Using YouTube as a Formative Assessment Tool

Recently, Champaign Unit 4 school teachers were given the power to allow YouTube videos for students to watch. If this is news to you, all you need to do is click the "Approve" button on the bar underneath any YouTube video that you want students to see for your class.

After you hit this button, wait 24 hours and you should see this underneath your videos instead.

This opens up a whole new world of information for our students, but with that information, many teachers may be wanting to know how to use it in a way that provides students with meaningful information and perhaps a way to ensure that they are learning what they need to from the video.

How can this be done, you ask? With awesome imbedded formative assessment tools!

That's right, I said the plural form of the word tool, meaning you have several options. So without further ado, here they are!


Vizia is an online tool that allows you to add all different kinds of questions to your video at different points in the viewing process, and then send the video out as a link to students through Google Classroom, Schoology, or any other LMS. When students click the link, you can make it so the video requires a name and email address. Unit 4 students can use their school email, even though it is disabled at this time, because there is nothing that gets sent to them that they need. You can use your LMS or grade book to share how they did.


  • Vizia allows you to create a Google Sheet or a CSV file of the results with 1 click
  • Takes the video out of the distracting YouTube format with ads and other videos that grab attention away from students (and let's be honest, all of us)
  • Has multiple question formats that would be great for all types of watching, including polls and  call to action options.
  • Teacher can easily sign in with a 1 click google sign in button instead of creating a username and password.


  • Students can skip to the questions and there is no way to force them to watch the material, which could be problematic, or an advantage, depending on how you view it.
  • With our email system not being activated for students yet, the useful email compiling you would get in Sheets or the CSV file is diminished unless you have students enter personal emails.


EdPuzzle is designed to function in the same way as Vizia. However, EdPuzzle has a few additional features that you may like. With EdPuzzle, you can type in the URL or the title of the YouTube video and you will instantly be connected with their database of already created EdPuzzles for that YouTube video. You can make a copy of one you like to edit and tweak, or you can start fresh with your own. You can also upload your own video content to create a completely original EdPuzzle. Once your EdPuzzle is done, you can directly assign it to one or all of your classes in Google Classroom. No hunting around for names or entering links. When students are done you can grade their short answers in a student by student or question by question format. Once all the grading is done, you can download a CSV file of your information and upload that to your grade book.

Another great feature is that you have the option of not allowing students to skip around. If they get to the question and they need to watch it again, they will still be able to do that. In addition, if this option is selected teachers can see how many times a student watches the video, to see if certain questions are harder or if certain students struggled with certain parts.

  • Place Questions Anywhere
  • No ads, distracting YouTube links
  • Some Google Classroom connectivity
  • Can upload grades to grade book
  •  More data about student usage
  • Can upload your own videos
  • Can copy other videos in the community and edit if needed
  • Can turn on/off student skipping within the video
  • Not completely connected to Google Classroom grading
  • Not connected to Schoology or other LMS's
  • Does not create a Sheets file of grades
  • Can only make short answer questions, multiple choice questions, or annotations

Lastly, PlayPosit is the Rolls Royce of the active video world. It has many (almost too many) bells and whistles, including all the option of the above tools plus even more connectivity to multiple LMS's, a live broadcast version with a student chat feature, and even a way to imbed links to extra resources for multiple choice questions that students don't understand. PlayPosit can even remember where students left off if they get disconnected or want to work on it a little at a time at home.

In PlayPosit, you can assign videos directly through Google Classroom and Schoology, and even EdModo.


  • More LMS Connectivity (Google Classroom, Schoology, etc.)
  • Tons of Features
  • Easy sign on for Teachers and Students

  • Confusing interface for replay
  • setup may take longer because of all the features to sift through

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