Keywords: YouTube, tailor-made playlists, online videos, academic presentations, language education
Advancements in information and communication technology have revolutionized the notion of teaching and learning in terms of strategies, context, and methods. One of the most remarkable tools used in teaching and learning in the 21st century is YouTube, especially in language education. The literature demonstrates the need for elaboration of the use of YouTube in university level language skills education settings. In the 2016-2017 academic year a YouTube channel with a variety of supplementary material videos, was used in the Academic Speaking Course offered to all departments at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. The channel has course-related content input, sample presentations and tasks displaying the expectations of the course, in addition to conversation opening content. This study aims to investigate students’ experiences and perceptions towards the use of this YouTube channel. The study was conducted on 70 students taking the compulsory Academic Speaking Skills course offered to students from varying disciplines in Middle East Technical University. Students were asked to fill out a Google Sheets survey at the end of the course on their perceptions on the benefits and drawbacks of the aforementioned YouTube channel. The data was analyzed based on both descriptive statistics and deductive content analysis. The results indicated that the majority of the students benefited to a large extent from the videos on the playlists of this specifically-designed supplementary material YouTube channel. The findings can contribute to further guiding university language instructors by suggesting the abundance of alternative ways to benefit from YouTube and similar online video source platforms.