Using “What If” Videos to Empower Thought Experiments During Distance Learning

I recently discovered this amazing YouTube channel that proposes, WELL PRODUCED, video scenarios about perplexing “What if…” scenarios and then animates/describes what would occur? For example: “What if the oxygen disappeared from the world for 5 seconds?” or “What if the moon exploded?”, etc. 

Keeping “What if” in mind, I have been struggling with hands-on labs during distance learning, and have recently been experimenting with leveraging the scenarios described in on the channel to empower “Thought Experiments” rather than forcing distance learning labs while student are not in class. I did two “What if” thought experiments this week, one in my Chemistry class, and one in my Biology class. Students  LOVED THEM! 

The went like this: 

  1. Place students in Zoom Breakout rooms.
  2. Broadcast the “What if” scenario to their room. For example, “What if oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere was doubled?”. 
  3. Given student 10 minutes, in groups, to develop a many answers to the hypothetical scenario as possible without looking online for a solution.
  4. Bring students back and elect one member to type their answers into the public chat. 
  5. Allow all students time to read the responses and reflect on their favorite. 
  6. Play the “What if” solution video! THIS IS THE BEST PART. For example, the below video answers the above “What if” scenario. 
Use “What if” thought experiments to spark curiosity about an upcoming unit (as I did above prior to a unit on Cellular Respiration), or challenge student’s ability to apply learned content to a new, hypothetical situation. Either way, “What if” thought experiments have transformed engagement in my online classes this week.

Using “What If” Videos to Empower Thought Experiments During Distance Learning published first on

Author: Accomplishly

I'm a freelance journalist and creative writer who immensely enjoys writing and researching into any topic. I offer high quality content writing services. I've participated in a number of projects, and have experience writing for different platforms. It's so interesting to hear the creative ideas that people have, and I find it so rewarding to give a voice to those brainstorms!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: