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Creating a YouTube based discussion activity in Moodle

I run a lot of training on effective uses of a VLE (usually Moodle) and one of the easiest activities that I show, is finding a video on YouTube, and then embedding this into a forum activity within the VLE.

The reasons for doing this are:

  1. By embedding the video (rather than simply linking to it) – we remove all the distractions, adverts, etc. that appear on YouTube around the edges.
  2. By adding this as a discussion activity, we ask the students a question – this will focus their attention whilst watching the video, rather than just passively  ‘absorbing’ it.

It doesn’t matter if students don’t actually post their answers to the forum (although useful if they do), as they will still benefit from watching the video with the question in their mind.

The following video goes through the steps of how to embed the video, and the basic settings within a Moodle forum activity.

And if you want to only show a portion of the video you can always identify the exact start and end points that you want to play, by following these instructions:



3 Responses

  1. We’ve found that Moodle courses with lots of embedded YouTube Videos, Quizlets etc.. take a long time for pages to render.

    Thus to improve page loading times but without losing the visual feel, I’ve created YouTube Picture Links to pop-ups of individual YouTube Videos or YouTube Playlists.

    I’ve increasingly used links to YouTube Playlists, because a Playlist can be edited in YouTube without changing the link in Moodle

    – Frank Smith – Trafford College, Altrincham, Manchester

    • Agreed – If you have lots of videos on the same page, then yes this can slow the page down – but usually with a discussion forum activity I am going to have 1 or maybe 2 such videos at most.

      A similar thing to what you described is to use something called an html Lightbox, which I use on some of the sites that I work with – you download something from https://html5box.com/ which is put onto the server, you can then add links to videos, which pop up in a really nice window and works on all devices. The free version of this works fine but has a watermark in top left corner – to remove this it costs less than $50 as a one off fee, so worth doing if using in earnest.

      • I’ll have a look…….but rendering time is not just confined to embedded YouTube Videos, as I’ve just discovered the same problems with embedded Quizlets. Again the only option I have is a picture link to the Quizlet Site…..

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