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While You’re Recording: Things to Bear in Mind

Informed by research and our own experience, we offer the following tips to make effective and engaging videos.

General Tips

  • It's best to relax, hit record, and create as many takes as you want
  • Don't worry about pauses or getting it "perfect"
  • You can always remove unwanted portions later, without fear of losing your work

Keep it Short 

  • Identify the key points that you’d like to convey
  • The final length of the video should be 5-7 minutes max
    • Student engagement drastically drops off in videos more than 7 minutes in length
  • If the ideas or concepts that you’re communicating require a longer video, break them up into 5-7 minute chunks

Show your Face

Videos that intersperse an instructor’s talking head with slides are more engaging than slides alone. This is one of the key findings of a recent study by professors at MIT.

Be Conversational 

  • Students respond better when the instructor’s style is informal and their personality shines through
  • Videos produced with a more personal feel in your home office are more engaging than high-fidelity studio recordings

Speak with Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is catching. Students are more likely to pay attention if the presenter sounds excited and interested in the topic.

Keep it Personal and Timely 

  • Students want to feel as if the video was created for them
  • Keep videos timely by checking for out-of-date references and materials, or aspects that might be specific to an instance or iteration of your class
  • Feel free to create a short video in response to a Discussion in your course or a current event or trend

More Tips 

Click here for a link to a video and PDF with more information.

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