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How to get the most out of your Lightboard Video

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We have one Lightboard at Engineering. It is located at the Bahen Centre in room 3116. If you'd like to film using the Lightboard, please send a request to [email protected].

What is a lightboard?

If you haven't had a chance yet, you might want to check out our frequently asked questions article on Lightboards.

Below, you'll see Prof. Shai Cohn in action in a sample video:

Plan and Rehearse your Content

Before you even get in a room with a lightboard, you're going to want to plan out your content. This can be quite low fidelity - grab a piece of paper and rehearse your lecture while drawing. Take note of how long it takes you to run through the content and make sure you've allocated enough space on your paper for each element you'll be writing/drawing. This rehearsal helps to ensure that you've got enough real estate to include your visual content, while sticking to the recommended video length of 5-7 minutes.

Bonus practice: If you are planning on drawing in multiple colours, practice this too! You'll want to have a plan in mind for what gets drawn in what colour and what that end result looks like. Remember that colour should not be the only indication of emphasis - if something is important, absolutely use a different colour, but also underline it, draw it more thickly, circle it, or use some other kind of visual indication of hierarchy.

If you're looking for more tips and advice on how to structure your content, review the article "Planning Effective and Efficient Online Content."

Pick your Wardrobe

Lightboard videos are filmed on a black background, which allows the marker colour to really pop. Any clothing that is too bright, patterned, or has lettering leads to the loss of the contrast between the person and the marker. This means that you want to wear dark, solid clothing - nothing black, because you'll blend into the background.

Practice how you'll be on Camera

While this isn't Hollywood, there are some really good tips on how to act in front of the camera that will help ensure that a) your video looks amazing and b) we have what we need to edit it for you.

  1. Before you begin speaking, look into the camera for a count of 5 and then begin speaking. This allows us to edit transitions between takes very smoothly.
  2. If you make a mistake, or want to pause, look into the camera for that same 5 count before erasing or moving. This allows us to ensure some consistency between takes.
  3. When you've begun writing on the board, but you are taking a pause to speak, try to stand in a window or section of the board with no writing. It is especially distracting if you speak from behind writing that hides your mouth.
  4. If you are pointing at something that you've drawn, try to point from the side so that your fingers are more visible against the dark background. Further, try not to use the markers (especially uncapped) to gesture, as they often still light up and can make the writing less clear.

Last Words of Advice

Your video does not need to be perfect. In fact, many students report that seeing an instructor be themselves, even with a few bumps, leads to a more authentic learning experience. One of the things that you can do with lightboard videos is model what happens when mistakes are made - it can be reassuring to students that even their instructors make mistakes!

Don't worry about your pacing - if someone needs a break, they can and will pause the video, so you don't need to artificially slow your voice down. Speak at your normal rate and don't be afraid to be enthusiastic. There is a touch of theatre technique to this. What seems large in real life often transfers as completely normal in video.

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