Building a Bulb in PlayPosit 3.0

In this article

A comprehensive guide to building a bulb in PlayPosit 3.0, covering the basic and more advanced features of the Designer.

  1. What is a bulb?
  2. Insert a video
  3. Insert interactions
  4. Embed images audio, equations and tables
  5. Change the point value of a question
  6. Advanced interaction settings
  7. Chain and stack questions together
  8. Bulb settings
  9. Previewing a bulb

Want to make passive video an active, engaging experience for learners? Here's how!

What is a bulb? 

A bulb is an interactive video created in PlayPosit. Transform any video into an active experience for students by embedding questions, images, audio, and other media elements. To start creating a new bulb, click Add New Bulb from the dashboard.

Insert a video 

The PlayPosit Designer supports adding videos from a multitude of sources. However, only institutional account holders will be able to access videos from premium video hosts like Kaltura, Panopto, Wistia, Zoom, and Mediasite. All users, however, can use unlisted or public YouTube or Vimeo videos in their bulbs, and all users will be able to see videos they have previously built into bulbs when they click the My Videos button.

If you have a specific YouTube or Vimeo video URL that you'd like to use, click Input URL and paste the link into the given field.

Add multiple video clips to a bulb

When you add multiple video clips to a single bulb, your students will experience a seamless video storyline experience. To add multiple videos within a bulb, follow these instructions:

  1. Click the Video Segments tab header and then click Add Video.
  2. Repeat the same steps as in the above section to finish setting up this video segment.
  3. You will see multiple videos in the list, and you should be able to scrub between the different videos on a single sidebar.

Upload or fetch captions

The PlayPosit 3.0 designer supports uploading .vtt and .srt caption files, as well as fetching caption files that are already attached to video streams from other media hosts like YouTube, Kaltura, and MediaSite.

Note: If you are part of an institutional license, all captions will be auto-fetched eliminating the need to click fetch. To enable live transcripts for Youtube videos, you must fetch captions.

  1. Switch to the Video Segments tab.
  2. Click the triple dots icon for the video you want to caption and select Edit Video Segment.
  3. Click Customize.
  4. From here, you can either drag and drop caption files directly over the dialog menu, or click Fetch YouTube Captions to retrieve existing caption files for that stream.

To learn more about how to set your captions to autoplay in your Bulb, click here

Note: We recommend checking all .srt and .vtt files with a srt checker before upload so any formatting errors can be caught that could affect playback. A recommended online checker is

5. Once captions are automatically fetched or uploaded, you may use in them in the player. When previewing a bulb in the player, select the captions you would like to use by clicking the Settings Gear.

6. Select the captions you would like displayed from the dropdown.

Note: Captions that are uploaded from a .vtt or .srt files will show up in the drop down labeled as the chosen file name and will display for the bulb viewer.

Trimming and cropping video

If your video is too long or covers topics that aren't relevant to you, you can either trim the beginning and end of the video, or add internal crop segments.

  1. Switch to the Video Segments tab.
  2. Click the triple dots icon for the video you want to caption and select Edit Video Segment.
  3. Click the Trim & Crop tab.
  4. To trim video from the beginning and end, drag the first set of red and green handles, or click Advanced and type in the exact timestamps you want to trim the video to.
  5. To add internal crops, click Advanced > Add Internal Crop. You can then drag the new sets of red and green handles that appear, or type in the exact timestamps you want to trim the video to.
  6. Click Done to save your changes and close the dialog.

Changing a video source

If you want to replace a video segment that you have already added:

  1. Click on the thumbnail of the video segment you want to replace.
  2. Click the dropdown menu above the video preview. (It may read something like "Current YouTube video)
  3. Choose your new video source.

All interactions which you have already added will be preserved when you change the underlying video source.

Insert interactions

To insert a single interaction, switch to the Interactions tab, and click Add an Interaction.

Before you can save the interaction and close the dialog, you may need to:
  • Add text to the question prompt
  • designate a correct answer

Otherwise, the dialog will not allow you to save and close.

Types of interactions

PlayPosit offers 8 different types of interactions, each of which can be customized in a variety of ways:

Multiple choice: Present students with a series of options to choose from in response to a question. This question type has one correct answer and is auto-graded.
Check all: Present students with a series of options to choose from in response to a question. This question type can have multiple correct answers, but students will only receive full credit if they select  all of the correct answers. This question is auto-graded. 
Free response: Allow students to demonstrate understanding with a text response and/or use the rich text editor to include images, audio, equations and tables. This question type is manually graded.     
Fill-in-the-blank: Present students with a phrase that is missing one or more words. Questions can have multiple blanks and multiple correct answers. Learners can receive partial credit for their answers, and this question is auto-graded.
Reflective pause: Give students the opportunity to pause and reflect on video content. Alternatively, use this question type to supplement information that is not covered in the video, or make connections between the video content and other course material. This interaction is not graded by default, but you can change the point value if desired.
Web embed: Allow students to explore a website without leaving the video lesson. Use this to provide supplemental information to students or have them complete an online simulation. This interaction is not graded by default, but you can change the point value if desired. 
Polling survey: Present students with a series of options to choose from in response to a question. Student can only choose one option, and there is no right or wrong answer. This interaction is not graded by default, but you can change the point value if desired.
Discussion forum: Simulate an interactive discussion with this question type. Students can post responses in real time and/or reply to comments posted by other students. This interaction is not graded by default, but you can change the point value if desired. 

Interaction templates

When you click Add an Interaction, you can select an interaction template to add a pre-formatted interaction to your bulb:

  • Check for Understanding - adds a multiple choice question with four answer options which you can then customize for your own use.
  • Learning Objectives - adds a reflective pause formatted for you to communicate the learning objectives of this bulb to your learners.
  • Word Bank - adds a specially-formatted fill-in-the-blank question with three blanks, meant for testing vocabulary or other concepts.

Template gallery

When you click Open Template Gallery, you will see a list of templates that will apply certain sets of questions to your bulb:

  • Learner Feedback: Add a poll question at the end of the bulb for learners to rate their experience, followed by a free response questions where they can provide more detail.
  • Learner Notes: Adds a reflective pause in a hotspot at the beginning of the bulb to teach learners how to use PlayPosit's Notes feature.
  • Discussion: Add a discussion forum in the sidebar that lasts the entire bulb so learners can comment at any time. 
  • Pre/Post Assessment: Add two free response questions in the sidebar at the beginning and end to ask learners what they already know, and what concepts they mastered upon completion. 
  • Summative Assessment: Add four multiple choice questions in the sidebar at the end of a bulb to prompt learners to reflect on what they learned in this bulb. 
  • Check for Understanding: Adds five stacked free response and poll questions to evaluate learner understanding.
  • One of Each: A template that contains all of the interaction types, evenly spaced throughout the middle of the bulb. 

Adding feedback

To add feedback to individual answer choices for multiple choice, check all, or polling survey interactions:

  1. Click the gear icon next to the answer choice and select Add Feedback.
  2. Type out your feedback.
  3. Click Done to close the dialog.

Embed images, audio, equations and tables

You can use the rich text editor to add images, audio, equations, tables, links, and more to any interaction, with the exception of web embeds.

Clicking in any editable text area should bring up the rich text editor toolbar. Click the triple dots icon on the toolbar to expand it and show even more options for formatting your interaction.

Change the point value of a question

By default, when you create new interactions, the Designer will automatically set them to be worth the same number of points as is specified in your profile. However, if you want to change the point value of an individual interaction, you should:

  1. Click on the triple dots icon for the interaction you want to edit.
  2. Click and drag the slider next to the point value (10 points maximum)

Advanced interaction settings

Certain interactions have more advanced features available to them, all accessible by clicking Advanced underneath the interaction.

Partial credit

When you check " Learners can earn partial credit" on a fill-in-the-blank question, you will let learners receive points for each blank they get correct.

When you click Done, the interaction should update to reflect the exact points that each correct answer is worth.


If a learner selects a specific answer, or if they get a question right or wrong, you can jump the learner to a different point of the video.

To add a jump to specific answer options (multiple choice, polling survey):

  1. Click the gear icon next to the specific answer option and select Add Jump.
  2. Drag the slider or type in a specific timestamp.
  3. Click Done to save and exit the interaction dialog

Otherwise, to add a jump if the learner answers a question correctly or incorrectly (fill-in-the-blank, check-all):

  1. Click Advanced at the bottom of the interaction dialog
  2. Check one or both of Jump if the user answers this question correctly and Jump if the user answers this question incorrectly.
  3. Drag the slider or type in a specific timestamp.
  4. Click Done to save and exit the interaction dialog.

If you want to jump the learner forward in a bulb, you must enable fast-forwarding in Bulb Settings, and all intermediate interactions (i.e. between the original interaction and the jump destination) must be set to not required. Similarly, if you want to jump the learner backward in a bulb, you must enable rewinding in Bulb Settings. Click here for more information.


You can set all interaction types to appear in either the sidebar or a video overlay, more commonly referred to as a "hotspot." This is supported for all interaction types.

To change the way an interaction displays, you can either open the interaction editor and click Customize, or click on the position information on an interaction, directly underneath the blue timestamp.

This will open the interaction editor to the Placement tab, where you can select whether this interaction should appear in the sidebar or a video overlay, aka "hotspot."

Finally, if you select a hotspot location and then click Advanced, you will have many more options for customizing your interaction's hotspot, including size and opacity.

This section contains settings for nudging your video content from the left and top. In addition, the width or height of the content may be edited from this menu. Transparent may be selected to show or hide the position for your content in the "Placement" window. Expandable can be selected to add the ability to shrink and expand your content in the viewer. Collapsible can be selected to add the ability to collapse the content in the viewer.


By default, when you add an individual interaction, that interaction will appear and disappear at a specific time in the video. However, you can set it to be visible for however long you want if, for example, you want to show an annotation over the video for a while, or let your students use the video as a resource to answer a question. This is enabled for all interaction types.

To adjust a question's timing, open the interaction and click Customize twice, or click on the timestamp to the left of the interaction's triple dot icon.

Next, click Advanced to expand the start and end times, and edit them however you'd like.


By default, students can only attempt each interaction once, but teachers can set individual interactions to have up to ten retries, or unlimited retries. This is supported for multiple choice, check all, polling surveys, free response, and fill-in-the-blank interactions.

To enable them, open up an interaction, click Advanced, and then check the box next to Allow more than one attempt

Finally, drag the slider to the number of attempts that you wish to enable for that interaction. 

Randomized answer order

To prevent cheating on certain interaction types, you can set answer options to display in randomized order each time. This is supported for multiple choice, check all, and polling survey

Chain and stack questions together

When you add an interaction, it usually appears as a stand-alone interaction. However, it is possible to set interactions to display in a group, so that your students need to answer a series of questions at a time before they can continue watching the video.

On any interaction (depending on whether or not it's already in a group), you can click the triple dots icon to:

  • Add Interaction Before or Add Interaction After - Add a new interaction before or after the selected interaction, effectively creating a group of interactions.
  • Separate From Group - Remove the selected interaction from an existing group so that you can edit it individually
  • Move Interaction Back or Move Interaction Forward - Move the selected interaction earlier or later in the group so it displays sooner or later.

Bulb settings

If you click the Review tab, you will see a number of bulb settings you can change that will affect the way your bulb plays back and displays to both your fellow teachers and to the students taking your bulb.

Change video thumbnail

Edit the bulb  thumbnail by clicking on the picture. This thumbnail will display in the My Bulbs library, on student dashboards (if they log in to PlayPosit), and in Premade Bulbs (in certain cases).


Tags allow you to sort and manage your bulbs by custom keywords, audience, and subject area. For example, if you have five bulbs for a unit on Geometry, and four bulbs for a unit on Algebra, you can tag your content to easily organize and share them.

  1. From the Review tab of the Designer, click Tags to expand that section.
  2. Next, either type or select the tags that you want to apply to this bulb and click Save.
    1. Keywords/Tags are user-generated content. You can type any keyword you want to use in this field.
    2. Target Audience is a PlayPosit-generated list of options that you can choose from. Click here to request new entries.
    3. Subject is a PlayPosit-generated list of options that you can choose from. Click here to request new entries.

Playback options

Click Playback Options to expand that section and check the desired boxes.
  • Allow learners to rewind after an interaction appears - Learners can rewind as far as the beginning of the video while they are answering an interaction. (Learners can always rewind as far as the beginning of the video after answering an interaction)
  • Allow learners to skip interactions - Learners can choose not to answer interactions and keep watching the video.
  • Allow viewers to fast forward - Viewers can fast-forward up to the next required interaction.
  • Allow learners to retake the bulb upon completion - Learners can retry an entire bulb when they are done watching the video, but doing so will set their score back to zero until they finish watching the entire bulb again.
  • Allow learners to download a PDF of their attempt - Learners can download a printable worksheet of their answers once the bulb has been completed. Instructors may enable this option as a way for students to have a certificate of completion. Students may use this report to review and study at a later date. *NOTE: This option is for institutional clients only.
  • Allow learners to increase playback speed - This option will automatically be enabled for all bulbs. Instructors can now have the option of disabling playback speed so their students are unable to speed up videos. *NOTE: This option is for institutional clients only.


Click Privacy to expand that section and select the desired privacy setting for your bulb. These settings will override your profile defaults, which you can read more about in this help article.

Previewing a bulb

It is possible to preview a bulb as either an instructor or a learner from the PlayPosit Designer. Previewing a bulb as an instructor will allow the viewer to fast-forward to any point in the bulb, as well as to skip questions. Previewing the bulb as a learner will restrict the viewer to viewing the bulb as a learner would, essentially defaulting to the bulb's built-in playback settings. It is possible to switch between the two previews at any point in time.

On first launch

In the  Review tab of the designer, click the Preview button. This will open a new tab containing a player preview.

When the player first loads a bulb preview, a toast will appear in the top right corner of the screen. 

Selecting "Toggle Playback Mode" will open the settings gear menu, which will allow you to choose your preview mode

Instructor preview

In the Review tab of the designer, click the Preview button. This will open a new tab containing a player preview. By default, clicking Preview will open an instructor preview of the bulb, but the following instructions will show how to switch back to an instructor preview.

  1. Click the Settings Gear in the bottom right. 
  2. Then, next to Playback Mode, select Instructor from the dropdown menu.

You should now be able to skip to any part of the bulb and skip any questions that arise.

Learner preview

  1. Click the Settings Gear icon in the bottom right corner.
  2. Select Learner from the dropdown menu labeled Playback Mode.

You will now see the bulb the same way a learner would, which is determined by the bulb's playback settings. 

Note: If you are switching from an instructor preview to a learner preview, and had previously skipped any required questions, the player will jump you back to the first unanswered question, regardless of your progress in the video.

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