2 Video Course Tips You Can’t Ignore

People love videos. All you need to do is look at YouTube to understand this. The site is the world’s second most popular “search engine”.

Videos are simply more entertaining than static text, which makes them ideal for online courses. Yet not all videos are created equal. There are some best practices you should make sure to incorporate when using videos in your own course.

Yesterday’s video tips are still relevant but it is important to remember that learner expectations are changing. This brings me to the first key video component.

Tip #1: Go Micro

Micro-content is something I have been harping on for some time now. It’s growing in popularity – soon we will see most courses incorporating some component of micro-content design. Don’t wait on this emerging expectations. If your videos are 20 minutes long you should start splicing them up to shorter chunks at the very least.

Ideally you will recreate your videos so that they address a single objective in a shorter amount of time. There are simple tools out there for you to use when creating these short and sweet videos.

Yes, it will take some time but your course probably needs a refreshing. Nothing is worse than dated instructional design methods. It can make your content seem dated, even when it is not.

Tip #2: Use Captions

I cannot tell you the number of times I have seen videos in courses that lack captions. Whether you want these to be on screen by default is up to you, the point is that you need to have closed captioning on your videos if they are a core component to the way your course delivers information.

First, including captions in your videos makes them more accessible. If someone is hard of hearing (or even deaf) they can still benefit from the video.

But in addition captions are very useful to those where English is their second language. They will grasp more of the content if you include captions as well.

Yes, captions are a pain to create but luckily there are transcription services out there that can do this for you. You will want them to be accurate and to line up perfectly with what is happening in the video in order for them to be effective.

If you cannot include captions for whatever reason, then at a bare minimum you need to include a transcript of the video. This really is not ideal but it is better than nothing.


Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

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