Video is fast becoming the preferred mode of data consumption. Based on an excerpt from the latest trends report by Forbes, over 500 Million people watch online videos daily and video traffic would constitute 80% of all consumer internet traffic in the next 4 years.

Video content has become important in online courses for an online course’s success. An engaging video is key to build trust with the participant. Trust that the content is of high quality and will be worth the participant’s time and effort. Videos capture learners attention and help build interest in the content. It enables brainstorming, encourages forum discussions and catalyzes learning. An image of a diagram, a pictorial, text-based learning are all good learning tools, however, video-based learning has proven to be faster and aids assimilation. With maximum content consumed online being video, the learner’s expectations have risen manifold. That’s where the greatest challenge lies. Rising expectations from videos have made it highly difficult for online course creators. A common mistake that many course creators end up making is the direct conversion of an entire lecture into a video. By doing this, the video loses its essence and learners become bored, stop watching, and end up getting distracted.

After you have decided, which course to create and what to teach, creating great videos is the next step. This Article aims to act as a guide to show you how to create videos for the online courses. Let’s quickly look at some great ways of creating a video:

Outline

An outline of the video is the first step in creating great videos. Even before you sit down to record the video, you need to decide on an outline that defines what you are going to talk about, how you are going to do it and what all visuals will be required. A brief outline gives direction to the video and helps build visual cues while writing the narration/Voiceover for the video.

Match your Video content

The next step is to decide how to integrate the video into the course most effectively so it serves the end learning objective or goals. Simply making an entertaining video would grab the attention but would fail to go beyond that. Videos can be used for the introduction to the course, as a summation tool or even during the course for detailed discourse. However, it should never be an afterthought. Just like in scriptwriting, where a writer writes the script keeping the end in mind, similarly, one needs to keep the videos in mind while writing down the structure of the course.

You can start creating the video once the structure is ready. Videos should have HD picture quality and great content. This means no background noise, perfect lighting, seamless editing etc. This might seem like a daunting step, however, is actually easy if you break it down into smaller steps.

Scene Setup

You need a space with the least amount of distractions. A place with solace so to speak, where you can be your best and has great visual appeal. If you don’t have access to such a place, a simple neutral color background would do as well. If you plan to edit the video via video editing software, a green colored standee is preferred as it makes video editing easy and you can change the background as per your choice. Make sure you don’t wear anything green or blue as the Green and Blue colors in outfits are picked up by the software as well during video editing.

Lights

The 3 point lighting is an industry standard for video shooting. The 3 Point Lighting highlights the face and helps the camera capture facial expressions and other visuals beautifully. First light aims directly at you, the other two fill in the shadows that objects create. While the 3 point lighting is relatively easy to set up, 3 warm lights aiming heat at you, can be discomforting for some, hence even a 2 Point light setup can do the trick as long as it’s set up well to avoid shadows being captured prominently by the Camera. The camera loves Lighting plus it makes you look great on screen as well.

Video Creation

There are primarily 3 types of videos that can be used for the online course.

  • Flipped Videos
  • Tutorials
  • Multimedia

Flipped Videos

Video Lectures are known as flipped videos and are commonly used for Online Courses as they eliminate the need for a face to face session completely. For this purpose, there are enough high-end cameras that can help make some great videos. However, if you wish to make some on a dime, here are some less expensive alternatives as well. Most point and shoot cameras under Rs 20,000 (roughly $310) are capable enough to shoot some amazing videos. Nikon Coolpix, Canon Powershot, and Sony Cybershot series do a wonderful job in capturing some crystal clear videos and even reduce background noise from the video if any. However, if you wish to make some videos with a low budget, you can try using phone cameras as they are pretty good for close up shooting as well. Try these options and you may decide which tool has the best camera for your Videos

Tutorials via Screencasting

iSpring is a free powerful tool that’s a must use for Screencasting. Primarily used for creating and editing videos based on screen capture, one can also make a recording of your entire screen, a selected area of the screen, or a single window. This enables creation of how to videos or sharing of content via PowerPoint presentations. Relatively easy to use, iSpring helps create HD quality videos, adds background music and voiceovers with volume adjustments, fade-in or fade-out effects, has options for deleting unnecessary parts and even has a background noise removal option for narrations which is a great add-on from this software. Click here to learn how to use iSpring cam’s tutorials to help you learn how to use the tool best.

Multimedia based Videos

Camtasia is a software suite well known for creating multimedia based video tutorials and presentations directly via screencast, or via a direct recording plug-in to Microsoft PowerPoint. While the licensed product for $199 works great, it’s free version with a 30 days trial period also has enough powerful tools to help you create videos where you can record your screen, make edits to the video, add animation & effects with a simple drag and drop onto the timeline. You can record mouse movements, add notes & annotations, add multimedia to PowerPoint and even create interactive quizzes as part of the video to enhance learning and engagement. Click here to learn how to best use Camtasia for editing your videos.

Sound

Next step in the phase to create a video would be to record the voiceover. The camera you use does come with noise reduction in the audio, however that may not be enough. We would strongly recommend you to invest in 2 particular items that would help a great deal and reduce video production time and effort.

Lapel Mic

Also known as a Collar Mic, a Lapel mic gets attached to your belt and lapel and stays pretty close to you. This ensures optimal recording quality with low background noise. We recommend a lapel mic like a Rode SmartLav+ which costs approximately for Rs 4500 ($70), or an Audio-Technica ATR3350IS as well. Sennheiser Mics’ are great and are considered the best with the price range around Rs 25000 ($400).

Soundproofing

If iSpring’s background noise removal option does not do the trick, soundproofing forms must be used to eliminate any background noise at the time of recording the voiceovers. These are great for removing any or all sound and enable you to record your narrations with a pin drop silence. Available on most online platforms, soundproofing panels are a great way of creating a mini space for yourself that acts like a soundproof wall that absorbs all sound and enables noise-free recording.  Available for a low cost, this is an absolute must as most audio editing software are pretty expensive though they too can aid in removing background noise. However, solely for the purpose of removing background noise, these panels are the way to go.

Editing

On the lines of how iSpring Works, Windows Movie Maker is another great tool specifically designed for creating simple yet elegant videos for the novice.   

Not only is the tool, free, it has a great UI that makes Video editing easy. The Movie Maker has enough power in it to render videos based on your needs. It can make HD videos and formats that are smaller in size as well, which can well be used for previews or sharing as well. With a simple Drag and drop format, you can cut videos, edit parts you don’t like, add music to particular sections and even add narrations wherever you like in the video, check how the layers work together, once perfected, you can then download the videos in an HD Mp4 format for use in the online course. If you wish to learn how to use windows movie maker, click here.

Following these steps above can help you with the videos you need. However, keep two points in mind:

Video Duration

Once you have created an outline of what you want to teach, break the session down into smaller sections.  You can then create videos of these smaller sections and place them in order in the course.

Be Yourself

There’s not a better advice, we can share with you. There’s no need to present a different version of you or try hard to impress the audience. Additionally, if you make a mistake or end up sharing wrong information in the video, you can course correct yourself. Either, you can re-record the video or simply admit the error and correct the information. The second bit actually builds trust and worth.

Whether you’re narrating slides, screencasting, or creating animations, it’s a great time to add video production to your learning capabilities.