Six Tools to Enhance Video Learning

video logosObserving my students struggle with worksheets based on videos was quite frustrating.  As all teachers do, I was thinking there must be a better way.  After trying pair-work and modifying learning activities, I decided to look further into technology.  I used Hot Potatoes and Adobe Captivate to place prompts and questions on the screen as the video played.   The results were satisfactory but the amount of time and energy required was unreasonable, especially when I thought about sharing these practices with my peers.  I started exploring more efficient options online through Web 2.0 options.  A few were easily located.  However, finding tools is one thing, but ensuring that they are intuitive and produce acceptable results is another.  I offer the following 6 tools as ways to make learning with video more sensible for your students.

The Tools

TubeChop allows you to easily crop any YouTube video and share it.  Cropping simply means setting a new starting point and ending point for the video to make it shorter for focused student viewing.  The example provided below demonstrates a video where the branding and the credits of the video are hidden from the students.  The basic steps of using TubeChop are to find a video, crop the video, and then share it or embed it in a web page or learning management system.

Vibby is a resource that is similar to TubeChop except the teacher can set many sections of the video rather than just the start and end points. This tool allows you to show a full-length movie in a digest format so you can focus on what is important. The exemplar below displays a few segments of jelly tennis from the Slo Mo Guys.   Only the action sequences are selected for the most exciting effect.

ESL Video is an older resource but worth mentioning here.   Teachers can use or create a multiple-choice quiz to accompany a web-based video.  Since it is ESL focused, many videos are set to specific learning levels. Generating quizzes is simple and fast.  The Mr. Bean example quizzes students on his daily routines.

Ted Ed Lessons provide the tools to create custom lessons that wrap around a video.  Learning event sections include Think, Dig Deeper, Discuss, and And Finally. Think includes the standard multiple choice and open-ended questions. Dig Deeper contains additional information, hyperlinks to additional resources, images, videos, and animations. The Discuss section functions as a normal online forum. The And Finally section allows instructors to prompt further exploitative learning.  The lesson on Confucius is a good example of a Ted Ed Lesson.

EdPuzzle is an innovative tool that allows teachers to add questions and comments based on a chosen YouTube video.  It provides intuitive tools for teachers to add multiple choice and open-ended questions based on video content.   Other features include cropping a video and inserting images or audio comments appear in image, text, or audio format.  The inflight safety video provides an example of the possibilities of using EdPuzzle.

Zaption is a free tool that allows you to quickly and easily create custom lessons with a video.  The learning events it provides include  multiple-choice questions, open ended questions, forum discussions, text/media comments, and hyperlinks.  The unique presentation of Zaption allows these elements to appear as overlays or video slide outs.  The presentation is contemporary which draws the students in and allows them to engage with the content. The example provided below demonstrates most of the features of Zaption.


All of these tools are free, hosted on the internet, and offer sharing to websites, learning management systems, and some social media sites through a web address or an embed code. Most of them allow you to re-purpose the work of others to save you preparation time as well.

Final Thoughts

I have benefited by using these tools as an instructor by manipulating video and creating interactive activities to increase student engagement with videos in the classroom. Knowing that most teachers are already too busy to dedicate the time to learning and producing engaging learning events with video, I highly recommend these resources.

I was wondering if anyone else out there has had a similar experience.  If you have, commenting below might help us all.


Enhancing Video Learning Events with Free Online Tools:


ESL Video

Ted Ed Lessons






ESL Video

Ted Ed Lessons




Hi—I'm John Allan. I am an educator who works in the technology enhanced language learning field. I create online learning opportunities and mentor instructors on the Avenue project. I have experience teaching ESL and EFL in Canada and the Middle East. I hold an MSC in Computer Assisted Language learning, a M.Ed. in Distance Education, TESL B. Ed., a B.Ed. (OCT), and a variety of TESL relevant certifications from TESL Canada, TESL Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Education. For more articles, learning objects, projects and blog links see


11 thoughts on “Six Tools to Enhance Video Learning”

  1. I really love the information in this article and have shared it on linkedin.
    Thanks so much!

  2. Thank you very much for the useful websites. I believe that the mentioned websites are helpful for both students and teachers. I believe that they help students improve their four main skills in English. Thank you. Looking forward to reading your new articles. Thank you.

  3. Thanks for sharing these, John. Can you recommend a “best” platform for sharing resources with students? I learned about and used Moodle in the early days of LearnIT2Teach, but dropped it when life got complicated. I’ve also experimented with a blog and with Google Docs but ended up using minimal IT with last year’s class. I’m just not sure where to dive back in at this point.

    1. Funny you ask. A t the moment, I am involved with three different entities each using a different LMS. D2L, BlackBoard and Moodle each have their own strengths and weaknesses. I think your choice depends on your requirements.

      A few of my peers highly recommend canvas as an option. Personally, I would use Moodle if possible. There is a bit of a learning curve but in the long run it provides a lot of potential will the least amount of labour. Some will disagree based on their experiences.

      What blog did you try? Why did it not work for you? Do you have a budget for this venture?


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