VidWiki is a project out of MSR India that leverages the crowd to improve the quality and content of online video lectures like those produced by Khan Academy, Coursera, EdX, and Udacity. Through the online platform, users annotate videos by overlaying content on top of the video. Annotations can be typed text, LaTeX equations, shapes, images, or custom pen-drawn notes directly on the canvas.
Recent efforts by organizations like Coursera, edX, Udacity and Khan Academy have produced thousands of educational videos logging hundreds of millions of views in their attempt to make learning freely available to the masses. While the presentation style of the videos varies depending on the author, they all share a common drawback: videos are time-consuming to produce and cannot be easily modified after release.
With that in mind, we present VidWiki, an online platform to leverage the massive numbers of online students viewing videos to iteratively improve video presentation quality and content, similar to other crowdsourced information projects like Wikipedia. Through the platform, users annotate videos by overlaying content on top of the video, lifting the burden on the instructor to update and refine content.
Annotations can be typed text, LaTeX equations, shapes, images, or custom pen-drawn notes directly on the canvas. Layering annotations helps extend or update video content, translate onscreen text, index videos for search, and replace illegible handwriting or drawings with more readable typed content. The annotations are then burnt into the video so that the video can be published on other websites and can be shared more easily.
Here’s a short video demonstrating VidWiki. We also wrote a short research note about users’ preference for typewritten overlays over the original handwritten Khan Academy videos which was presented at CHI 2013.
We also did an experiment to study user behavior while using VidWiki and will be presenting our findings at CSCW 2014.
The project is being developed at the Technology for Emerging Markets Group in MSR India.
- Andrew Cross, Mydhili Bayyapunedi, Dilip Ravindran, Edward Cutrell, and William Thies, VidWiki: Enabling the Crowd to Improve the Legibility of Online Educational Videos, ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 12 February 2014.