vs. passive watching. In a flipped scenario, this gives you the ability to completely tailor a lesson the next day based on the formative assessment results you get from homework. This is truly utilizing assessment to inform instruction.”

Our Recommendation

We think EDpuzzle is great for creating quick video lessons out of existing video content, and highly recommend it for the classroom flippers out there, and beats the other free options out there. However, if you need to combine multiple video clips into one lesson or want to get a little fancier with occasional voiceovers, title cards or other extras, you are better off creating the final video in another app such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie and then using it in EDpuzzle for the questions, monitoring and grading capabilities.

Test Methodology

We tested EDpuzzle by creating a class with multiple video assignments and then taking the class as a student.

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First we searched for videos from within the EDpuzzle web app, which was easy since there are options to search from a variety of sources.

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Next we used the “sliders” to crop the video down to just the section we wanted to include in the lesson.

3

We experimented with both of the audio options, deciding to settle for an audio clip at the end of the video instead of recording a completely separate audio track. Neither of these features were as rich and flexible as we would have liked, but could be tackled in an external video program if it was really important.

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We then added in multiple choice questions at specific points in the video to test the student while they watched.

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After completing two video lessons, we combined them into a class, which is then ready to be sent to students.

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Using a different browser we logged on as a student, watched the video and answered the questions.

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Then, back in our teacher view, we were able to see who had taken the class and how they had fared on the questions.

1 Comment

  1. Quim

    September 30, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks for the positive and negative feedback. We work really hard to improve our product and make it better, easier to use and more powerful. :)

    Cheers,

    Quim

    P.S: Check out EDpuzzle in a couple of months and you will be surprised. :)