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 meant to serve as your toolkit to promote students' engagement in the learning materials and encourage the students 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 students to inform them about Annoto with a short description, for example:

  • Add course announcement to the students 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):

Dear students,

Meet Annoto. Annoto is an in-video collaboration solution that enables focused discussions within your video player.

Annoto enables deep dialogues between students and faculty (and among students) and gives you the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas in the video's context.

As opposed to regular forums, every comment in Annoto is time-tagged, therefore all questions and comments are always connected to the context of the video. In addition, since Annoto is presented on top of the video, its availability and immediacy are impeccable, as you are not required to leave the video in order to ask a question or to comment.


Phrasing examples - Course announcement

Dear students,

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 we can make sure all of the students will see the comment (Once a student finished watching the video, he probably won’t see the correspondence that occurred after that).

  • Asking your students 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.

  • Add comments on different moments of the video with additional facts or ideas and call users to action asking them what they think.

The timing of your comment throughout the video will provide additional motivation to the students to watch the entire video.

  • Teach the students the art of replies: encourage them to reply to each other's comments. Let them know when a student wrote a good reply or asked a good question.

You may add a comment in Annoto that invites students to answer one another.

  • 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 student’s question on top of a video can save duplication of this question (by multiple students) in other platforms

  • Any comment or note that you add can be given a sentiment, to provide a visualization of its type:

Types of comments & questions

  • Adding a comment in the form of a question can do wonders in terms of engagement. Students that are requested to add an example or share a thought will definitely be more involved than students that are only watching.

A good question is both answerable and challenging.

  • Here are a few examples of comments phrasing that can stimulate the discussion:

  1. Theory to practice - "share examples of..." - Can shed light on students' knowledge and understanding of the topic

  2. Analysis - "How would you explain...", "what is the meaning of..." - Can help students learn from others' perspectives and ways of thinking and shed light on students' level of understanding

  3. Cause and effect - "What are the causes of..", "what are possible results of..." - Can provide an indication on students' comprehension (instead of memorizing the material)

  4. 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 students can participate, even the ones that are struggling with the topic.

Additional ideas:

  • Create a contest - Let students 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 students be the ones that phrase the questions. Have them phrase questions regarding the video as a task. Other students can answer their peers' questions.

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)

  • 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

  • When an instructor “likes” a student’s comment or a reply (by clicking on the red heart), that comment\reply will be marked with “Educator’s thumbs up!” (yellow background with a white star)

    An example to "Educator's Thumbs Up" can be seen in the following image:

You can see how it works in the following video:

The “Educator’s Thumbs Up!” feature:

    • Empowers the student

    • An indicator to other students as to what comments are valuable.

    • Drives the ‘labeled’ student to add more comments

    • Drives other students:

      • To engage in the discussion – read the labeled comment\reply

      • To be an active part of the discussion (“Maybe I’ll get a star 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 or replies)

    • qualitative measures (the content of the comments – can use the “educator’s thumbs up” for acknowledgement and marking)

    • 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. You can follow it either from the Annoto menu or from the "Following" option from the dashboard (Just make sure you are not already following).

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 students to follow discussions. This way students 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.

  • 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 students 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.

  • You may add a comment to remind your students 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.

  • The personal notes zone can be used by instructors to mark moments in the video for which:

    • Some of the class might seem to struggle with the material

    • You are interested in expanding the class 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.

Additional tips

  • The Personal Notes Space can be used for assignments as well – each student can answer an assignment in his personal notes, then export it to a document and submit it.


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 pick your preferred date and time.

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.