When creating an online course, there's a lot of stuff to think about.
Here's something you don't always consider: VIDEOS.
But an online video is an essential part of an online course (even though we've all grown accustomed to consuming content in video format).
Video marketing has snowballed over the past couple of years, with 77% of marketers saying they will increase their video marketing budget this year.
Some aspects of video creation may seem intimidating.
However, it's not as simple as it may seem.
An online video isn't just a quick way to promote your courses quickly. If you want actual results, you must take the time to get them right.
The key is taking the time to learn what should go into quality video creation. I've put together this post to give you some tips on how you can create quality videos that will get your courses noticed by viewers and search engines alike.
Using video in your online course can significantly increase your credibility and improve the overall user experience for your prospects.
But how do you know if a video is right for you? How will you get the creative juices flowing, and what video best suits your brand? This blog post highlights some main points to keep in mind when planning your online course promotional video.
Why Create Video for Online Courses?
Online courses are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional classroom learning. But even though they can be convenient and cost-effective, one of the biggest problems with online courses is that they don’t offer the same level of interaction and engagement as a face-to-face environment.
In fact, research shows that students learn better when they have a teacher in front of them who can engage with them directly and answer questions on the spot.
That’s why it’s essential to make the most of your videos.
Video is an excellent way to engage students in an online course because it provides a more dynamic experience and makes learning fun. It allows you to explain things in detail and give real-life examples, so your students can see how concepts apply to their lives or jobs outside of school.
And because video lesson is such a powerful tool for visual communication, it helps students retain information better than other types of media like text or audio alone.
It means that if you want your students to remember something specific about the course, such as how to calculate loan payments or use different formulas in Excel, creating videos about these topics will help them retain this knowledge long after finishing the online course.
How to make an effective training video for your online course?
Answer these 4 Questions Before Creating your first
Video For Online Courses
Who is the course for?
If you already have an established audience of students and course materials, then creating training videos may seem like a no-brainer.
However, starting with other marketing efforts would be best before creating a training video if there's no existing content or audience.
It might mean developing an ad campaign, blogging about the subject matter or creating free ebooks on the topic. These forms of content will help build interest in what you're trying to sell before creating any training material.
Why create training videos?
Training videos are a great way to show how your product works and how to use it.
Creating video training is one of the best ways to educate your customers, reduce support requests, and increase conversions.
It’s also an excellent way to explain complicated processes and procedures that customers who are new to your product or service might not easily understand.
What will you achieve?
The first step is to think about what you want the video to achieve. Is it simply to provide an overview of the course content? Or do you want to show how to complete specific tasks? You might even want to include interviews with people who have completed the course or other aspects of their experience.
How long should the video lecture be?
The next step is deciding how long your video should be. This will depend on several factors: your learning objective, how much time learners have for watching videos and how much information they need to understand what they see in the video.
If there are many different parts of a course, but only one part requires more explanation, then it may be best to focus on that part while keeping other parts briefer and more straightforward.Now that we have the basic questions let's look at the How to Create Video For Your Online Course?
7 Steps for Creating Attractive Videos for Online Courses
1. Plan Before Creating :
The key is to plan and figure out what you want your videos to accomplish before you start shooting. The basics of planning will depend on what type of video you're creating, but here are some questions that might help get you started:
- How will it fit into my course structure? (Will this be an introductory video for the course or information woven throughout the lesson plans?)
- What kind of tone or style will I use? (Lighthearted? Serious? Overly folksy?)
- What do I want my viewers to take away from this video? (A sense of humour? A better understanding of specific facts?)
- How can I use visuals and audio effectively? (Will I have voiceovers, music and/or sound effects?)
- Where will my videos live on my site? What other elements might they add to my site and course (text, photos, links)?
The best way to plan for videos is to think about the course and its content before you start filming.
I have found that the following steps make it easier to incorporate videos into an online course:
- Mentally walk through all the possible topics in your online course, and write down ideas for how video could be used in each. You can create a step-by-step tutorial or simply give someone a quick demonstration. For example, if you teach a web design class, you might use video to show someone using a particular tool or platform.
- Once you have some ideas for videos on paper, you can start envisioning exactly how they will look. Be as detailed as possible because this will help you plan what equipment you will need later.
- Now decide on a schedule for when each video will be released. This doesn't mean that it has to be released on a specific date, but rather that you should have a rough idea of how much time is needed to produce each video.
- If your course requires students to watch videos before being able to move forward in the class, consider creating a video for each module.
Your video content requires a good structure. You should have a good understanding of How does Instructional Design work With Online Course Creation?
2. Decide What Type of Video to Create :
Before you decide on what type of video to create, you have to think about the level of information that your audience will need to learn. It is because different types of videos are used for varying levels of knowledge.
For example, suppose you're creating a training course related to programming. In this case, you'd likely need to create a video that guides users step-by-step through the process of writing a program or setting up a computer environment. If you're creating an online course about time management techniques, then the same step-by-step explanation might not be necessary (though some guided instruction might be helpful).
There are many options out there, which can not be very clear.
You could have:
- A screen capture video, which shows you talking directly to the camera as you use your computer and talk about the things you're doing
- A voiceover video, where you speak into a microphone while sitting in front of a whiteboard or standing against a different backdrop
- An interview video, where someone else is asking questions, and you respond with answers
Other types of videos include e-mail courses, screencasts, webinars, and more. We'll show you how to create an online video.
So, when you think about what kind of video you want to create, ask yourself how much guidance your audience will need.
3. Create an Outline for your Video Online Course :
Once you've decided what kind of video you want to make, it's time to put together an outline for the content. Do this by listing each section with the corresponding video title. For example:
Section 1: What is an Online Course?
Section 2: Is an Online Course right for me?
Section 3: What is a passive income?
Section 4: Why should I create my online course?
After you have your list of sections, write down something that will be the text description for each video.
"What is an Online Course?"
"Is an Online Course right for me?"
"What is passive income?"
"Why should I create my online course?"
Next, craft a script for each video. It doesn't need to be perfect—get your thoughts on paper and decide on the points you want to make. The script will be used as a reference when creating the videos.
In short, here are the 3 steps to outlining a video course. Do this by:
Step 1: Brainstorm all the topics that you could cover.
Step 2: Take notes on all the topics you brainstormed and organize them into a list of highest priority to lowest priority.
Step 3: Narrowing down your list to the top 5-10 topics most important to your viewers who will be looking for this information.
4. Gather Your Gear before recording and Video Editing
your Online Class :
You'll need a few things to get started with the video for your course. It's pretty simple, though—here's what you'll need:
- A camera: You probably already have one of these lying around, but if not, you can pick up a decent HD camera for about $200. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it does need to be able to record in HD (high definition), which will look better on the web than basic definition.
- A microphone: If you're recording yourself speaking or doing an audio podcast, you can use your computer's built-in mic. Again, this doesn't have to be expensive; you can find a good microphone that plugs directly into your computer for just a little more than $100.
- Video editing software: This is my favourite part! Even if you've never edited before, it's super easy with software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker (if you're on a Windows machine). Both are free if you have a Mac or PC, and they offer pretty much all of the same features as their paid counterparts (at least in my experience).
If you are in the market for some new software and filming equipment, look no further. Here are some recommendations and tips for filming equipment.
5. Prepare Your Place for Filming :
When creating a video tutorial for your online course, there are many different ways to prepare your place. Here are the steps we take to get ready for filming our videos.
- It's essential to make sure that your work area is well-lit and distraction-free. This might mean clearing the table and ensuring you have everything you need in front of you (and nothing you don't), turning off the TV, turning off your cell phone and putting it out of reach, and closing the door if necessary.
- The first thing most people do when setting up our filming space is to clear a large table and lay down a fresh piece of paper so we won't look at and confuse our notes from previous videos.
- They also use a pair of tiny mirrors to reflect additional light onto each side of our face, which has helped us immensely with removing shadows.
- People have found that having all of our materials laid out before they start filming helps them keep their thoughts organized, but they like to have plenty of room to move around so they can talk naturally while pointing to what we're describing onscreen.
- If you notice that you get distracted easily, having someone there to help keep things moving can be invaluable when it comes time to record.
6. Setup The Camera and Lights :
If you're creating video lessons, you don't want to look like a deer in headlights.
There are two things you should keep in mind:
1) Position the camera at eye level and
2) Set the lighting to create a flattering effect.
When positioning your camera, you must keep it at eye level to avoid having someone speak to the lens instead of looking into the camera.
Eye-level placement also generates more natural-looking head movement and body language. If your film is from a higher angle, your subject's head looks unnaturally small, and vice versa if you film from a lower angle. Additionally, an eye-level shot will give your viewers a sense of inclusion by showing them what your subject sees. If you're filming from above or below eye level, the person on the screen will seem far away from your audience. Audio equipment is also crucial for effective video production if you want to add background music or sound effects.
The most essential equipment for audio is a good microphone and stand when filming video lessons. You'll want a microphone that picks up sound effectively without distortion or picking up unnecessary noise and feedback—a lapel mic or a lavalier mic are two good options that attach easily to clothing.
7. Double-check Everything Before Shooting Starts :
Shooting a video can be a stressful experience. It's like the production on the set of a movie. The camera focuses on different focal lengths, the script isn't memorized, and the actors can't get their lines right. So how do you ensure you get everything you need for your video?
You could write down a list of your wants and needs for this shoot, but that's time-consuming and difficult to manage. Instead, use these tips to make sure everything goes according to plan:
- Double-check every detail: You might have an idea in mind, but what if something changes? Before shooting starts, check on every piece of equipment and ensure it's turned on and working correctly. You don't want to be in the middle of a speech only to realize that the camera is out of focus or the microphone isn't working correctly.
- Check to light: Some types of lighting won't work with some types of cameras; get as much information as possible about what kind of lighting will work best with your equipment before you begin shooting. It also helps to test out any lighting beforehand, so you know how it looks when filming—you don't want to waste time fumbling around during actual filming trying to figure out the lighting.
- Lighting can be fixed in the video editing software if it isn't proper.
- Audio testing: When you're testing your audio, make sure you're using all of the resources available to you—you might want to try using a directional microphone or add additional sound-absorbing materials behind the person speaking if they are facing away from a wall.
3 Killer Tips for Recording Online Courses
1. Keep the Background Plain.
If you're looking to start an online course or record a video for YouTube, don't try to make it look like a TV studio.
One of the most annoying things about many online course videos is that the background has so much going on—photos, posters, knick-knacks—that the person on screen is hard to see, and the viewer can't tell what's going on. Set up your camera facing away from distractions and keep your background as simple as possible—a plain wall will do fine. You want people to be able to see you and hear you instead of being distracted by what's behind you.
2. Clean your Audio.
If there's any background noise, remove it from your recording before you upload it.
Even if you're wearing headphones during the recording, some noise from outside may still creep into the recording, even if it's just a bit of wind rustling through leaves or cars driving by. Plenty of digital plug-ins available for free download (most notably Adobe Audition) can help clean up your audio and remove unwanted noises without affecting the quality of the original recording too much.
3. Use Hand Gestures.
When recording an online course, it's not just what you say that matters. It's also how you say it. You can have the best content in the world, but if your students aren't able to pay attention, they won't benefit much from it. One way to keep them engaged is to use hand gestures when speaking. You might not be able to convey every detail or subtlety with your hands, but gesturing will help keep your students engaged.
It's been shown that people retain more information when they can see a speaker's body language and facial expressions along with what the speaker is saying.
Ultimately, a video for an online class should be an effective learning tool. It should present the material, help students see the content being discussed…and it should be entertaining. Don't be afraid to try a host of different things because you never know what might work until you try it yourself. Engaging video is meant to be a lesson, a call to action, or a teaser for your courses. Don't simply fill 20 minutes of video with a monologue or lecture. Plan out your videos as if they were television shows, with beginnings and endings, action scenes and reaction shots, and even a few moments where you--the expert--take the time to pause and "look" at your audience. In addition, incorporate photos or clips of your business or area of expertise. This helps further engage the viewer, keep them engaged with what you have to say, and allows them to feel like you are sharing some information about yourself that is usually not shared with the average client.
In any case, I hope our ideas will help you create videos for online courses that showcase your personality while also providing value to your students.