Creating Compelling Instructor-Led Videos

7 Factors to Creating Compelling Instructor-Led Videos

Posted in Blog on 27 April 2016

We all know that online programs continue to grow and video is becoming more commonplace as a key component.

But what makes a video instructionally valuable?

How do we know it is providing the engagement, flexibility, and multisensory learning that students want? What instructional design approaches can be employed with producing and delivering an instructor-led video?

Let’s review a few ways to make your videos more compelling, so your students get the most out of them and have a direct connection to the learning objectives!

  • Shelf-life: Instructor-led videos are best used when the course content does not drastically change from one semester to the next. A number of programs have a long “shelf life” which can reduce costs of having to make content updates. Your media strategy should include determining the amount of content updates, along with the instructional value of instructor-led videos to support the content. This strategy can involve faculty members, instructional designers, media producers, and subject matter experts.
  • Being Creative: Instructor-led videos don’t just have to be a ‘talking-head’ of the professor. The purpose is as important as the production value and how creatively you can present the material. Some content may be better displayed as a graphic, or you may want to provide a case study with scenarios. You could also include guest speakers that are experts on a particular topic. Be sure the videos appeal to all learning styles… auditory, visual, and kinesthetic.
  • Work with Insight: What analytics are you collecting for your videos? Are students listening to the entire video or do they play through to certain segments? Your videos must have multiple ways of gathering information, such as which videos are being received better and why, and what devices are they being viewed on. Use tools like rating scales or qualitative feedback capture. Be sure to ask your students directly and find ways to make changes as necessary.
  • Think of Action: Does your video have a call to action, or direct connections to course assignments and learning objectives? Instructor-led videos should be relevant and require students to demonstrate mastery and understanding. A great way to engage students is the pause-assess feature. At a specific point in video, stop and deliver a quick assessment to be sure the learner is gaining the knowledge you want them to have. Once they have successfully taken the assessment, they can continue on in the video or go back and remediate.
  • Personal Connection: Students want a personal connection to their instructor. Are your lectures monotone, academically didactic and perhaps even boring? Just because you may be talking about microeconomics, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t infuse humor or personality into your video. Be sure you aren’t just reading your lecture to the student. This student-instructor connection is vital to student success, so don’t overlook the value of a conversational tone and high energy level showing through in your voice.
  • Video Length: If your video is 20 minutes in length, your students may be struggling to complete them. We find that the average amount of time a viewer can watch any media optimally is approximately 3-5 minutes at a time. While some videos may be longer, across your course on an average, you should aim to match this length of time for better student acceptance. Consider breaking up longer videos into shorter segments and incorporating other elements as a breather from the video lecture to keep your viewers alert and engaged.
  • Multimedia Tools: If your video uses flip charts and poster boards to explain formulas and workflows consider adding multimedia and graphical elements. This creates a better presentation while bringing visual clarity to your students. Use text on screen, images, simulations or animations, digital charts and graphs wherever possible. Sometimes even having a transcript or closed-captioning is very helpful to students to reinfornce what they are hearing as well and ensuring no information is lost. Learning management systems may also support the use of digital tools such as note taking, highlighting, and creating journals. Explore what your institution has to offer or find a vendor-partner that can assist.

As online programs continue to grow and expand, online instructional design is getting more specialized. Student feedback will help to shape best practices for delivering high quality instructor-led videos and influence institution media strategy. We hope these points give you the confidence to proceed with your online programs and instructor-led videos to make them the best they can be.

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