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Tips from the Pros: Tips for Effective Video Instruction

Teaching with Technology

Tips from the Pros: Tips for Effective Video Instruction

Videos are the ideal way to deliver content in an online course because the web is a fundamentally audiovisual medium. But while many faculty assume that videos require high-level technical skills to produce, they are actually not beyond the means of the ordinary instructor. They just require understanding of a few basic production principles. This check list will get you started with effective video instruction.

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Videos are the ideal way to deliver content in an online course because the web is a fundamentally audiovisual medium. But while many faculty assume that videos require high-level technical skills to produce, they are actually not beyond the means of the ordinary instructor. They just require understanding of a few basic production principles. This check list will get you started with effective video instruction.  Plan  Always start by outlining or writing a script. Break your script or outline into sections that will become separate but related video segments—this is called “chunking.” Instead of delivering a 50-minute lecture to a camera, record shorter segments of less than 10 minutes each. Each segment should focus on a specific topic, and learners can go back to reference each video instead of scanning through a longer 50-minute recording to find what they want to review. A typed one-page, double-spaced, 12-point font script equals roughly two minutes of video, so plan your content accordingly. Prepare  Now that you have completed your materials, it's time for you to prepare for filming. This means reading through your script or materials several times before delivering it to the camera. We recommend running through a practice recording and watching it to target your strengths as well as areas you'd like to improve upon. Ask yourself the following questions as you prepare: Also keep these considerations in mind before filming: Perform Your first time teaching to the camera can be intimidating, but once you have an understanding of the process, it's much easier to be comfortable. Let's quickly get to know some of the equipment that may be present on your video shoot. Perfect Of course, even with a teleprompter, your delivery may not be perfect. You may stumble on a word or lose your place in the script. In this case you can either start from the beginning, which can cause the shooting time to explode, or restart from a logical break in the action. The magic of video is that these mistakes can be edited out. To conceal a cut, the segments can be separated with an image. Another option is to shoot with two cameras simultaneously and then just switch to the other camera when inserting a cut. Regardless of how it's done, any hiccups that occurred during recording will be nonexistent after editing. The length of shoots varies for everyone, but it can take hours to film minutes of video instruction. Prepare yourself both mentally and physically for this kind of schedule. Drink lots of water before and during the shoot, and take breaks between segments to relax and refocus yourself. If you prepare properly for your shoot, you will produce exciting and engaging videos that will make the effort all worthwhile. Stephanie Parisi is an assistant director of online education and Dina Thornton is a video production specialist at Emory University.