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Best Practices


Annoto is an in-video collaboration solution that enables users to contribute, share and learn together, turning passive 1-way video viewing into an interactive group experience.
The following guidelines and best practices are here to serve as your toolkit to promote learners' engagement in the learning materials and encourage the learners to take an actionable part in learning, driving them to lean forward towards the video and actively learn from it.

Create Awareness

  • Send an email or a message to the learners to inform them about Annoto with a short description, for example:
Illustration: Annoto introduction message
  • Add course announcement to the learners to inform them about Annoto with a short description. Feel free to use the phrasing above or a shorter introduction.
If you wish, you may use the following phrasing:

Phrasing examples - Introduction email

(same as in the image above, here for you to copy):
Meet Annoto!
Annoto allows discussing and collaborating while watching videos anytime and anyplace, using time-based video annotations as an overlay to any video.
Annoto includes several spaces, each enables a different way of engaging with the video: a focused discussion regarding any moment in the video, as well as the ability to manage a personal journal throughout the course, to have a private chat with any of the course participants and even in-video quizzing. Any video can include one or more of the Annoto Spaces (Comments/ People/ Personal Notes/ Interactions).
Annoto is presented aside the video, meaning you are not required to leave the video in order to ask a question, comment or add a note - everything is right in front of you. 😊

Phrasing examples - Course announcement

Dear learners,
Meet Annoto. Annoto is where you can ask questions about the video, share your thoughts and contribute to the discussion. Every comment in Annoto is time-tagged, keeping the discussion always within the context of the video.

Encourage the discussion

  • It’s best to add a comment to encourage the discussion in videos before the course starts. This way you can make sure all of the learners will see the comment (once a learner finished watching the video, he probably won’t see the correspondence that occurred after that).
  • Asking your learners a question or inviting them to share examples can be a catalyst of the conversation and perhaps serve as an indicator to the level of understanding.
  • Adding a comment in the form of a question can do wonders in terms of engagement. Learners that are requested to add an example or share a thought will definitely be more involved than learners that are only watching.
  • Add comments on different moments of the video with additional facts or ideas and call users to action asking them what they think.
Illustration: Best practices in the widget
  • Teach the learners the art of replies: encourage them to reply to each other's comments. Let them know when a learner wrote a good reply or asked a good question.
  • You may add a comment in Annoto that invites learners to answer one another.
The timing of your comment throughout the video will provide additional motivation to the learners to watch the entire video.
  • When you answer another's comment or question, make sure you use the "Reply" button, and not writing your answer as a new comment. This way you can be sure the discussion keeps its context.
In many cases – one user's question on top of a video can save duplication of this question (by multiple users) in other platforms

Types of comments & questions

A good question is both answerable and challenging.
  • Here are a few examples of comments phrasing that can stimulate the discussion:
  • Theory to practice - "share examples of..." - Can shed light on learners' knowledge and understanding of the topic
  • Analysis - "How would you explain...", "what is the meaning of..." - Can help learners learn from others' perspectives and ways of thinking and shed light on learners' level of understanding
  • Cause and effect - "What are the causes of..", "what are possible results of..." - Can provide an indication on learners' comprehension (instead of memorizing the material)
  • Feelings & thoughts - "How did this video make you feel?", "what did you think about...?" - Feelings and thoughts can create an in-depth discussion, in which ALL learners can participate, even the ones that are struggling with the topic.
Additional comments and questions phrasings can be found here.
Additional ideas:
  • Create a contest - Let learners answer as fast as they can or give as many answers as they can on something that is related to the video content. This can definitely draw their attention and motivate them to "play"
  • Let the learners be the ones that phrase the questions. Have them phrase questions regarding the video as a task. Other learners can answer their peers' questions.
Additional activities and ways to encourage discussion can be found here.
  • Any comment or note that you add can be given a sentiment, to provide a visualization of its type:
Illustration: choosing a sentiment
Illustration: a comment with a "Question" sentiment
All you need to know about sentiments you can find here.

Learning Enhancement

  • Use Annoto to mark keynote moments in the lecture
  • Annoto can be also used as an enriching layer to the video: you can add Links and videos as your comment. You can use another video as an addition to the original one, or as a completion). Click here to learn how to add videos as a comment.
Illustration: Annoto as an enriching layer
  • You may place translations or clarifications to words, phrases or ideas in the exact place in the video that they appear
  • You may add, in specific moments, questions that are related to that moment and serve as an example for the questions that will be in the exam

Educator's Thumbs Up

  • When an instructor “likes” a learner's comment or a reply (by clicking on the red heart), that comment\reply is marked with “Educator’s thumbs up!” (yellow medal on the comment).
    An example to "Educator's Thumbs Up" can be seen in the following image:
Illustration: Hovering the Educator's Thumbs Up badge
The “Educator’s Thumbs Up!” feature:
  • Empowers the learner
  • An indicator to other learners as to what comments are valuable
  • Drives the ‘labeled’ learner to add more comments
  • Drives other learners:
    • To engage in the discussion – read the labeled comment\reply
    • To be an active part of the discussion (“Maybe I’ll get a medal too?”)


As all the activity in Annoto is measured and presented within the Annoto Analytics and Insights dashboard (more info about it can be found here), Annoto can be used as extra credit, bonus points or as part of the class grading.
This can rely on:
  • Quantitative measures (number of comments, replies, etc.) - You can learn all about the Engagement Metrics here.
  • Qualitative measures (the content of the comments – can use the “educator’s thumbs up” for acknowledgement and marking) - You can learn all about Comments Review here.
  • A combination of both options (number of good comments, for example)

Staying on top of things

  • In order to be notified on new comments and replies in your course or videos, follow the group in the Annoto menu.
Go to the Annoto menu and make sure you are Following this group:
Illustration: Annoto menu, following the group
  • You can follow a course either from the Annoto menu (as seen above) or from the "Following" option from the dashboard (Just make sure you are not already following). Read here how to follow a course from the Annoto dashboard.
From the Annoto dashboard you can also manage the discussion. Read here how to do that.
If you wish to learn about all of Annoto's following options (for example: how to follow only replies to your comments), click here to read all about it.
  • Encourage your learners to follow discussions. This way learners will be informed on new comments and replies. These notifications will get them back to the video, to re-watch it, learn new things and have a deeper understanding of the studied materials.
  • If you wish to know the context of a specific comment in the video - simply click on the comment's time-tag! This will take you to the exact moment in the video the comment refers to.
Illustration: Comment's time-tag
  • Annoto's Time-Line in the video can be a helpful indicator to understand what parts of the video may require attention. Moments in the video that include many comments (will be presented by a high bar) indicate a vigorous discussion. This can be due to an extremely interesting topic, that got the users talking about it or it can point on places in which learners are struggling.
A high brown bar, for example, represents a place that includes many questions. It might be worthwhile to see what it's all about.
Illustration: The interactive Timeline
  • You may add a comment to remind the learners they can use personal notes - to highlight or bookmark important parts of the video, to summarize content or to add videos\links to learn from. These personal notes can be exported directly from the Annoto menu, as Docx or Xlsx. Click here to learn how.
  • The personal notes space can be used by instructors to mark moments in the video for which:
    • Some of the learners might seem to struggle with the material
    • You are interested in expanding the discussion:
      • You wish to explain the material differently
      • It would be a good idea to ask for examples
    • You would like to give a related assignment
    If you wish to learn more about Annoto's Personal Notes, click here.

Find What's important

In order to make the most of each video, here are a few tips:

Sorting comments

You can sort the comments in the Comments Space, by clicking on the sorting drop-down menu:
Illustration: Sorting menu
Comments can be sorted according to:
Newest - sorts the comments according to when they were added (newest - first)
Top Comments - sorts by the comments that were most voted (liked) and replied to
Timestamp - sorts the comments according to their timetag

Comments representation in the Timeline

Annoto's Time-Line in the video can be a helpful indicator to understand what parts of the video may require attention. Moments in the video that include many comments (will be presented by a high bar) indicate a vigorous discussion, for example:
  • This can be due to an extremely interesting topic, that got the users talking about it
  • It can point on places in which learners are struggling.
A high brown bar, for example, represents a place that includes many questions. This may indicate a certain topic in the video that the learners are struggling with. It might be worthwhile to see what it's all about.
To learn more about the Annoto Timeline, click here.

Interactions Best Practices

Useful features

  • Interactions' settings - when creating an interaction, choose the features that support the interaction's purpose, such as: Feedback (what will the learners see if they answered correctly/ incorrectly), Allow Retry, Allow Re-watch, Answer Reflection (will allow the learner immediate reflection and feedback), Shuffling Answers order, Presentation type (Pop-up/ side panel), etc.
  • Editing an Interaction - even after an interaction was published, you can edit it and even determine the impact of the change. This will set whether the learners must re-take the quiz, choose if they want to re-take it or not need to re-take it at all.
  • Limiting Fast Forwarding - if, as part of the Interactions experience, you do not wish to allow the learners to skip ahead in the video, you can limit the option for fast-forwarding (throughout the entire video, or until the learners finish answering the mandatory questions (or all questions)).
  • Duplicating Interactions - a work that was already made - does not need to be made again! You can easily duplicate the quizzes and preferences (as well as your comments) from one course to another.

Quiz questions tips

  1. 1.
    Align Questions with Learning Objectives: Ensure that each quiz question aligns with specific learning objectives or goals. Focus on assessing key concepts and skills covered in the video content.
  2. 2.
    Use a Mix of Question Types: Incorporate a variety of question types, such as multiple-choice, true/false, multiple-answer, etc. Different question types engage learners in various cognitive processes, promoting a comprehensive understanding of the material.
  3. 3.
    Consider Questions/ Answers length: Keep questions short and focused. Avoid having long, confusing answers. Make the length of distractors similar to that of the correct answer.
  4. 4.
    Encourage Critical Thinking: Craft questions that require critical thinking rather than rote memorization. Challenge learners to analyze, evaluate, and apply the information presented in the video.
  5. 5.
    Provide Immediate Feedback: Enable immediate feedback for quiz questions to enhance the learning experience. Use the Answer Reflection feature in each question's settings to reinforce correct answers and provide guidance for incorrect responses.
  1. 6.
    Test Regularly but Sparingly: Integrate quizzes regularly to reinforce learning, but avoid overwhelming users with too many questions. The optimal number of questions per video duration can vary based on factors such as the educational context, content complexity, and the attention span of the audience. Strive for a balance that enhances learning without causing learner fatigue.
  2. 7.
    Review and Update Questions: Regularly review quiz questions to ensure they remain relevant and aligned with the curriculum. Update questions based on user feedback and changes in course content.
  3. 8.
    Promote a Positive Learning Experience: Foster a positive learning environment by framing questions in a constructive and supportive manner. Acknowledge correct answers and provide encouragement to boost learner confidence.
  4. 9.
    Plan the Learning Experience: Which Annoto spaces would you like to have along with the quiz questions? You may choose to keep the Personal Notes (for student's reflection) or allow a discussion in the Comments Space. You also have the option to keep only the Interactions Space - all in the Annoto Preferences.
  5. 10.
    Analytics and Reporting: Take advantage of Annoto analytics and reporting features to track user engagement and performance. Use data to identify quizzes that may be too difficult or too easy. The Assessment's Activity summary graph can give a good indication for the level of the questions:
Illustration: Activity Summary graph
Use the Quizzes Results table to get a deeper understanding on specific users - track their progress and identify areas of strength and weakness.
Illustration: Quizzes Results table

Planning the session

  • The Personal Notes space can be used for planning a teaching session:
    • Adding time-tagged notes to discuss a specific part of the video
    • Adding time-tagged notes to discuss a things that were raised in the comments space (thoughts\ insights\ questions)
  • Annoto can be used as part of a synchronous session. Click here to learn more about it.

Assignments types

Annoto can be used for different assignments. To learn more about assignments at Annoto, click here.

Additional tips

  • An instructor has the ability to delete learners’ comments from the discussion (in case of inappropriate comments, for example). Click here to learn how to delete comments.
  • Annoto can be used for ice-breaking:
    • Asking the learners to introduce themselves
    • Asking the learners to vote on an instructor's comment as a way to say "yes" (for examples: "Like this comment if you want to learn more about positive thinking")
    • Adding a quick intro video as a comment

How does Annoto Save me time?

The beauty of the discussion is that it saves duplications of questions (once a question was asked, no one will ask it again, as everyone can learn from it). In addition, learners can answer other learners, which really eases off the load.
As for notification emails: You can choose which notifications you would like to receive (you can choose to be notified only on replies to your comments, for example). Click here to learn about notifications preferences.
Instructors have also the privilege of managing the discussion from the dashboard, so they don't even have to go to the video in order to be a part of the conversation - replying to all videos is just one-click-away from one another. Click here to learn how to manage the discussion from the dashboard.
Instructors can choose to go to the dashboard on a timely basis and see all the new comments there, and in this case, they can disable the notification emails, if they are interested.

Annoto in Large Courses (many learners)

The number of learners is not the only thing that differs one course from another.
Each instructor and each course have their own DNA, therefore Annoto provides a world of options, from which each instructor can navigate the course to whatever they relate to.
Here are some best practices that have proven themselves extremely helpful in large courses:

Q & A

The instructor can invite learners to ask questions to which only the instructor replies. This will keep the discussion only in the form of Q&A, instead of a massive discussion.

Identifying Questions

When using Annoto for Collaborative Learning, the instructor can ask learners to mark questions with the question sentiment. This can help both the instructors and the learners stay focused on where the questions are, and quickly find them within the discussion.

Leaners Answer

The instructor can invite learners to answer their peers’ questions. In this case the instructor can choose whether to review the replies or to leave the discussion only for learners.

Common Questions

Common questions that were raised by viewers can be saved by the instructor and be used in the next course - instructor can add the answers to these questions in advance, to save learners from asking them.
And, as mention in the previous section, in many cases – one learner's question on top of a video can save duplications of this question (by multiple learners) in other platforms

Quick review

The Annoto Dashboard provides one place to easily manage all the comments in all videos.
The Unread Comments column indicates in what videos new comments were added, and in each video, the instructor can quickly review only the new comments that were added (instead of reading the entire discussion in the video).

Individual learning

Learners can answer instructor's questions in their own Personal Notes and the export and submit them. In this case - most of the activity is done individually, which will reduce the number of comments in the discussion.

Monitor the activity

Annoto provides a management & Insights dashboard allowing you to curate and monitor learners' activities and generated content. Using the dashboard, you can see where new comments were created, reply quickly, see where you can stimulate the discussion and much more.
If you wish to learn about Annoto's Dashboard, click here.
If you need any additional information or have any questions, please contact us at Annoto Support.
You are more than welcome to schedule a training session. Click here to contact us.

Last but not least

Want to stay updated with all new features? Follow the Annoto YouTube Channel
To learn more about Annoto’s dashboard and the insights provided by it, visit our Annoto’s Dashboard Guide page and the Dashboard’s Best Practices.