The Circle of Learning

     As an online and hybrid instructor, I’m always glad to learn something that can help to improve my classes. One of our adjuncts in English, Paul Moore, first made me aware that after embedding YouTube videos in our courses, students can be face with “related” videos that may come from a browsing history. They may then continue to watch videos inside your course in Canvas. I think if any of you have spent some time on YouTube, you understand that the term “related videos” can be interpreted quite broadly. I really don’t like the thought of my students watching something “related” inside the Canvas course as if it were supplied by or endorsed by me. And I know how easily I can be distracted by cat videos, so the last thing I want to do is make distraction easier for my students.
     Paul emailed me a short video he made explaining how to eliminate the related video by adding in a bit of html code to the embed code that YouTube provides.  I thought this was great to know since I do use a few short videos in my online class, Survey of Gothic Literature.  And I thought I was done. I learned something pretty cool from Paul–who made it really easy to understand–and I could go in and change all the embed code in any YouTube videos I used.
     But I wasn’t really done. Shortly after hearing from Paul, I noticed that our CTLE posted Paul’s video on Twitter. Since I liked it so much the first time, I retweeted it and noted its importance for online instructors.  Done and done. But then I got a reply to my tweet.  Cheryl Colan, from our CTLE, gave me another handy tip on the same issue, even easier than Paul’s.  And so just today, I embedded a YouTube video for my students, and I applied the new tip. It was so easy to shut off the related video that shows after a video is done playing.  As Cheryl’s tweet says, when you want to embed a video and you select “share,” if you click “embed” and then you click “more,” you’ll see some boxes where you can select/unselect certain features: related videos, player controls, video title and player actions, and enhanced privacy. Easy.

     I have to say I was pretty satisfied by the whole experience involving embedded YouTube videos and related content. The instruction came to me via email, tweets, video, and more tweets. I didn’t seek out any of this new learning, but it found me because I make a small effort to be connected and because my colleagues like to share what they know. The synchronicity is sweet.