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A 5-Step Guide to Making Your Own Instructional Videos

Replacing your lectures with self-made videos can boost students’ engagement and free you up to work with them directly.  Imagine lecturing to a class in which some of your students are grade levels behind, some are grade levels ahead, some have special needs, and some are absent. It’s pretty hard to do that effectively, isn’t it?

Step 1: Chunk Instruction

Great teachers have a lot to say about their subjects. When it comes to video creation, however, time is of the essence. Research on instructional videos shows that learner engagement with videos begins to drop after the 6-minute mark—and it falls dramatically after 9. So it’s essential to chunk instruction such that each video covers a single learning objective or task, and nothing more. Multiple short videos are better than one long video.

Step 2: Build Video-Ready Slides

Studies also show that the best instructional videos are highly focused, use visual cues to highlight key information, and minimize the use of on-screen text. The slides that a teacher would use in a lecture may not work in a video—it’s critical to build a slide deck that is clear, simple, and visually compelling.

Step 3: Record

There are many tools you can use to create a strong instructional video. Here are a few that can really simplify the process and enhance the quality of the video.  Recording device: Ideally, you have a touch-screen tablet or laptop with a high-quality stylus. Screencasting program: The best programs, like Explain Everything, allow educators to pause and re-record specific segments of their video easily.   Microphone: This is often forgotten, but it’s really helpful to have a pair of headphones with an external mic.

Step 4: Enhance Engagement

Simply sitting and watching videos can lead students to lose focus—the best instructional videos keep them actively engaged. Research shows that when students take notes or answer guided questions while watching, they retain material better than students who watch passively.

Step 5: Be Yourself

Perhaps the most important element of a strong video is authenticity. The most effective blended instruction isn’t pretty—it’s personal. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and make sure your authentic personality shines through. Research shows that videos in which the instructor speaks in a natural, conversational manner, with an enthusiastic tone, are the most engaging.

The information for this post was taken from an article by Kareem Farah and Robert Barnett in Edutopia, follow this link for the complete article and more details.