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4.7 ETO Prep Sheet: Quick tips for recording instructional videos

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There's a lot to consider when thinking about creating instructional videos (we'd be happy to have a more in depth chat! but we've pulled together the key tips we'd recommend that you keep in mind while recording. We've summarized them below and have also included a one-pager PDF that you can download, print, and keep handy to remind yourself of these key elements during each recording you make.

Download the ETO's one pager "Self-recording instructional videos on camera"

Want a printable version of this guide?  You can print out the ETO Tip Sheet PDF!

1. Introduction Video(s) (Less than 5 minutes)

  1. Be Yourself!  Begin with a warm introduction that includes your name, title, and friendly acknowledgment of the learner's participation. 
  2. What is this course about and why are you teaching it?  Provide a high-level overview of what the course is about and share your enthusiasm/passion for this topic. 
  3. How will the learner get the most out of this course?  Provide some guidance to the learner on how to use the module. If you know there will be some interactive components or previous content they should be familiar with, it's worth the mention.
  4. Things to avoid:
    • References to time (eg. "Today we will..." or "See you tomorrow.")
    • References to other modules

2. Lesson Video(s)

  1. What will this particular video cover?  Consider how this video will be integrated into a section of your course (also referred to as the lesson if you are using Articulate Rise) and how it supports/enhances the written content.  3-5 key points are ideal.
  2. Remember the rule of "See and Say."  If you have visuals or text, ensure they time with what you are saying 
  3. Find moments to engage directly with the camera.  Don't forget that even you're creating an online learning experience, it is still a human-to-human interaction. Looking directly into the camera while recording can help foster this relationship. 
  4. Include a quick summary.  Again, 3-5 key points are ideal. 
  5. Things to avoid:
    • Re-introducing yourself
    • References to time (eg. "Today we will..." or "See you tomorrow.")
    • References to other modules (if you refer to pre- content, try to name the topic/concept specifically versus saying "Module 04" as you might re-arrange modules or use a subset in a future iteration)
    • Lengthy text on screen
    • Low-resolution images or video

3. Quicklist of hardware and software

  • computer
  • second monitor*
  • webcam
  • desktop microphone 
  • smartphone & stand*
  • ring light or light source that you can control*
  • video recording software (e.g. download Techsmith SnagIt)
  • a quiet space

*nice to have

Looking for more hardware recommendations? See our full guide to choosing your hardware.

4. Key tips for setting up for your video recording

  1.  Set up your self-capturing in a quiet space with a good amount of light that you can control.
  2.  Your camera should be at eye-level and set up to capture in landscape mode (this mostly applies if using a smartphone)
  3. Your speaking notes should be located somewhere that you can easily access and look at while recording.
  4.  Do a test record - make sure your video and audio are working.
  5. Wear comfortable clothes that are professional.  Avoid loud patterns and logos.

Looking for more details about commonly used video formats? See the full details on "An Overview of Different Formats for Video Production."

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Next Article 4.8 Record a "Meet your Instructor" video
Still have questions? Contact the FASE EdTech Office