YouTube clip selection criteria

YouTube clip selection criteria

In preparation for my conducting my art-based research which invokes “collective intelligence” (Jenkins, 2006) by remixing YouTube videos to illuminate my research question, I have developed a schema for determining which clips will be usable and which will be necessarily bypassed. In this blog, I present my criteria as well as the rationale behind them.

.     For the questions below, I must be able to answer yes in every case before possibly including a particular YouTube clip as part of my research. This will ensure quality, consistency, and relevance in my presentation.
.     1. Does the clip exist in the public domain and is it publicly accessible (i.e., is it housed online, namely on YouTube or another platform that supports user-generated video content)?
.     Concerning “collective intelligence,” Jenkins (2006) writes, “none of us can know everything; each of us knows something; we can put the pieces together if we pool our resources and combine our skills” (p. 4). The term therefore fundamentally implies accessibility of knowledge. For my purposes, I am limiting my search to user-generated online video, which means that the content I uncover must exist online (i.e., in the public domain) on YouTube, or another website like it. Clips will be retrieved initially through a YouTube search using relevant general terms (e.g., “unschooling,” “sudbury valley,” “homeschooling,” “school,” etc.) or a combination of appropriate terms (e.g., “unschooling + autonomy,” “homeschooling + evaluation,” etc.).
   2.  Does the clip focus on one or more of the educational models in question, namely in terms of autonomy, support, and evaluation.
.     Each clip must relate to at least one of the educational models I have identified (i.e., unschooling, homeschooling, sudbury valley, montessori, waldorf, mainstream schooling, and alternative models within mainstream schooling) in terms of the conditions through which creativity can best thrive. This is, after all, the objective of my research: to illuminate how creativity can be nurtured. As I will establish and justify in the course of video part 4, these conditions include autonomy, support, and no evaluation.
.     3. Does the information in the clip appear to be from an informed source, namely someone who has experience with the model(s) in question as either a student, teacher/facilitator, administrator, policy maker, or parent?
.     I want to avoid uninformed content (i.e., opinionated statements stemming from limited or no experience) for the obvious reason that I seek only progressive contributions toward the illumination of my research question. Weak opinion not based in lived experience of some kind does not have a place in my research. I think by listening to what is said and how it’s said, and cuing into body language, et cetera, I should be able to tell whether the content comes from an informed source or not.
.     4. Is the content of the clip coherent?
.     I have chosen the word “coherent” quite intentionally to describe the quality of clips needed. While what is communicated must be readily understandable, this does not necessarily mean it must be articulate. I make this distinction because I anticipate using clips from young people who may not have the linguistic capacity to communicate articulately but who are able to make a valid point nonetheless. Furthermore, in video form coherency is aided by the other various modes available beyond language. Collective intelligence does not discriminate by age, and neither will I.
.     5. Does the content of the clip contribute to the larger picture of what the given model is about (in terms of autonomy, and/or support, and/or evaluation) in the context of the other clips used that are representing the same model?
.     I do not anticipate finding the holy grail of clips that will provide everything I’m looking for in one succinct package. I am expecting instead that each clip will likely provide only a piece of the puzzle and that I will require several clips from various sources to establish a cohesive picture of what each educational model is like with respect to autonomy, support, and evaluation. Therefore I must possess vision for the overall video (part 4, that is) to ensure that the clips I do use provide valuable information and that I avoid redundancy at all costs. Any viewership would expect this of a well-crafted documentary.
.     6. Is the clip of acceptable digital quality (a) visually? (minimum 360p–720p), and (b) audio-wise?
    In borrowing and co-opting video clips, I will no doubt run into videos of various quality in terms of resolution and audio. Ideally I would like the videos I use to be at least 720p (which refers to the number of pixels along the height of the video frame); however 360p (the next lowest size) will do. This size is noted under the settings icon (which looks like a tiny gear) in the lower right hand corner of the YouTube video player. The videos that I produce as part of the Raising Creativity series, comprising all the remixed clips, will have a final output of 1080p (YouTube HD). It may be possible to use a video with poor video quality so long as the audio is clear. Creative solutions can be applied to videos with poor visuals, such as animating text to audio (as seen in parts 1 and 2 thus far), so as to preserve the content of the clip, in essence. As far as a measurement for good quality audio, I will simply have to listen attentively to the clarity. With most YouTube videos I have come across, audio is rarely an issue.
.     Note: There is nothing set within this criteria to prevent or subvert bias. This is intentional because the focus of this research is education, which is an art, not a conclusive science. As such, all content will be naturally biased, and that is perfectly acceptable. Gelwick (1991) writes,
.     Polanyi would . . . explain that the personal was not to be minimized but
.     understood as the element that was essential, the one that led us to break
    out and make new discoveries, and not at all an unfortunate imperfection
.     in human epistemology (pp. 380–381).
Similarly, Clandinen (as cited in 239MikeO, 2012) argues that personal stories are “really an important piece that’s often missing in the research” (n.p.). Again, the overall goal of this research is not to produce conclusive findings but to illuminate the issue for individual consideration. In the end, the understanding each person takes from this will likewise be acceptably biased.
.     Further, there is nothing stipulated within these criteria that defines a minimum age or set of credentials that each contributing person (within the video clips) must have. This is intentional, since collective intelligence does not discriminate in any way, and I hope that young people will have their voices heard through Raising Creativity, especially considering the documentary concerns young school-age people (among others).



Gelwick, R. (1991). Polanyi: An occasion of thanks. Cross Currents: Religion
.     and Intellectual Life, 41
Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide.
.     New York, NY: New York University Press.
239MikeO. (2012, September 16). A short video interview with Prof. Jean
.     Clandinen. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from


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