By Steve Quann

Whether reading with our class or watching a video together, a good practice is to stop at key intervals. There are a number of reasons why this is helpful for learning, such as checking for comprehension or chunking information to help hold it in short-term memory. Zaption can help facilitate these kinds of strategies. A shout out to Barry Burkett for suggesting this tool and some potential uses for it. It allows teachers to easily add discussion questions, polls, and multiple choice questions to existing YouTube videos. In celebration of 4th of July, here’s one that could be used to get students to begin thinking about how and why the United States began a revolution for our independence. See The American Revolution: What Do You Think?

Create Your Own Activity:

  1. Select a short YouTube video, such this one on Voting Rights. Or find one on another topic or skill you are working on with your class. (You could even just add quiz questions to an instructional video, such as one from English with Jennifer.)
  2. Review the video and develop questions that help assess comprehension (multiple choice),  generate critical thinking (short answer or discussion questions), or reinforce the content (add text, images, or poll questions).
  3. Go to Zaption and start a free account, insert the video and find the points in the clip where you want to add a question. Then publish. (This may sound difficult, but they walk you through step by step with instructions as you go.)
  4. You can use this with your class in at least two ways:
  • with a projector, show  the video to the class and stop to ask questions and discuss them with the class as a whole.
  • give the link to individual students to work on for in-class independent work, homework or to use as a flipped learning activity. (The great thing is that you as the creator can see how students answered multiple choice, poll, and short answer questions.)


To further reinforce or extend learning, have students search for videos related to the topic at hand, listen to them, and create a Zaption with their own questions. Then they can exchange their videos with each other.

Steve Quann was a proud staff member at World Education for many years. He was the past Director of the EdTech Center and now consults as an instructional designer on e-learning and mobile learning projects.

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