“Bullet Screen” for Virtual Teaching and Learning: An Innovation for Online Collaborative Video Analysis

About the project

The proposed project engages three themes respectively. First, it is a project of innovation and design as it develops bullet screen online tool for virtual teaching and learning (see Figure 1 for its use in entertainment context). Out-of-class video viewing with the designed bullet screen learning tool supports individual students to watch the video at one’s own pace, pause anytime, and make comments in a virtual setting, which was impossible to do in a whole-class video session in face-to-face environments.


The bullet screen tool enables development of professional and general skills in video analysis. Watching and commenting at each student’s pace provides opportunities for conducting detailed textual analysis on both the content and the aesthetic of the video. It aligns with numerous courses on video cultures offered by the Division of Cultural Studies, such as those on cinema, television, digital media, and video games with relevant intended learning outcomes (i.e. analysis of specific video work in terms of its ideological implications as well as its stylistic features). For example, the real-time bullet screen function provides a precise image or sequence where the student can comment on the cinematography and editing technique. The teacher can easily assess how well the student has grasped the class material. In addition, the commentary function can potentially increase students’ behavioral and emotional engagement in the video-watching process through active learning.


Further, the bullet screen learning tool is designed to optimize collaborative online learning with video. Typically, the flipped classroom approach offers an individualized learning experience and lacks user interaction. With the bullet screen learning tool, peer learning can be realized through student interactions on the bullet screen. The students can view others’ comments, reflect upon them, and add comments of their own to agree, critique, or debate each other, thereby creating a collaborative watching and learning experience. On the other hand, the teacher can show the video with all or selected student comments in class, organize and facilitate in-depth discussion of class material. The bullet screen learning tool thus enables active and collaborative online learning among students, and between teachers and students. The students can upload videos for others to comment on, which engages students as partners in curriculum and teaching and learning Development.


Moreover, the study of moving image culture is a key teaching area in cultural studies. As many of the students are active users of bullet screen in their media consumption, the bullet screen learning tool will facilitate critical thinking in media literacy, which aligns with one of the institutional goals.


Overall, the bullet screen learning tool can enrich the overall educational experience of virtual learning, encourage teacher-student and peer interactions, and provide additional support resources for effective learning. The innovative and creative approach of bullet screen learning is also a kind of new strategy in pursuit of longer-term visions on VTL.