Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2017 April

Creating Instructional Videos

As we acquire more and more students with technological savvy, we may decide to become more technological ourselves. If you are creating (or considering) instructional videos, here are some tips adapted from a recent article by Michael Smedshammer on the FacultyFocus website.

  1. Lose the headset — You look more natural, and most built-in microphones are as good as headsets.
  2. Shorter is better — As you well know, our students have short attention spans. Most marketing experts say not to go longer than 3 minutes in a video. Yikes! We do have a bit more leeway with instructional videos, but you may lose them if you go longer than 5-10 minutes in a stretch. So, break-up longer topics into several different videos.
  3. Don’t read the script — Sure, write a script and practice that script; when it comes to recording, just wing it. Then your video appears much more like who you are in the classroom.
  4. Position your camera so you are looking up at it — No one wants to see your nostrils, and students sure don’t want to be talked down to. The best view shows your head, shoulders, and upper torso.
  5. Choose an appropriate location, and change it up — Classroom or office make good choices, even your home office (unless it’s in a bedroom). If you do multiple videos, change up the location so students don’t get bored with the same background. Even changing the angle of your camera can make a difference.
  6. Look directly at the camera — Don’t look around or off to the side to read your notes, look right into the camera lens. Anything else looks weird.
  7. Cover up your screen — Seeing yourself on your computer screen while you are recording can be distracting.
  8. Smile — Smiling makes you look and sound more enthusiastic.
  9. Don’t over do the editing — The fancy music and transitions that come with most video editing software can actually make you look like a bit amateur-ish (the pros don’t really even use those things).