This guide summarizes important video components to include in each of your videos (see also our content tips to create effective videos). Included is an overview of the different elements as well as downloadable template files that you can use as the baseline of your video projects.
This file is intended as a guide; it is very bare bones and plain. The idea is to take this file and spruce it up to your design tastes (see the difference between the file pre and post "sprucing"). This is also something the EdTech Office can help you with - we'd be happy to generate a custom design (we'll ask you a few questions about what you like) based on the components included on the template and any components you think you'd like to include in your videos.
Before you begin
Download the template files to review as you read this guide. You can download the editable PowerPoint file or the PDF file.
1. Recommended Video Components
As much as possible, videos should be consistent across your course in terms of design and components. Establishing a design template early in the production process can help you identify which components make sense for you project while providing a blueprint for each video.
1.1. Main and subtitle
We encourage you to consider re-use when including details in the video (since these are harder to edit). If possible, You do not want to have to redo all your numbering because you decide to add in one new video. Maybe you’ll use these in another course or maybe another instructor would love to use them within their courses (with permission, of course!).
Quickly review what you are going to do in this video. Are you going to review a concept? Work through a problem? Do a demonstration? Give as much insight into the content of the video as you can. You might even consider adding blocks of time to help students easily navigate the video.
1.3. Learning Outcomes
What will the students be able to do by the end of this video? It’s helpful to students to set clear objectives about what this video is about. Videos are extremely dense, so if used in review, you want to ensure that students are finding the video they need when they need it. See CTSI’s guide to developing learning outcomes for more information.
1.4. Content Slides
Try to reduce text. Slides are typically very text heavy. Ideally, slides are visual with narration (but thinking visually is an exercise all of its own!). Trying to process graphics, narration, and on-screen text at once can be overwhelming. Reduce cognitive load by limiting on-screen text as much as possible. If you can’t express the idea through a visual, explain it with narration instead. Varying the lay out can reduce viewing fatigue and reinvigorate attention when moving from one slide to another.
Example formats include:
- centred image with text
- left aligned image with text
- right aligned image with text
- large, full screen image
1.5. Sections (Content Organization)
Use section slides to build out your outline. Refer to your outline slide and create sections within your video. You can speak to these sections, recapping small chunks of the video and putting everyone on the same page before you start the next segment.
Include "things to do" while watching the video. After a particularly complex or important segment, you might consider asking students to “do” something – this could be a pause, submitting a quiz, taking a break, finding some equipment, or whatever else makes sense. Bear in mind that if you want to re-use this video, you do not want to be too specific in your directions. Consider the different between, "Go to the Quiz on July 17 and submit it" versus "Jot down your answer this question for future use."
1.6.1. Example: Pause for Reflection
At the end of each video, review the important concepts and how they map to the learning outcomes. Remind students of the important pieces and flag anything they really need to know about this video. Recaps come naturally in person when we wrap up - this is an especially important piece for online content, since you are not there in person to guide your viewers.
1.8. Call outs and icons
Call outs and icons add consistent but salient visual emphasis during your videos. They are great for flagging pieces of information, from within the whole. Pick a few that make sense Example of call outs categories you might use are: priorities (important, remember, big idea, note) or difficulty level (introductory, intermediate, advanced; this is especially useful in video because students will get a sense of how you see the concepts and will understand that advanced concepts require more grappling than beginner).
1.8.1. Example of icons and call outs
2. Optional: Recommended Video Formats
A video that is entirely a digital display capture is absolutely great! But, if you want to take it to the next level, or, if you have videos already, you might consider enhancing your content with short snippets of you on camera.
If you are interested in some support during your editing, consider participating in the EdTech Office’s remote editing process.
3. Example: Pre- and Post- Design
This example illustrates how we take basic components and add personality to them.