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EDU Support Blackboard Instructor Tool Guide Tools for creating and publishing video Creating educational videos

Creating educational videos

Video is a powerful medium that can support and enhance learning. Creating and sharing video asynchronously in your courses can be very beneficial. It gives 24/7 access to important content; students can watch when they have time or internet access, and they can rewatch/review the content to get a deeper understanding of the material when needed. If video content is shared asynchronously, it frees up time during your synchronous meetings for more higher order thinking activities, as well as opportunities for conversation and idea sharing, similar in many ways to a Flipped Classroom model.

It is possible to use existing videos found online or recordings of your online teaching, but spending some time intentionally creating videos designed specifically for your course can be a valuable addition to your content.  These do not need to be cinema quality productions--even simple screencasts (a recording of your computer screen and/or webcam) can be quick and effective. Please find here our tips and instructions, but first take note of the general guidelines below.


General guidelines

There are some important things to consider when you want to use recorded videos for your teaching:

  1. Video is a one-way medium. The key of success lies within a careful alignment with the learning goals of your course and the learning activities that your students should carry out. Ensure that students need to use the information from the videos in some way to complete a task, discussion, assignment, etc. so that they are more motivated to watch them.

  2. To better hold student attention, several short (maximum 6 minutes) videos, alternated with readings, assignments, and other activities, are better than one long video. If you want to discuss a complex topic, it may be more effective to divide the topic into different videos with subtopics, just as you would normally have different sections in a physical lecture. Remember, even the highly practiced and engaging TED talks are very intentionally capped at an 18 minute time length to avoid cognitive backlog.

  3. Preparation is key to a good quality recording no matter which tool you are using! Using a technique such as storyboarding can save you time and frustration. If using presentation slides, write your script for each slide and/or visual in the notes box of that slide. When designing and producing, take note of Mayer’s multimedia principles. 

  4. Think about what you want to show your students. You should show something rather than tell. A “talking head” will become boring very quickly. How can you visualize your message? Consider using more graphics in your presentation rather than a lot of text and bullet points. Sites such as Pixabay and  the Noun Project are a great place to find useful visuals.

  5. Always give clear instructions. Tell students what to watch for, or take notice of. Provide questions that your students should be thinking of while watching the video. You can even post questions/prompts and have students interact with the video by using Nestor-integrated tools such as FeedbackFruits or Perusall.

  6. If you are creating your own video, be flexible and generous with yourself. It does not have to be perfect! Students will appreciate your efforts. A small hiccup or mispronunciation humanizes you and may even make you more likeable to your students (Pratfall Effect).

  7. The sound is equally as important as visuals. Use a better quality microphone, and speak slowly and clearly. Try to avoid distracting background noise.


Whom to contact?

Contact EDU Support or your faculty's Embedded Expert from ESI for tailored didactic advice in using these suggestions in your teaching. For technical assistance please contact Nestorsupport.


More Information

There are many programs available that allow you to do screen recording, including recording within Blackboard Collaborate, a native recording tool within PowerPoint, and many free screencasting tools. 

Most computer operating systems come with video editing software (ie: iMovie for Mac or Windows Movie Maker) if you wish to make your final product appear more polished. There is also an open source tool available: OBS Studio (open source software - works on all platforms): https://obsproject.com/download

If you teach at the Faculty of Arts or Law, you may use the DIY Studio to make easy, professional-looking video recordings. Please contact AV Support to book a time to work in the studio. 

If you teach at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, you can make use of their Mobile Video Unit by contacting e-learning@umcg.nl

On the RUG Infonet, you can find more extensive guidelines on how to produce a video . The word “Knowledge clip” is used there, which is actually a video that would be recorded in the DIY studio in the Harmonie building. The general rules and guidelines presented for knowledge clips basically apply to every video.

For inspiration about more creative ways to use video in education, read Fifty ways to use a screencast (info provided by Screencastify - but any screen recording tool could be used for these types of activities).


Last modified: 6 December 09:42 am
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