Note: These instructions and additional resources and links are available on the class website on Blackboard. Please visit Blackboard and read all of the materials before proceeding with the project.

Part 1. Choose a video and add it to the sign-up sheet.

The video you choose should satisfy the following criteria:

  • It addresses one or more of the module learning objectives for Geology 109.
  • It is less than 7 minutes long. If your video is longer than 7 minutes, materials applying to video content after the 7-minute mark will not be considered in grading.
  • It is not on the list of videos that are off limits. Note: Off-limits list last updated 20 December 2018.
  • It has not been selected by another student. If another student has already selected it, you must find another video.

Once you have found your video, claim it by adding it to the sign-up sheet on Blackboard

Part 2. Create your resources and submit them for peer review.


Your video resources will include the items below. To make it easy for your peers to review your resources, download and fill out the Video Resources Form on Blackboard.

1. Summary

Write a three-sentence overview of the video. This should not simply restate the title of the video, but should provide a concise yet accurate and informative summary of the video’s content.

2. Why watch this video?

Identify three key questions that the video answers. The questions should not restate the learning objectives, and should make it clear to other students why they would find the video useful. Write your questions in the following form:

  • Have you ever wondered …?
  • Would you like to know how [something works or happens/ happened]?
  • Have you ever been confused by …?
3. Key terms

Identify three terms that are technical in nature, and that are key to understanding the topic of the video. Define those terms in simple language, using your own words (i.e., do not copy and paste definitions from another source). You will use these key terms as tags when submitting the assignment.

Using Your Own Words

If you aren’t sure how to explain technical terms in your own words, start by writing out a definition, then cross out any word that you would not have used prior to taking this class. Substitute phrases to explain the words you crossed out. In those phrases, avoid words you would not have used prior to taking this class. Do not use a thesaurus, dictionary, or online source to come up with the phrases. If you can’t come up with phrases in this way, it’s possible you need to review the meaning of the technical term, or the words you crossed out. If you’re having difficulty, ask for help.

4. Loose ends

Identify three “loose ends,” and explain the loose ends so that others watching the video will not be confused by them. The “loose ends” could be:

  • Points that could be expanded upon because they were not addressed in sufficient detail in the video
  • Points that might leave some confusion in the minds of students watching the video
  • Factual errors (hopefully there won’t be any of those)
  • Points that are inconsistent with something in the course materials (e.g., competing hypotheses, more recent information, etc.)
5. Self-Test Questions

Write five multiple choice questions so students can test their knowledge after watching the video. Supply the correct answers and an explanation of why the answers are correct and/or why the other answers are wrong. The questions should cover key points. A good set of multiple choice questions will have the following characteristics:

  • Four answer options (a through d)
  • Little to no use of answer options like “all of the above” or “none of the above.” (Note: This is useful in limited cases where the objective is to emphasize a point rather than to test knowledge. If you must use these phrases, limit it to one question.)
  •  The correct answer should not be obvious to someone with no prior knowledge of the topic. Over-simplified questions are not helpful when trying to understand a topic.
  • Questions should be relevant to the topic of the video and to the learning objectives.Do not write questions that are relevant only to some specific detail of the video (e.g., “What colour were Darwin’s pants in the video?”
  • After doing the questions, it should be clear to students what key points they have not understood.

A useful strategy for multiple choice questions in this specific context—when there’s no harm in someone getting the answer wrong—is to identify some point or concept that is a common misconception, and design your question to”trap” someone who might think that way. Sometimes getting a question like this wrong is the best way for someone to realize they don’t really understand a topic as well as they thought.

IMPORTANT: This is not a strategy that I use on quizzes or exams. On quizzes and exams the objective is to check that you’ve learned certain things. Tricking you prevents me from determining that accurately. As such, I spend a lot of time trying to make sure that I haven’t inadvertently made questions confusing. Other people also check those questions over just to be safe. It is a strategy that I use on some ungraded self-test questions, because the purpose of those is to get you to examine your knowledge more deeply. On self-test questions there is no “cost” if you get the answer wrong.
6. Categories

For which of the course modules is this video relevant? (Note: It could be relevant to more than one module, but it does not help to be overly general in this assessment, so limit the number.)

  1. Geological Time
  2. Geological Materials and Biogeochemical Cycles
  3. Plate Tectonics and Supercontinents
  4. Life, Evolution, and the Fossil Record
  5. Early Earth and the First Life
  6. Early Paleozoic: Cambrian and Ordovician
  7. Middle Paleozoic: Silurian and Devonian
  8. Late Paleozoic: Carboniferous and Permian
  9. The Mesozoic Era
  10. The Cenozoic Era (pre-Holocene)
  11. The Holocene

Peer Review

When you have filled out the form with your video resources, submit your form using the link in the instructions for Part 2 on Blackboard. Review resources created by two of your peers. Your work on this peer review component will be graded according to how well you identify areas in which your peers’ work might not have met the criteria, and provide suggestions that can be used to improve their work, even if they have done a very good job.

Part 3. Finalize and Post Your Resources

Read and implement (where appropriate) feedback from your peers’ reviews of your work, then share your resources by going to the Share page. NOTE: Once you share your video you will not be able to edit the materials you have created. Be sure your materials are in their final form when you submit them.

Sharing your video will include the following steps, in addition to copying and pasting your write-up into the form:

  1. Select which module(s) from Geology 109 that the video covers from the “categories” list on the Share page.
  2. Use the key terms as “tags” when submitting this assignment on the Share page. Providing tags will assist fellow and future students in finding and organizing relevant video content on the site.
  3. Under “Who is Adding this Item? (also known as “you”)” on the Share page you can either provide your name or set the display name to “anonymous”. If you choose to post your work as “anonymous” please provide your name and class section in the “Notes to the Editor” field. This field is not publicly published, and providing you name there will let me know that the submission is yours.