VidWiki: Can we create and modify videos like a wiki?

Iterative improvement of annotations during our user study
Iterative improvement of annotations during our user study

For anyone who has authored or tried to edit a video, you know how complicated the process can be. Re-recording portions of the video or audio, splitting the video at relevant points, and going back to correct even the smallest change are all headaches along the way to creating good, lasting content. Although many internet videos can be one-off recordings, videos for educational content are usually meant to be more polished and intended to be reused many times.

While text-based information platforms like Wikipedia have benefited enormously from crowdsourced contributions, the various limitations of video hinder the collaborative editing and improvement of educational videos. Given the increasing prominence of videos as a way to communicate online, especially in educational videos, we present VidWiki, an online platform that enables students to iteratively improve the presentation quality and content of videos. Through the platform, users can improve the legibility of handwriting, correct errors, or translate text in videos by overlaying typeset content such as text, shapes, equations, or images. To check out VidWiki and see the tool, try it out here!

A screenshot of a video with the handwriting annotated first in English, and then translated to Hindi
A screenshot of a video with the handwriting annotated first in English, and then translated to Hindi

VidWiki represents a first step toward investigating all of the complexities of crowd-contributed video editing. We conducted a small user study in which 13 novice users annotated and revised Khan Academy videos. Our results suggest that with only a small investment of time on the part of viewers, it may be possible to make meaningful improvements in online educational videos.

To check out the tool yourself, try VidWiki to see some sample annotated videos or try editing yourself. For those going to CSCW next week, come check out our talk on Wednesday in the MOOC section at 11:10am!

For more, see our full paper, VidWiki: Enabling the Crowd to Improve the Legibility of Online Educational Videos.

Andrew Cross, Microsoft Research India
Mydhili Bayyapunedi, Microsoft Research India
Dilip Ravindran, Microsoft Research India
Ed Cutrell, Microsoft Research India
Bill Thies, Microsoft Research India

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  • Very exciting tool! I like that “annotations” are the focus of the user interaction, and that with the annotations you can then leverage Bing Translate to help make the videos accessible in other languages. That’s a powerful design pattern that can probably be used in many other applications. It builds nicely on ideas from Ben Bederson and Duolingo’s approach for using the crowd to help translation.