Vialogues, Video Discussion Tool

Our new favorite tool for discussing video is Vialogues. It's free from the EdLab at Columbia University's Teachers College, and it is a quick way to add your annotated notes to a video, organize a group discussion attached to a video's time code, and obtain records of your group's dialogues for assessment. The comments you make appear in the adjacent window with the video timecode; when you play the clip, the comments appear highlighted in the adjacent window at each timecode point, and scroll through automatically. It's the coolest!

You can invite anyone to join in and control privacy settings. And you can print (or save a pdf) your Vialogue script, with your initial questions/comments (for future use), and after everyone has added their comments (for assessment).

When we use the tool, ML4ML opens our Vialogue posts for public viewing and commentary, but we also post our original script of comments/questions as a pdf so you can see what we said and asked before everyone else put their two cents in (mostly so you can use and adjust our questions to build your own posts or discussions of the clip).

The tool is easy enough to use from the directions on its site. But here is a quick overview of how it works and what you'll need to do to use it.

1) Register for a free EdLab account, and have your learning group members register for accounts.
2) Choose a video online somewhere that you want to discuss and copy the URL.
3) Follow the simple directions on Vialogue site--basically just paste in the URL, and add a title and description. [You can also upload your own video files, so your group can discuss its own original productions].
4) Play the video, pausing to type your comments and questions for your group at each particular moment [your notes appear in the adjacent window with the video timecode, and will appear highlighted and scroll through when anyone watches the video]. Edit your comments as needed using the pencil icon below each comment
5) Print (or click print and save a pdf file) your comment/question list to use with future groups
6) Decide whether your discussion will be private (among your group) or public (anyone can join). You could also decide this with the group after everyone participates.
7) Invite your group members to comment [you need a list of their emails or user names; sending invites to emails will prompt them to log in or register for an account]
8) Have your group members view and post their own comments and questions.
9) Print (or click print and save a pdf file) the group's discussion for assessment.
10) Embed your Vialogue clip and comment thread anywhere.

Once they have an account, your group members can comment on Vialogues from any device. For groups with their own devices, this allows you to assign video discussions as homework.

It also allows for "backchannel" chat during live group discussion, where anyone can post comments as others are talking.

The best part is that all comments are posted with a timecode linked to a specific part of the video.

Once learners have used your Vialogues, they can create their own for their own group analyses of clips they choose, or to discuss their own collaborative productions.

This is a great way to share your group's discussions with other learners from other places by inviting them to add to your comments, to do their own for comparison, or by making your Vialogue public.

Tip: Deeper conversations may result from making identical posts for small groups (3-6 people) to comment on, rather than assigning one post to a large group.

Beware: Since there is a big difference between the norms of learning community discussions and open video comments on Youtube or Vimeo, you may need to discuss and specify your group expectations.

If you use any of our Vialogue posts, send us a link to let us know. We'd love to see them!

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