COMMUNICATING GEOSCIENCE CONCEPTS BEYOND THE CLASSROOM: WHO IS WATCHING GEOSCIENCE VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE?
YouTube has become one of the largest and most popular websites on the Internet with more than one billion users. While the majority of these users are probably not visiting YouTube to become great scholars of geoscience, YouTube has the potential to communicate geoscience content and support learning in a much more diverse audience than found in a typical introductory science classroom. YouTube analytics provide information on viewer demographics such as gender, age range, and geographic location. In comparison to the students in our class, our online audience is generally older, more evenly balanced by gender, often located outside the US, and apparently more interested in videos that classify things (e.g., rocks, faults). .
The educational videos, both professional and amateur, found on YouTube are competing for audience attention. Thus, the challenge for instructors who seek to supplement their courses with these materials is to determine which video resources are most useful for communicating scientific ideas to students. We created a rubric to assess online geoscience videos based on accuracy of content and the presence of effective multimedia design elements. We applied the rubric to a broad selection of videos and will present examples of low and high scoring videos.