Creating Course Videos
Apply basic course design principles
When planning course videos, apply some basic course design principles to frame and organize content delivery through this medium. Essentially, you want to establish the “need to know” information that the video will supply, and what students will be able do after viewing it (Morrison, et al., 2011):
- Is the goal of your video to introduce new content or to review or reinforce important content that has already been introduced in a class lecture, reading, etc.?
- Are you using the video to deliver course content such as facts, concepts, principles, procedures, or interpersonal skills, etc.
Clarify the purpose
Articulate the purpose of the video as “actionable” tasks that students can accomplish after viewing the video:
- Define… (recall facts, terms, or basic concepts)…
- Explain… (understand what the facts, terms, or concepts mean)…
- Categorize… (break down information into parts)…
- Demonstrate… (apply acquired knowledge of facts, techniques, or rules; solve problems)…
- Develop… (combine information in new ways; proposing alternate solutions) ….
- Critique… (make judgments, present opinions based on established criteria or evidence)
Build in opportunities for students to apply what they have learned from the video, such as short online or in-class quizzes, a class discussion or activity, or a homework assignment.
Adapted from Writing Objectives Using Bloom's Taxonomy.
Develop a storyboard
Create a storyboard with written text and rough sketches to:
- Plan what you will say
- Outline what you will visually demonstrate
- Determine the sequencing of your material before you record.
Mapping this out in advance on paper will make the recording process more efficient.
Use short “chunks”
Organize your video content into ‘chunks’ or modules no more than 15 or 20 minutes. Each chunk should have a logical beginning, middle, and end. These short segments (Videobuilders, 2013):
- Make it easier for students to process and review the material.
- Allow you to incorporate short activities at crucial points for students to apply what they viewed (Instructional Design, Video Network Services, University of Minnesota, 2002).
- facilitate updating or adding content later.
- Can become ‘building blocks’ that you can move around or use independently—even in other courses (Videobuilders, 2013)
Engage the viewer
- Introduce yourself and what the segment will cover at the beginning of each video (thinkMonkeysBlog, n.d.).
- Speak clearly and naturally; normal inflections in your voice can help keep the viewer engaged.
- Experiment with ‘vocal variety’ much like a radio announcer (Waters, 2011)
- When speaking to the camera, maintain eye contact with it. Talk to it as if there are really people out there watching—which will be the case once you are finished!
- Use digital highlighting, annotation, or mark up to help the viewer focus on specific content on the screen.
Leverage existing content
You do not have to develop all of your own online content. There are resources available (often free) that range from video and interactive media to electronically accessible published materials and peer-reviewed activities. A curated list that showcases a variety of these online resources can be found on the Effective Web Resources wiki (RIT login required).
You can also contact your librarian to investigate other resources online.
Guo, Philip. How MOOC Video Production Affects Student Engagement. eDx, 3/12/2014.
Morrison, G.R., Ross, S.M., Kalman, H.K. & Kemp, J.E. (2011). Designing Effective Instruction (6th ed). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 13: 978-0-470-52282-0.
6 Essential Tips to Make Your Video Engaging. thinkMonkeys Blog. (n.d.).
Waters, J. (2011). 10 Tips to Improve On-Camera Performance.
UNC Charlotte, Center for Teaching and Learning. Writing Objectives Using Bloom's Taxonomy. Retrieved September 20, 2013.