Tips on Using Videos in Your Online Courses

If you have an online course then there is a strong probability that you are using videos as part of the content.

In some cases people use videos exclusively throughout their online courses. There isn’t anything wrong with this – people love videos. However, they only really like them if they are done “right”.

The way that we consume information is changing. There was a time where it would be okay to have a 30 minute video on a topic. We would quietly sit at our desktop computers sipping our morning coffee and taking notes.

This doesn’t happen anymore. At least not as often.

Build For The Modern Learner

Today people are more “on the go”. They take course content in between other events going on in their life. As such, it makes sense to create the content in a way that can be consumed quickly and in a format people enjoy.

This is why you will want to make sure you use micro-content and that your videos adhere to that standard.

Production is also very important from both an audio and visual standpoint. A good microphone can be the difference between a professional presentation and an amateur one. Don’t worry though, you can get a decent microphone for under $100 on Amazon. Whatever you do just don’t use the microphone on your computer.

When it comes to visuals there are a few directions you can go. There are plenty of screen capturing tools out there that will record your screen for you. They range from thousands of dollars to $20. I am a fan of screencast-o-matic. Despite the silly name, it works and it’s budget friendly.

If you are wanting to record live video then you will want to do some research to make sure you pick a camera that is crystal clear. A decent camera will put you back a couple hundred dollars. The same advice applies to the video as it does the audio: don’t use the camera built into your computer.

Another worthwhile thing to do is to have a look around and take notes from people who have online videos that you think are well done. For example, Troy Dean from WPElevation always has exceptional video content. So does Shawn Hesketh from WP101.

Don’t Make This Mistake

Last, makes sure you choose technology that makes the video learning experience enjoyable. For example, we have built some pretty neat video progression tools into LearnDash.

Whether you use LearnDash or not it’s important that you find something that presents your content in a way that maximizes its impact. The last thing you want to happen is to spend the time and money making your videos look good but not have anyone watch them because of a poor user experience.

Author

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

3 Responses

  1. Justin:

    I wanted to share a few tips.

    My company has a VERY large repository of videos (over 500 and growing daily). When we deploy an hour long video, 6m is the average viewing time.

    If we take the EXACT same content and break it into 5m or less video chunks, the average view time for the video jumps to 32m.

    Another alternative we are exploring is using H5P and their video bookmarking tool. The breaking up of video is a bit time consuming, so we think strong indexing may gain us the same advantage (I will report back when we have data- but this is a bit far off with all the dev I have on my plate).

    Also- sound. The Blue Yeti/Snowball mics are quite good. My kids do professional VO for major companies and we often submit using our Yeti. The key is soundproofing. An enclosed closet with lots of clothes works decently, even better is a Kayotica eyeball (a soundproof ball you just push on top of the mic). If the eyeball is a bit pricey, you can actually fake a sound box with a folding storage cube plus soundproofing foam for about $30.

    Hope that helps!

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