I already wrote about the idea that through the immense growth of content on the Internet most answers to common questions might be already out there in my post “The Answers are Out There - What We need are the Questions”. Startups in the space of finding valuable content and creating courses or quizzes based on that are MentorMob and Veri, both are covered in the post.
Now Grockit joined the two with a similar concept. Grockit Answers is a platform for Q&A forums based on YouTube and Vimeo hosted videos. According to Ari Bader-Natal the project started for internal use on the Grockit hosted videos but the team decided that it would have a bigger impact when made available for other video platforms as well.
The usual comment sections you find underneath videos were not sufficient to use them when learning. With Grockit Answers learners can post their question exactly at the time in the video where it came up.
The idea is that several different learners would most likely have the same or very similar questions when watching the video. Over time and through collaboration between peers and teachers the entire video would be annotated with questions and answers.
Of course, teachers and course creators have access to moderation tools, analytics and embed Grockit Answers on their own course pages. More about that on the Grockit blog.
Gathering around videos is not something I would call a new trend but the Internet and social media makes the experience much more valuable. There are more and more startups like Chill that work in the space and also Google and YouTube made it possible to launch a Hangout and watch a video together. In the education 2.0 space we have examples like Mingleverse, WizIQ and of course Second Life that enable groups to gather around a YouTube video. But here the focus is much more on the live aspect and the immediate interaction with other viewers.
The advantage of Grockit Answers is that it takes a crowdsourced approach on answering common questions around specific videos. The more popular a video gets amongst learners, the more questions and answer it will feature over time.