HapYak Adds Gradebook Integration and Engagement Reports for eLearning

New Capabilities Simplify In-Video Assessments and Track Engagement at the User Level

LAS VEGAS - HapYak, the interactive video platform, announced today the availability of new tools for corporate trainers and course designers to create, measure and improve interactive video.

The new suite of tools and reports empower trainers to answer fundamental questions about their video and directly measure effectiveness in ways never before possible.

  • Are viewers actually watching, or did they just “click play then walk away”?
  • Is the video effectively teaching what it's meant to?
  • What material in the video is most useful to viewers?

"Video is one of the most important eLearning tools and its use is massively growing. But despite its importance, it's one of the most difficult resources to measure." says HapYak CEO, Kyle Morton "Without knowing if people are actually paying attention, if they understand the material and what in the video is most helpful, the trainer and course designer can't improve it. We're giving trainers and course designers the data they need to make smart decisions and produce better outcomes with their videos."

In addition to new Engagement Reports, HapYak is introducing a "Simple Gradebook" for user-level grading of in-video quizzes. "Companies and Organizations rely on video to deliver training and certifications, but they don't always need or want a full-blown learning management system. Our “Simple Gradebook” meets their needs today and still provides a path for LMS integration in the future. We're extremely excited to offer this solution." says HapYak CEO, Kyle Morton.

HapYak allows users to easily add interactive elements: Quiz Questions, Chapters and Links, to any existing video, regardless of what video player is used. HapYak has the broadest video player support on the market making it painless for any business or organization to transform their existing videos into effective, measurable tools.

Easy Branding for Videos using HapYak


In that case, videos are made up of frames of hundreds to thousands of pictures, thus exponentially increasing their worth. Such an effective method of communication is an incredibly important asset in almost every industry. From marketing, to ecommerce, to education and corporate training, video gives you a unique medium to get your message out to the world. Even so, something has been missing.


Over the years, the internet has become a designer’s playground. Responsive design, intuitive and dynamic sites, beautiful UI and the code backbone to support all of it has set a standard for user experience. Video on the web hasn’t seen the meteoric rise of enhancements. With HapYak, video gets that much needed upgrade. Adding interactivity to videos increases engagement, functionality and measurable effectiveness. Chapters, Branching, Quizzes, Polls, Surveys, Text, Links, Images, even custom iframes provide a fresh new toolset when creating a video strategy for the new age of the web.

So that’s a lot to take in. Your video is now a canvas outside of a studio or some video editing software. You might be a designer, you might be a product manager, a video pioneer, or an intern. The best part is it doesn’t matter. Try out different annotations (our word for anything that you overlay on top of the video). Share it with people, try out different flows, add a simple subscribe button and a couple chapters, it’s up to you. Every video you create with interactions is helping write the future of video on the web.

Get started now if you haven’t. Then come back and keep reading.

Welcome back! You’ve used our editor, got some annotations wired up and a couple projects under your belt. (If you haven’t, get over there and do it! It’s fun and free to try). Now, let’s take these interactive videos to the next step. Every company, project, or idea has an identity. Most corporate or commercial projects have a company ideology or focus in their video narrative. On the web and in print this messaging is visually represented and tied together using logos, brand colors, and typography. Your videos usually require this to be done in post production with expensive software or and agency. Oh and by the way got one shot unless you want to pay more or re-record. This usually ends up with the simplest, not the best solution.

We’ve all seen the company watermark in the top right of videos. With HapYak, you can quickly create a template with your company logo and branding, and apply it to every video you produce or have an agency create. No more swapping different sizes and formats of logos between departments or companies. Furthermore, unless you’re Coca-Cola, your logo just might change in the future. With HapYak, simply change out the logo in your template and all your videos are updated.

Every annotation you add to your videos can be completely customized.

Logo’s are the easiest way to instantly add branding to your video. What about more subtle or complete experiences? This is where custom CSS really packs a punch. Every annotation you add to your videos can be completely customized. Add your brand colors to a chapter menu, put your logo on a quiz question. Change all the text to your corporate or favorite font family. Check out this custom css for MIT Center for Real Estate.

Anything you can do on the web you can do on top of your video. That’s our goal here at HapYak, to make video work like the web, and with custom styling, your videos will finally look and feel the part.

We can’t wait to see what you will create with HapYak. Subscribe for more tips and tricks and feel free to reach out for design and styling guides and help with your interactive videos!

Getting Started: Let Your Role Define Your Goal

Viral video. One video. Millions of views.

So what? The average organization is sitting on hundreds of videos. These are videos that you create, with webcams, screen-shares, iPhone's and go pros. Most videos today are created by people like you.

But video alone is not enough. You need your videos to be effective. Here's the secret:

Let your role define your goal!

Whether you're in marketing, training, sales, education, or support you need your videos to be effective.

We're going to show you 3 simple videos that when enhanced with interactivity become effective and reach their goals.

  • Uber: When in person training isn't an option. Take a screen-share to the next level and add on-screen quizzes as simple assessments
  • OoOTIE: Many viewers watch a video more than once. If they're watching a second time, give them the option to skip to the part they care about most
  • Excelsior College: Add chapters to build lead intelligence. Leveraging chapters the viewer gets a more personalized experience and you get a better qualified lead

If you want to make your videos more effective but don't know where to start, Sign-Up for HapYak and see how easy it is to get started. Try it out!

How to Add HapYak to Private YouTube Videos

Today we're happy to announce support for Private YouTube videos as part of the all paid plans. This means that you can take your private youtube videos, add interactive annotations and share them with colleagues, clients and customers -- all with the assurance that only you and the people you invite can see your work.

It's easy. Simply connect your Google and HapYak accounts. Here's how to do it...

Go to your account page on HapYak

Account page - connect

Click Google: Connect and authorize the HapYak App

Your Google and HapYak accounts are now connected.
Connect google account

Add a new project using a private video from your YouTube account.

Easy as pie!
Add New Project

How to Add Interactivity to Private Vimeo Videos

Here's how to make an interactive video with private Vimeo video using HapYak.

Private Vimeo Video

    1. 1. On the Vimeo Video page (e.g.


    ) click on "Settings", then "Privacy." For "Where can this video be embedded?" Select "Anywhere."

Private Vimeo Settings

Note this retains the privacy settings for your video but will now allow you to view the video within HapYak.

Ohio University Takes Language Learning Global with Interactive Video

Feature-rich platform helps educator keep innovative program at the forefront of effective online learning

Audra Hilterbran
Audra Hilterbran

Meet Audra Hilterbran. Audra likes language. Particularly, teaching English to those who need to learn it to succeed in their academic pursuits. You see, Audra works at Ohio University’s English Language Improvement Program (ELIP). They prepare on-campus graduate and undergraduate students with customized instruction that give them concrete academic and professional communication skills and abilities.

ELIP has been at the forefront of using technology to create engaging, student-centered, and pedagogically sound learning environments. And now, ELIP would like to expand to share their knowledge and teaching methods with English language learners around the globe.

But how do you take a successful on-campus teaching program and bring it off-campus? That’s what the Director of ELIP, Dawn Bikowski, asked Audra to help figure out. And she gave Audra a hint to start out: interactive video.

“We know that interactivity is going to be what’s going to expected very soon.” Audra notes. “I was used to working with different online tools and different software. Dawn wanted different features. She was voicing things -- and my job was to make it happen.”

So Audra tried out some interactive video tools. Well. Actually, a lot of them. But none could quite lived up to her goals. None had everything on her wish list. And then, in a crowded computer lab at the school, a fortuitous bit of online eavesdropping came to her rescue.

ELIP - Ohio University The English Language Improvement Program at Ohio University
Ohio University’s English Language Improvement Program

“I was in class online one night and I was speaking to a colleague of mine. I said that every tool was missing a feature that Dawn wants to see. There was a guy (at a computer next to me) who was in a Hangout, attending a different class.”

Then, from the speakers of that computer next to her, a voice grabbed her attention. ‘Hey. Who was speaking right now? You need to try this tool called HapYak. It's got everything you just described.’

He was right.

‘He’ was Larry Hess, an Instructional Technologist at Ohio University’s School of Nursing, who had used HapYak to train faculty using the school's Nursing Simulation Lab.

Interactive Video: Ohio University - School of Nursing
Larry Hess, Ohio University School of Nursing

“I was really excited when Larry told me there was a tool that met all my needs and even more excited when I saw how easy it was to use. HapYak is my favorite. It was the easiest, most flexible, very intuitive, especially compared to other tools that I've looked at. I think the user interface is much better. There are more features, more options.”

Audra has succeeded in creating some very forward-thinking interactive videos that do two things really well. They set up an expectation at the beginning of the video that it will be interactive. This gets the student used to responding to the video and ensures they start leaning forward right away. Second, she adds annotations throughout the video. This ensures that the student gets used to watching a small section of the video, interacting with it, then continuing on to the next section. In the mind of the viewer, it creates a positive feedback loop.

“As we move forward in this digital age, our attention spans are much shorter. This tool allows me to create short videos that are more engaging, that provide feedback and can be used over and over again.”

“The clicking, and the different options really give people a chance to really internalize what they're learning.”

Now Audra and Dawn will be showing the result of her work to groups on campus and across the world. “I am going to give a workshop on how to use the tool. Dawn will be showing all the videos to a group in Japan.”

Below, Audra shares a few bits of advice on how to best use interactive video to ensure students internalize what they learn.

Interactive Video at Ohio University


You need some way of letting your audience know that the video is going to be interactive. I added a quiz question at th

e beginning. A better way may be for the person speak at the beginning of the video.


If you are planning on enhancing your own videos - for the content that you've created - the interactivity needs to be part of the planning process. Think about what kinds of things you want to add later. And the process will be much easier. The more planning you put into it the more confident you’ll be in production.

You can read more about Audra's research on her Website or at ResearchGate.

Interactive Video On the iPad. 5 Secrets To Success

The iPad can be a perfect device to watch interactive video. There are 5 secrets to successfully creating interactive videos for viewing on this device. We've summarized them below and provided an example video here that you can play on your iPad to see them in action.

  1. Make larger interaction targets. A video that plays on an iPad isn’t a lot like a video that plays on a laptop or desktop. Especially if you are going to have interaction.People aren’t clicking on things, instead they are tapping on things. Make sure your touch targets (like CTAs, quiz answer selections, or chapter menus), are large enough to easily tap.Apple recommends touch targets be a minimum of 44x44 pixels. That’s a minimum. You really want touch targets to fit under an index finger with a bit of extra room on either side to spare. According to the MIT Touch Lab, that’s about 57 pixels. If your viewers are using their thumbs, that’s about 72 pixels.Smashing Magazine’s article on touch targets is helpful here for more context. But the simple take home is this; Make your interaction targets big! Your viewers will thank you.
  2. Make longer videos. On the iPad people settle in for the experience. They spend more time watching the video because mobile devices are not designed for multi-tasking - and in fact actively discourage it. Embrace that and you realize you have more time to teach what you want to teach, communicate your values and brand, and tell more in-depth stories.So, don’t be afraid to use longer video. On iPad, people expect it.
  3. Give them the power to explore. The iPad is a device people want to engage with. Let them explore and discover things inside the video with ease.They will expect your video to work like their favorite app or mobile-optimized web site. That means having the power to access more information about a topic with the tap of a finger, or quickly seeing what information is hidden inside the video. What can they learn? What can they do? Show them up front through easy ways to explore the video.If you don’t give them easy ways to explore, they’ll do it anyway by tapping on the control bar to try to find something that interests them and that leads to frustration. Don’t frustrate. Rather, delight with options that let the viewer control their experience with ease.
  4. How the video is streamed matters. HTTP Live Streaming was invented to provide smooth streaming to mobile devices - use it. Many video hosting services that work well for viewing on a laptop or desktop don’t do so well on mobile. They use progressive download technology which was built to do one thing well - play a video.Remember, viewers want choice, they want to explore. They’re going to be jumping around the video a lot. And to do that, HTTP Live Streaming is simply your best option.
  5. App or Web? Well, it depends.On the iPad, you can embed your videos in an app or on a web page. Don’t be a true believer in either technology. Understand the differences between the two.Drawbacks of Apps:
    Apps are more expensive to produce. Apps are specialized. Most organizations have staff with web development skills but app development is a rare and expensive skill set.Apps require you to maintain two separate code bases if you are supporting Apple and Android.Apps add an extra friction step of a download.

    Apps are harder to update fast. You can’t quickly update content and styles as easy as you can on the web.

    Benefits of Apps:
    With apps, you have the most level of control and flexibility to create interactive experiences. You can simply make an app do more, more fluidly and elegantly than a web page. The interactive video experience will be largely the same within an app as it is on a web page, but the experience surrounding it will be much more fluid and responsive as an app.

    If you think viewers will be on phones as well as the iPad, an app will make a lot of sense. Here’s why. When a viewer clicks “play” on a video on their phone, it launches that video in the native video player app (QuickTime on iPhones, for example). If that video is in an app however, you can control which player is launched when “play” is clicked, and that player can include your HTML5 interactive overlays.

Bonus Tip: Do Full Screen The Right Way

You can not rely on the native full screen capability of your video player. Just like clicking play on your phone launches the native video player app, so does clicking full screen on almost every single video player (including the commercial hosting service you have).

This is bad, as you lose all the interactions you’ve created and you even lose important annotations like closed captions.

To ensure your full screen buttons maintains your interactions, make sure your player's fulls creen buttons leverages HTML5s Fullscreen API. The example video does just that.

Hats Off: The History of The Highrise By The New York Times

This year’s Webby Award nominations are out, and we’re tipping our hats to Canada’s National Film Board for their interactive documentary, “The History of the Highrise”, featured in the New York Times.

2,500 years of vertical living are showcased through the four-part series. Viewers watch animated footage and click through millions of archival photographs, giving them the opportunity to dig deeper into major themes of the documentary project.

Interactive Video: History of the Highrise

“I was faced with a daunting challenge,” says Katerina Cizek, director of the project in a 2013 New York Times article. How does one tell two and a half thousands years of global history in a short film?

Katerina Cizek

“The solution was to expand the project into an ambitious four-part interactive series,” she says in the Times article. Inspired by the reinvention of storybooks on digital tablets, Cizek and collaborators used rhymes, animation, and interactivity to “playfully revisit a stunning photographic collection and reinterpret great feats of engineering,” she says.

Interactive Video: History of the Highrise

Spectacular web videos like this prove that giving your viewers complete control over what they’re watching transforms the viewing experience. Based on individual interests, viewers can can follow their own path, discover more about topics they like, and make decisions on what to watch next.

The History of the Highrise is a shining example of taking the full power and potential of the web and applying it to video.

Interactive Video: History of the Highrise

Webby Award winners will be announced Tuesday, April 29. Best of luck to all the web video nominees!

Web Video for the Digital Omnivore

Did you know that 86 percent of U.S. consumers admit to multitasking while they’re watching TV? That’s according to a recently released survey by Deloitte’s technology, media, and telecommunication trends group. The consulting company analyzed tech usage and media consumption in more than 2,000 consumers over the age of 14 across the United States.

Not only are 25 percent of TV viewers multitasking, but they’re doing activities unrelated to the program they’re watching, according to the Deloitte survey. Just imagine what that could mean if what they’re watching is important, and they need to know the information. This finding is just as applicable to web video as it is to TV. After all, to most digital omnivores, it's just another screen and multitasking while watching a web video can be just as easy.

Digital Omnivores


Critical to any web video is the engagement factor — if your viewers aren’t into what they’re watching, they’re not going any further. Nor are they learning. They’re clicking play and walking away.

Giving viewers the ability to click and interact with a web video keeps them interested and engaged with what's in front of them. Not to mention it really hammers home the information they’re watching.

Digital Omnivores


We know that people are watching more streamed video content than ever before,
and the Deloitte survey picked up on that too. Consumer interest in streaming nearly doubled from 17 percent in 2012 to 32 percent in 2013.

Even more interesting is the idea that more than a third of Americans are Digital Omnivores, or people who own a trio of laptops, tablets, and smartphones. And with so many buzzing devices, it’s easy to get distracted.

HapYak’s web video platform treats your viewers like human beings, giving them choice, control, and convenience for whatever they’re watching. They’ll stay interested, and you’ll get results. With more and more of the workforce becoming digital omnivores it's crucial to understand how to keep a viewer engaged, excited and concentrating on the video.

Learning and Tech: What's Next?

As technology continues to rapidly innovate, it’s good to take a step back and evaluate what it’s doing to our world.

Recently, Claire Cain Miller at the New York Times did just that, interviewing a number of prominent tech entrepreneurs. These conversations informed an infographic by Chi Birmingham about what's next when it comes to tech.

New York Times Infographic - Tecnology

[Image credit: The New York Times]


“I believe e-courses will eventually change people’s attitude toward learning,” said Sebastian Thrun in a chat on Facebook for the article. The founder of Google X Lab and co-founder of Udacity, goes on further to say that he thinks “education will play an increasingly dominant role in people’s lives” for people of all ages and geographies.

When it comes to higher education specifically, Thurn suggests that tech will evolve the area to allow for more access, higher quality, and create more of a global reach.

New York Times Infographic - Tecnology

[Image credit: The New York Times]

Twitter founder Ev Williams was also interviewed for the piece, and he suggests that higher education will be heavily influenced by tech, if not put out of business altogether. Either way, our view towards e-learning is changing, and tech is already a big part of that.


Beyond the Times article, some education startups have increased their use of web video in the learning environment. The Challenge Festival — a conference for startups doing great things across a number of industries, including education — showcased the work that eduCanon is doing. A winner in the education category at last week's conference, eduCanon's online learning environment (founded by a Teach for America alum) allows teachers to build and share interactive video lessons.

EduCanon at Challenge Cup DC

[Image credit: Daniel Swartz - 1776 DC]

It all squares with what we're seeing at HapYak. People are using video technology in education in new ways that were always imagined but now finally possible through the widespread adoption of HTML5 technology. Congratulations to the whole eduCanon team and others pioneering education with video.