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Confirm Whether Your Students Are Watching Your Videos Using Zaption!

As an online instructor, how can you know if your students are watching your lectures and videos? How can you create more interaction and engagement with your lectures without the luxury of being there in person? Research suggests that students only spend an average of six minutes watching a lecture or video (Guo, Kim & Rubin, 2014). An obvious recommendation from this finding is to ensure that your course videos are no longer than six minutes. While we encourage the creation of shorter, mini lectures (visit the TeachOnline article about managing instructor presence online), this may not be your best option if you have existing lectures that span 10 to 30 minutes.

Zaption is a powerful tool designed to foster student engagement with your course lectures and instructional videos. Zaption gives you, the instructor, the ability to see which of your videos your students are watching to completion. With Zaption, you can create customized tests, quizzes, and discussions based off of your videos. You can also create a Zaption Tour from any video produced with ASU Media or hosted with YouTube, Vemvo, PBS, or TED Talks. Once your Zaption video is ready, you’ll have the ability to record grades based on student responses and see how much time students spent watching a particular video.

Watch how you can create a Zaption Tour now!

Dr. Teresa Hart is a senior lecturer with the College of Health Solutions and has been using Zaption since the beginning of the Spring 2015. As an instructor, Teresa loved how she had a way to confirm whether or not her students were watching her weekly overview videos. She said:

I’m seeing a huge difference. I know students are actually watching the videos and somewhat retaining the information. It helps with communication, and verification that they are receiving the messages I’m sending them. With email, that’s always tricky knowing if they received or read them. With Zaption, I know I can communicate important information and they will receive it!

The viewer analytics supported Teresa’s perception in that her students watched the majority of her videos (i.e., 87% completion). When asked how her students were experiencing Zaption, she mentioned that they “love using it,” but she sensed that her students were more excited about seeing her in the video rather than using Zaption. She explained:

The students love it. But when I prompt them further, they say they really like the videos and seeing me in “person”. Nobody really has an opinion on the Zaption portion of the videos.

We have provided a couple of samples of how Zaption can be used in your course. The first sample is a copy of Teresa’s welcome and course overview video. She used TechSmith Relay to produce the video, and once her video was created, she used Zaption to create a number of interaction points. Click here to view a copy of Teresa’s course introduction Zaption video.

The second sample is a course overview video we created for Boot Camp for Teaching Online.  Click here to view a sample Zaption video created with the ASU Online Bootcamp.

As an instructor, you can click the Analytics tab to easily view which students have viewed your lecture or video, how long they spent viewing the video, and grade the results and responses to specific Zaption questions.

Zaption is available to any faculty or faculty associate who is teaching an ASU Online course. If you want to know that your students are receiving your messages, then click here to sign up for your ASU Online Zaption account.


  1. Guo, P. J., Kim, J., & Rubin, R. (2014). How video production affects student engagement: An empirical study of mooc videos. In Proceedings of the first ACM conference on Learning@ scale conference (pp. 41-50). ACM.