CCC TechConnect’s offering of Playposit, an easy-to-use instructional design platform that allows instructors to overlay quizzes, discussion points and annotations over video content is helping to deepen the level of teaching and learning in the classroom. Students and instructors alike love the interactivity and the ability to pinpoint the most important concepts, and track usage and completion in Canvas.

Dr. Jurgen Kremer, an instructor in behavioral sciences at Santa Rosa Junior College, often wondered if students watched the videos he assigned to them for his class.  Are they fast-forwarding through the most important parts, and missing vital information and learning opportunities?  But then he, along with many other instructors, discovered PlayPosit, a robust instructional design platform integrated with Canvas that allows instructors to optimize video content for learning.  It soon became clear that with PlayPosit, and its interactive elements and question and quiz overlays, students were watching the videos, and even better than that, they were learning and retaining the information, and enjoying it to boot.  PlayPosit is a free service offered by CCC TechConnect, and currently 71 colleges within the California Community College system have completed integrations.

Melody Schmid, a biology instructor at Butte College says her students love it.  “It surprised me how much they love it since they can’t fast forward.  But they like it because the embedded questions in PlayPosit help to cue them to what’s important to take notes on.”

With PlayPosit, instructors can overlay quizzes, discussions, reflection points, annotations, and surveys onto videos. Instructors have the capability to embed many different styles of answer options. These interactions are referred to as “bulbs” in the platform, as in “a light bulb that you can shine into your student’s minds.”

PlayPosit is easy for instructors to use, and for those with little to no design experience, the tool includes many built-in templates that allow users to pick from a pre-made set of interactions.

“My goal is to make sure that students pay attention to the central concepts that are in a particular chapter,” said Dr. Kremer. “And that is where PlayPosit comes in, and the students have been really positive about it.”

During the pandemic, many instructors relied heavily on videos and other online tools, and PlayPosit proved to be very helpful in ensuring that students continued their learning path and retained information even in virtual settings. 

But with students coming back into the classroom, will instructors still incorporate PlayPosit into their lesson plans?

“I plan to use PlayPosit to motivate students to watch a video before our in-person lecture, so we have more time in lecture, and the time we are together on campus can be used for group activities,” said Schmid.  “For online courses, I would like to use the option of having students “discuss” a video asynchronously while they watch. Students can leave comments that other students can see, so this could be another way to add student-to-student interaction in my online courses.”

Other unique features of PlayPosit include the flexibility to give students multiple attempts at answering questions in the “bulb.” It allows custom timing so instructors can set the length of interaction time, giving students more time if needed. Students can access PlayPosit through the Canvas mobile app to view and complete assignments from mobile devices—an important feature for many students who may lack access to a laptop. 

And there are now even more helpful features that instructors can use, including the ability to repurpose previously created interactions, a new way for students to upload attachments to a free response question, and the ability to create folders to organize bulbs for easier access.

“Another great aspect of PlayPosit is that it records when a student has actively watched a video, and their completion is automatically sent to the Canvas gradebook,” said Schmid.

PlayPosit has been in use in the California Community College system for over two years now, and the service is available at no cost to community colleges as part of CCC TechConnect’s digital solutions to help increase learning comprehension, improve retention, and reduce attrition.

“I feel that PlayPosit videos have really deepened the level of teaching and learning,” said Kremer.

All of CCC TechConnect’s digital solutions are offered at no cost to faculty, staff and administrators through grant funding provided by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. For more information about TechConnect solutions, contact CCC TechConnect’s experienced staff offers training and tech support throughout the implementation process.

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