Instructional videos empower learners to study at their own pace so it is no wonder teachers are creating more and more videos to support student learning. But because teachers are making videos doesn’t necessarily mean that the videos are effective. Just because a lecture moves from the classroom environment to youtube doesn’t mean a teacher has now individualized instruction because of the pause button. Here are some tips to create more engaging instructional videos.
In this post by Alice Keeler, she shares that according to Facebook analytics, videos that are over one minute receive far fewer views than than those that are under a minute. She even suggests keeping videos under 30 seconds. I’m just not there yet, but I do agree that many of the instructional videos being made by teachers today are way too long. So how do you make them shorter and still cover all the content?
Create a separate video for each concept. In doing so, teachers can create a playlist of videos which is beneficial for students who need to review a topic. Rather than skimming a long video, students can jump to the video needed. If your school doesn’t have access to youtube, upload your videos to a folder in Google Drive and share the folder with students. Use a naming convention so students will know what order to watch the videos in. A tip from Alice Keeler is to use 001, 002, etc.
Below is an example of a playlist of videos I created to help students learn iMovie. Notice the title of the movie addresses the skill.
Creating instructional videos can take time, but they also save time in the long run, so you might as well do it right the first time (I’m sounding like my parents here). Planning your video helps make sure you include everything in it. It also helps cut down on the ums, and uhs, as you record (this is something I do even with my script!).
There are a number of tools you can use to plan your video. A simple google search of “storyboard” will bring up many different editable storyboards you can use to help you plan. I use Keynote a lot when making instructional videos and use the notes feature for my script. Google Slides and PowerPoint are also great tools for planning.
Adding questions to instructional videos helps set expectations for students and provides a context for the video. It is a good technique to engage students as well as assess student knowledge.
Google forms is an excellent tool to create questions and gather responses from students while watching instructional videos. EdPuzzle is a tool many of the teachers at my school use. With EdPuzzle, you can add a variety of interactive questions as well as track student progress. Another strategy is having students come up with their own questions as they watch. Crystal Kirsch from Flipping with Kirsch successfully used the WSQ (Watch, Summarize, Question) strategy with her students when she was in the classroom and saw an overall improvement in student learning. You can read all about how she did it here.
Instructional videos maximize learning efficiency and account for differences in learning styles. What tips do you have for engaging students in instructional videos?