All the Zoom sessions we are currently teaching leave us not only Zoom -fatigued, but also with a library of a gazillion recordings of our teaching.

If you are like me and always look to optimize your ‘possessions’, you might be interested in re-purposing some of these recordings of your teaching.

You already have’em. Why not make the most out of them?

Enter interactive videos

Take an existing recording, add questions, additional information or prompts and… voila – you have a more engaging and (hopefully) effective tool for students.

If you haven’t experienced an interactive video, here’s a basic one I made from an excerpt of one of the Zoom workshops.

MQ-supported options for interactive video

As MQ staff members, we have access to 2 tools that allow us to make our recordings more interactive – H5P and Echo360.

But which option is better? H5P or Echo360? So, I did some preliminary testing.


My first impressions

Both H5P and Echo360 are good in their own ways.

H5P seems to be more suitable for questions with right/wrong answers and units that look to make activities compulsory. H5P also allows creating adaptive content (a big ‘yay’).

Echo360 works better for more open questions that call for text responses. More details below 😉

So, which one should I choose? Echo360 or H5P?

Both Echo360 and H5P let you add interactive questions to existing videos, which can help keep students’ attention, pre-empt or address confusion, or consolidate what students have learnt.

Echo360 might be a more suitable option when no completion tracking is required or when students need to provide text responses. It’s also a good choice if you’d like students to comment and respond to other students’ comments within the same video.

H5P may be more suitable for tracking student activity or creating ‘adaptive learning’ experience with students getting different feedback and links depending on their answers.

Key differences between Echo360 and H5P

6 key differences between Echo360 and H5P are their ability to:

  1. Collect open-ended text responses (Echo360/H5P)
  2. Allow students to see and respond to comments on the video (Echo360/H5P)
  3. Provide adaptive content (Echo360/H5P)
  4. Integrate with Gradebook(Echo360/H5P)
  5. Add information to the video itself, e.g., text or links (Echo360/H5P)
  6. Be user-friendly (Echo360 tends to be easier to use than H5P)


Echo360 is more intuitive and has a lower learning curve. It also allows text submissions, which can be more suitable for complex and/or open-ended questions. Another good feature of Echo360 is its ability to comment on the video and respond to other students’ comments. However, Echo360 analytics are not integrated with Gradebook, therefore student activity completion cannot be easily ‘automated’. If required, activity reports can be downloaded via a CSV file.


H5P, being one of the iLearn activities, can be integrated with Gradebook and can be set up to release content based on activity completion. H5P also allows providing different feedback based on students’ answers, which can make feedback more targeted and effective.

I brainstormed some ideas for using interactive videos below. Feel free to suggest more!

Why and how can you use interactive video?Technical set-up
– Keep student attention
– Prepare students for the content-to-come
– Pique student’s curiosity

Before you provide students with new content or information, ‘warm them up’ by asking students to:
– Respond to a probing question
– Express their opinion or belief
– Predict an answer

– Pre-empt confusion
– Draw connections

While delivering content, ask a question that might:
– Identify a common confusion point
Provide food for thought
– Draw connections, etc.

Where feasible, provide instant feedback and information

Consolidate new information and ideas
After delivering a ‘content chunk’, ask a question that:
– Checks students’ understanding
-Consolidates learning
– Encourages further thinking

Where feasible, provide instant feedback and information.

Questions with right or wrong answers
– Choose a statement (H5P or Echo360)
– Single choice or multiple choice (H5P or Echo360)
– Drag and drop, fill the gaps (H5P)

Make it more effective: add clarifications or in-video or external links, e.g. a link to a specific point in the same video OR an external link based on the student’s answer.

Complex/open questions with no right or wrong answers.
– Text submissions (see options below)
– Polls (H5P or Echo)

Text submission options:
1. Would you like students to see each other responses AFTER they’ve posted theirs? Cut the video and add an Q&A forum in iLearn.

2. Would you like students responses to be visible to instructor only?
Use Echo360 ‘text response’.

Update your video or provide more details
Add text, links, images or tables to your video (e.g. to additional or updated resources)
H5P tools, such as label, text, image, links, table.

What have I missed?

Feel free to suggest more ideas! I can easily update this post to include your 2cents!

Or, even better, have YOU used interactive videos in your teaching? Share your experience and tips. Our community members will greatly appreciate it!

Want more?

Check out this Echo360 guide on using interactive videos

Experience different H5P video features in this walk-through video

Posted by Olga Kozar

I'm a 'long-term' Mq girl. I did my PhD here and taught on different courses, ranging from 1st year to PhD students. I now work in Learning and Teaching, which I love. I have 2 young kids and a dog, and I love meeting other Mq people, so give me a shout if you'd like to talk 'learning and teaching' or would like to brainstorm together.


  1. Thanks Olga! I love H5P, but I do get complaints from students that they can’t play the videos at 1.5x or 2x speed. The students seem okay with this if the video is under 10 minutes, but any longer than that and they complain. One work around is to host the video on YouTube and embed the video that way. Do you know of a better way?


    1. Hi Emily. What a great comment! Yes, HP5 allows playback speed adjustments for Youtube videos, so I’d do that for longer videos. I also suspect that the overall speed will be faster for Youtube embeds compared to uploading a video to HP5 activity. Another advantage of hosting on Youtube is that you could re-use the videos elsewhere. Having said that, there is some risk of ads being shown to students, as Youtube can now monetize all videos (I think), but personally, I wouldn’t be too worried about it.


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