Developing Your Media

Creating Course Videos
1. Create an Outline: before jumping into recording your introductory video, it is helpful to draft an outline for the topics you will want to cover.  An average video should be 5-7 minutes. An introductory video can be fairly short, 1 minute.

2. Write a Script: this is your fleshed out version of your outline, including what you plan to say while recording. Think of ways to show rather than tell the information.

3. Lighting and Space Tips:

  • Sit near the camera, maintaining a close distance so the student viewing can see expressions and nonverbal cues.
  • Notice what’s in the background and remove distracting elements.
  • Do not point a light at your face, but instead use overhead lights or bounce light off a wall.
  • Avoid backlight (for example having a window behind you). The camera exposes this brighter light making your face a silhouette.
  • Find a quiet place to record. Public spaces rarely make for a good recording location unless the location is a part of the message. Listen for ambient noise like ventilation fans or traffic sounds and minimize them.
  • Wear clothing that contrasts with the background, this will help with the quality of the video. Avoid tightly patterned fabrics, such as tweed.
4. Recording Your Video: This step can be initially uncomfortable for some people. We are not used to hearing and seeing ourselves speak in a recorded format, and it is easy to fall into being critical of ourselves. Instead, try to focus on areas you can improve, like removing repetitive words (e.g. um).
  • Vary your tone, and do not be shy about showing emotion and excitement, avoid monotone deliveries.
  • Imagine you are talking to a person sitting across from you. This helps set the volume and the size of your gestures. 
  • If you tend to talk with your hands, try to slow your gestures a bit, since it may appear blurry. Try to constrain hand movements so they stay in the frame. This may mean making smaller gestures. 
  • Use your prepared script and post it near the camera so you can maintain eye contact. 
  • Speak concisely and not too slowly. Students can rewind if they miss something. 
  • Save your video: see section Uploading Your Video.
  • Tips for Recording Audio with PowerPoint.
Kent State University has a great list of Usable Media for Online Courses that include more examples of media to use in an online course.
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