Creating and using YouTube playlists for learning and teaching

YouTube playlists

A playlist is a collection of videos that anyone can put together and choose to share with others. For example you could curate a playlist of your favourite music videos to play back to back. Increasingly people are using their mobile devices to access and watch short videos on the go, providing an abundance of micro learning opportunities. Whilst videos can be embedded within PowerPoint presentations it can also be helpful to include a link to specific playlists from your class VLE, blog or website to help users locate the collections more easily. Curated playlists could also help you organise videos by topic, to refer to at a later date.

A playlist in YouTube is easy to put together (see the instructions further down) by selecting existing videos already uploaded to YouTube. However you may also want to consider creating your own videos and then making themed playlists.  Below are some suggestions on how playlists can be used with your students, for your own professional development and also for sharing your research.


Playlist suggestions

For your students

  • During induction week ask students to record ‘about me’ videos and share as a class playlist – ask students to share their favourite food, music and hobby.
  • Motivating music to use as students enter and/or during class when undertaking hands on tasks.
  • A playlist of short video clips used in a lecture.
  • A collection of ‘how to guides’ created as video screencasts.
  • Using the ‘flipped approach’ ask your students to watch video clips in their own time and and provide a number of questions. The answers can be then discussed in class.
  • Record a collection of group online discussions using Google Hangouts on Air
  • Create short revision tutorials.
  • Compile themed collections of TED talks or Khan Academy STEM tutorials.

For your own CPD

You can also seek inspiration for your own professional development from playlists created  by others:

Disseminating Research

Another option is creating your own videos to share your research. A good example of this is Research Shorts which are short research video summaries by George Veletsianos and the Digital Learning and Social Media Research Group. These videos examine issues relevant to educational technology, digital learning, networked scholarship, and student/faculty experiences with technology and education.

Make & find your playlists

  1. Start with a video you want in the playlist.
  2. Under the video, click Add to Add to playlist .
  3. Click Create new playlist.
  4. Enter a playlist name.
  5. Use the drop down box to select your playlist’s privacy setting. If it’s private, people cant’ find it when they search YouTube.
  6. Click Create.

You can find your new playlist from the Library in the Guide on the left side of the screen.

Delete a playlist

  1. Select a playlist from the Library in the Guide.
  2. Click the menu icon .
  3. Click Delete playlist.
  4. If you’re sure you want to delete the playlist, click Yes, delete it.
  5. Note that your old playlist may live on in viewers’ watch histories.

About Sue Beckingham

A National Teaching Fellow, Educational Developer and Principal Lecturer in Computing with a research interest in the use of social media in higher education.
This entry was posted in Visual Communication and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Creating and using YouTube playlists for learning and teaching

  1. amiddlet50 says:

    The killer app for me is probably not for YouTube, but in my work on audio, screencast and video feedback (Media-enhanced feedback) I’ve been toying with the idea of a tool for creating Feedback Playlists for years – but I don’t have the time or technical expertise to develop this. It would be brilliant to have feedback playlists as part of a portfolio system so that students could play through their assignment feedback (and personal self-generated feedback).

  2. amiddlet50 says:

    One day I will find or deveop or encourage someone else to develop a personal playlist tool for gathering individual feedback in any media from any source allowing a student to create their own feedback narrative.

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