If content is king, then video is the king of the kings. With the rising popularity of video as a medium, it would be a mistake not to include a video in your online courses., When used correctly, the results can be astonishing.
Recent statistics show that video is a proven method of teaching, “facilitating thinking and problem-solving” (Pedagogical Benefits of Video, University of Queensland). Video has become essential in the eLearning world and a study from Cisco claims that by 2021 video traffic will represent over 80 percent of all internet traffic.
When it comes down to creating educational videos, the process can be made really simple. For example, if you already have a Powerpoint presentation ready or you just want to present the use of a specific software, then you can simply record your computer screen and voice, and this way you can create your first eLearning video course or video tutorial in under 30 minutes.
This article provides a short step-by-step guide to help you go through the three main stages of the video creation process:
What we will cover is the easiest type of eLearning video to product, the Screencast. They do not require cameras or any other special hardware. All you need is your pc/laptop and you can start recording your first eLearning video.
The Preparation Stage
Do you already have a structured presentation ready? Your PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi presentation already provides part of your educational video structure.
a Come up with a plan
The first step you need to take is coming up with a plan.
Start with a draft of the content you want to use in your video. This should be able to capture the message you intend to convey.
Give priority to the information that can help you increase your learner’s engagement so that you share knowledge in the best and quickest way possible.
b Give your video a structure
It’s important to carefully think the order in which you present information since it needs to have a logical flow. This provides a hook for your learners as it helps them remember it better and retains their attention.
Pauses are important elements of your video since they give learners an opportunity to reflect on the topic you present. You can make the video more responsive by adding questions for them to follow while watching the video.
If you already have a presentation, at this point you may need to rethink of the order of the slides, and either add or remove them to better accommodate the task.
c Proofread and simplify language
When you are ready, work on your eLearning video script, proofread to avoid text repetition and finalise the content. Make sure to use simple language to help people take out key ideas and concepts. Don’t forget to include industry-related keywords that can work along with your eLearning goals.
The Recording / Screen Capturing Stage
When all the preparation is done, it is time to record and edit the video course. Get your script ready, open the presentation and start recording.
aFilm and Record
This is probably the most time-consuming part since you’ll need to record your screencast and audio several times before you get the desired result. Continuous check-ups can make the editing process easier later on. Ιf you want to make the video more interactive and easy-to-understand you can also record your voice giving out instructions.
b Double Check the Recordings
Bear in mind that success is in the details. Before you end the recording process, make sure that every aspect works the way it should work, and your video looks as professional as it possibly can.
cEnrich the Video
An excellent idea is to engage your learners with relevant movie clips, music, graphics or any animations that can make your content richer in variety and form. Use your creativity and test a range of effects on your own to see what works and what doesn’t.
The Editing Stage
No video is ready before it goes through the editing process. Think of it as your draft document. Any material you use needs to be put under the magnifying glass before it can be presented as high-quality content.
aSynchronise video and audio
Once you get it all in there, go through the video again to match the text or narratives to the visual image. When audio and image is synchronized you are creating a more powerful effect that allows learners to convey your message as you want them to receive it.
bBreak the video into digestible bites
Check the length of your video and ensure that it is not too long or too short. The ideal length for presenting a single concept is 2 to 3 minutes. Any longer than that and you are risking of losing the attention of your learners, so stay brief and to the point.The only exception to this rule is when you need to explain an idea in more detail, where the video can take up to 10 minutes.
cMind the size and format
It’s important to make your video accessible to all so that they can watch it from anywhere and anytime. Apart from computers, it should be made available for mobile phones, tablets or any other device that your learners are using. For this, you will need to make sure to choose a mobile-ready platform to host your online video courses.
Finally, compress your video files and come up with a lower quality version to allow users that have a slow internet connection to watch your video just as efficiently as others without restricting them the access.
Top 10 Tools to Create an eLearning Video
Instead of wasting precious time or money on hiring someone especially for this task, you can give it a try with a few tools that are available online.
Check out the following list to pick the one that works best for you…
For Windows and Mac
Screencast-O-Matic offers the best choice combining ease of use and price. Not only it is free, but also records your webcam and your screen with some really nice features that you don’t get in any other free screen-casting software. It is really versatile and useful since it also has a Mac version, a Windows version and you have the option of launching it as a Java applet directly from the official site without installing any software on your computer. If you want, you also have the option to buy the Pro version for just $15/year.
This is a product from Adobe software, which says it all. Although it may seem expensive, every penny you pay into this, it’s worth it as it offers incredible quality for $435 per license. What makes it unique to others is its features that include iOS device capture and adds mobile-specific gestures such as swipe, tap and pinch to zoom, and an audio-video support and synchronization with the ability to import video in a wide variety of formats. If you are unfamiliar with such tools, you may find that the interface and workflow are difficult to use but with some practice, you can get very slick screencasts.
Camtasia Studio is PC-only powerful software that allows you to do almost anything you want to do in an educational screencast. It costs $179 per license and is better suited to teachers who have already done some screen-casting and are quite comfortable with using a PC and still come up with good quality and professionally- looking content. Amongst its advantages is its nicely designed interface, its powerful features, and a large choice of output formats it offers.
Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 is an advanced audio/video encoding application that includes screen recording. It has a free version and follows a 2-step process where you need to record the screen and then press the recording button to Encoder for further editing and outputting. The original recording is saved in Expression Encode format and you can review what’s recorded within the tool. The final result can be saved in Windows Media.wmv format which you can later convert to best suit your needs.
When it comes to free screen-casting, Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) could be your best friend. This tool is not only used for video recording but for live streaming as well. It offers special encoding features using H264 and AAC, unlimited number of screens and sources, an audio mixer with per-source filters and file output in MP4 or FLV format.
This is an all-in-one, free and super easy tool to use. It offers a screen recorder and video creator with a user-friendly interface you can work with. With this app, you are only a click away from recording your screen and capturing anything you want on your computer screen. Ezvid also allows you to add slides, change the playback speed of your video and make overlaid annotations.
Don’t let Camtasia:Mac fool you, it is not the same as Camtasia Studio. This one has some really cool and special effects and filters at the same time it is less complicated to use in contrast to Camtasia Studio. It is also less expensive at $75, though it can be a bit complex to use until you get your head around and experiment with its features.
Like Camtasia:Mac, Screenflow could be seen as expensive. You can only use it on Mac though it has a great variety of features. As a user, you may find the video-creation a bit time consuming unless you are a Mac user and fairly comfortable with using a multi-track video editing software. If this applies to you, then it is definitely worth your money. This tool is suitable to those who are good in using computers, have made some screencasts and now want screencast wonders.
This tool comes pre-installed on your Mac so there is no need to pay or download! What few people know is that it has a screen recording feature built into it. Even though it’s mostly featureless compared to other apps, it works very well. This is recommended for Mac users who want to make a screencast quickly, without much fuss.
Tapes probably offer the simplest and fastest way to make a screencast. The process it uses is really, really, quick and once you record your video, a link is placed on your clipboard. From there, you can directly paste it into an email or discussion thread, even as the video is being uploaded in the background. If you need guidelines to use the app, it also offers a quick explanation for creating a more complex screencast.
Next Step – Create Your Online Video Course
There is no doubt that the visual content – and more specifically the video, has a huge impact on customer engagement. From anywhere you look at it, it can greatly improve your course’s quality and learning value, and boost your marketing efforts at large.
If you wish to increase effectiveness, you can use part of your educational video to advertise your online course. This can give a preview and an explanation of what is it about, constituting video your top marketing tool. Besides, 51.9 percent of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. This way you kill two birds with one stone, meaning that you get to share your educational material and invest in the promotion of your course.
eLearning videos aim to give out a full description of who you are presenting what you have to offer in just a few minutes and as creatively as possible. So why not give it a try?