Over the years, YouTube has grown and become a more common part of the classroom. So have student video assignments.
Sometimes, students watch the videos all together in the classroom.
Sometimes, they watch them individually.
Pretty much all the time, we want to know that students paid attention and remember something from the video.
How? Guided notes.
Recently, a subscriber to my FREE email newsletter emailed me asking for an AI app that could create guided notes from a transcript. I thought: "An AI assistant could definitely do that."
I've learned that we don't need specific AI-driven apps to do lots of teacher tasks. We just need to know how to prompt an AI assistant so it can do it.
So ... how do we create these guided notes?
I found that the major AI assistants will create them if you'll just copy the transcript of the video from YouTube.
But I also found that ONE AI assistant will do it with a direct YouTube link (no need for a copy/paste transcript) ...
How to prompt AI to create guided notes for videos with a TRANSCRIPT
(In fact, if you try the same prompt on multiple AI assistants, you may find that you like the results more on one than the other.)
Here's the prompt I used. Feel free copy/paste to try it out AND to adjust it to suit your needs:
(Items in bold are most likely to be adjusted by you to customize this to what you teach.)
I'd like you to create a set of guided notes for a transcript of a video. Guided notes are a summary of the transcript with blanks that a viewer can fill in as they watch. I'd like to give these guided notes to a high school social studies class. Let me know if you understand and if you're ready for me to provide the transcript.
(After you've provided the transcript and the AI assistant provides the guided notes, ask:)
Can you provide me with an answer key for the blanks in the above guided notes?
Let's break the prompt down and see how you can adjust it to your needs:
- I'd like you to create a set of guided notes for a transcript of a video.
- Providing the parameters for the response the AI assistant will provide.
- Guided notes are a summary of the transcript with blanks that a viewer can fill in as they watch.
- Provides context to narrow down the response the AI assistant will provide (and hopefully eliminate misunderstanding and the need to re-prompt).
- I'd like to give these guided notes to a high school social studies class, so please write the guided notes on an appropriate comprehension level.
- This helps to provide context for the AI assistant about the activity -- and to make sure the notes are on the right developmental/comprehension level.
- Let me know if you understand and if you're ready for me to provide the transcript.
- This gets the AI to tell you what it understands the task to be (so you can check it). It also breaks up the prompt so not everything is in one submission, which makes things clearer for the AI assistant.
- Can you provide me with an answer key for the blanks in the above guided notes?
- Gets the AI assistant to create an answer key. Of course, you'll want to check it to make sure you're satisfied with the answers it provides.
How to prompt AI to create guided notes for videos with a DIRECT VIDEO LINK
I tried a different version of the prompt next -- asking for the guided notes with a YouTube link instead of the transcript.
Here's the prompt (again, change the parts in bold to what you need):
I'd like you to create a set of guided notes for a transcript for this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo4pMVb0R6M. Guided notes are a summary of the transcript with blanks that a viewer can fill in as they watch. I'd like to give these guided notes to a high school social studies class.
I tried this with AI assistants (in December 2023 ... remember, things change quickly in the AI world so it may be different today):
- ChatGPT 3.5 (the free version)
- Microsoft Copilot (running a version of GPT-4)
- Google Bard (with Gemini Pro)
ChatGPT told me it can't access external links, but if I would provide a transcript, it would create the notes for me.
Microsoft Copilot gave me step-by-step instructions to create my own guided notes, but it didn't offer to create them itself.
Interestingly, Google Bard used its YouTube extension to automatically access the video transcript. Then it summarized the video with blanks for the guided notes -- using the direct video link and no provided transcript!
Afterward, when I asked it for an answer key, it filled in the blanks with bold letters. (Funny that in this particular video, the first point was: "The human mind is the most complicated thing we know in the universe." AI might be starting to challenge that ...)
Other AI-generated teaching resources for videos
Now that we've created guided notes with an AI assistant, it begs the question ...
What else could AI create for us?
Here are some ideas:
- Pre-watching activities: Ask it to create questions or discussion points before watching the video to prime them for the content.
- Vocabulary lists: Ask it to pull the most important vocabulary words from the video along with definitions.
- Missing questions: Ask it for important questions that aren't addressed in the video. Then, provide students with time to discuss or research them.
- Graphic organizers: Ask it for suggested graphic organizers that students can use to better understand the new content.
- Pause points: Ask it for key moments in the video to press pause to engage the class in discussion or collaborative activities -- and then ask it for the prompt you can use.
- Review and exit tickets: Ask it for questions or activities to recap what students have watched and reflect on its importance and meaning.
An AI-related challenge for you
These guided notes are a common teaching strategy.
AI can definitely help us be more effective and efficient in using common strategies like this.
Here's my challenge: Continually ask yourself this question ...
How can I level up my teaching practice to help students think more deeply about the content? And how can AI help me and my students to do that?
Sure, we can save ourselves time doing the things we've always done.
But it feels a bit like using a sledgehammer to kill a fly. We're using this sophisticated technology to do the most basic tasks.
Sometimes we need to do the basic tasks ... but always be open to finding ways to do more and better with students.