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.
Send an email or a message to the learners to inform them about Annoto with a short description, for example:
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):
Annoto is an in-video collaboration solution that enables focused, time-based discussions within your video, as well as the ability to manage a personal journal throughout the course.
Annoto enables deep dialogues between learners and instructors (and among learners) and gives you the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas in the video's context.
The Personal Notes space is your very own private place to summarize the video, mark important moments and document thoughts and questions that no one else will see.
In addition, Annoto is presented on top of 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
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.
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.
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:
All you need to know about sentiments you can find here.
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.
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:
You can see how it works here:
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 (1) and make sure you are Following this group (2):
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.
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.
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:
You can sort the comments in the Comments Space, by clicking on the sorting drop-down 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.
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.
Annoto can be used for different assignments. To learn more about assignments at Annoto, click here.
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 students 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.
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.
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 students.
Common questions that were raised by students 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
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).
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.