How to create engaging video lectures

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Video lectures are becoming the new normal for student learning and if you’re an educator or instructor, it’s time you jumped onboard! Studies show 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, with visuals being processed 60,000x faster than text. This means video lectures–whether live or animated lectures– are more conducive to effective learning than textbooks, too. 

So how do you get started with this upward trend in teaching? By creating engaging videos. We’ve put together a few tips to guide instructors toward making attention-grabbing video lectures.

Identify the Objective of Your Video

What do you hope to accomplish with your videos? Clearly identify your goal to determine what is needed to achieve your objective. Decide the length of your video, style, voice and which tools to incorporate. If you have multiple objectives, consider creating a series of shorter videos to meet each one individually. If needed, do some lectures with animation and others with live video–each lesson may be suited better with a different type of video!

Choose Your Video Style

You’ve already identified your goal, now let’s find your style! Video style is the roadmap to your desired results. Animated lectures, live lectures, or a combination can all be incredibly effective. Some options include:

Lecture Capture: Lecture capture is used to present material remotely by recording in-class lectures or using pre-recorded lectures.

Demonstration: Step-by-step pre-recorded videos, or demonstration videos, usually involve a white board, easel or screenshare to provide guided notes or other visuals throughout the lecture. 

Talking Head: One of the easiest video lectures to make is the talking head style, featuring a simple background and limited distractions. You can also incorporate slides or animations to help guide the lecture.

Animation: Animated education videos, or animation lectures, not only allow students to learn in a fun and relaxing way, but challenging concepts are usually easier to convey and understand through animation. Try upping your game even more with 3D animation lectures! Instructors typically record a voice-over to assist the media presented.

Here is more detailed information on each of these video lecture styles and what is needed to execute each one. 

Spice Up Your Video Script

It’s easy to get carried away with visuals, but your script is the engine that powers the car and where you’ll spend the majority of your focus. Don’t be boring!  A good script captivates your audience from the beginning and has minimal distractions. Keep your language direct and to the point, but stay conversational and try not to sound like you’re reading word-for-word.

Also, avoid using long lists. Aside from the possibility of your student-based audience   snoozing, if you need to include a long list, you should likely break your lecture into multiple videos instead. There should be an inherent smooth flow that keeps your audience engaged. Anything that breaks that flow does not belong in your script.

Look At Video Production Quality

How do you want your final product to look and sound? Considerations have to be made on the forefront to ensure the quality is top-notch at the end. 

Lighting can be tricky! Cameras don’t respond to lighting the same way as the human eye, so be sure to check your lighting through the camera. It doesn’t need to be dramatic, but make sure your visuals are clear and the lighting is not distracting. 

Also, check your audio. Consider using a lapel mic to deliver clear audio or a studio-like setting, if recording a voiceover, to reduce outside sounds. You’d be surprised what a camera mic will pick up! 

Lastly, if recording your screen, make sure your visuals are clear, planned out and organized. You don’t want to leave your audience viewing your desktop while you frantically search for a file. 

Getting started can be difficult. A little inspiration always helps, so check out this video lecture we made to fuel your creative juices. Let us know how we can help!