Video lectures are essential in the elearning world. Not only do they provide remote students the golden opportunity to learn in the same fashion as a brick-and-mortar student by getting somewhat of a simulator classroom experience, but it also allows them to get more comfortable and familiar with you, the instructor. But not all lecture videos are the same. To learn a few ways to make yours a bit more engaging, continue reading below.
The first thing you want to do is to make sure that the test subject (you) and your environment are ready to record. This includes but is not limited to checking the lighting—you need to make sure that you are in a properly lit area and that you press the white balance button on the digital video camcorder. You also want to make sure that your microphone is working—you don’t want to sound too loud or too soft. So check audio. If checking your equipment and position is too foreign for you, don’t be afraid to look into tutorials and free open courseware that can show you the ropes, such as Good Shooting Guide: the Basic Principles [BBC] and Introduction to Video [MIT].
Just like when giving a lecture with a live audience, you want to properly transition your students to the day’s lesson. Meaning, you don’t want to just dive right in it. At the very least introduce yourself, greet your students, and make some small talk if you’d like. This will help your students connect with you and make you seem approachable—i.e. easier to speak to via email and perhaps even video chatting. Then give an overview of what the day’s lesson will cover to ease them into it. When making your video, don’t forget about the power of visuals as well such as slideshows, key notes, and other graphics with voice overs.
Use Editing Software
Last but not least, you want to make sure that you edit each and every video before uploading it to the course management site or emailing it to your students. If areas appear to be too dark for example, take a few moments to correct the issue or cut out scenes where you might have mumbled words. Some great (and free) video editing software include:
- Microsoft Movie Maker
- Apple iMovie
If creating video lectures aren’t really your thing or you want to try a more creative way to present information to your students, remember that you have other options as well, such as creating podcasts or “video sound slides” with some free services such as Animoto and Flow Gram.
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