When you’ve determined that video is ideal for your learning needs, it’s time to start planning the production. Don’t be surprised if you spend more time planning your video than shooting it. (That’s how it works in professional television production.) To get the best result, here are three tips to help you plan and engaging video that will work well in the learning context.
Aim for only one learning objective. The more focused your content is, the stronger it will be. It can be tempting to cram loads of content into your video; however, you’ll cause cognitive overload, so stick to only one learning objective per video.
Plan many visuals. Start your video planning as you would start planning a training session. Complete a task analysis for the learning objective and then plan what pictures will show that task being performed.
Think carefully about how each shot will convey your message. Your camera is your viewer’s eye, so ask yourself where your viewer would want to stand if she was learning that task live in the classroom. Would she like to stand in close to see details (close-up) or further away (wide shot) to get an overview of the process? Would she like to be looking down at it (birds eye angle)? Perhaps she’d like a combination of both.
After you create a storyboard, write your script. As you write, let your picture carry most of the message and only use the spoken word to reinforce what your viewer can see.
Keep your video as short as possible. Viewers get bored and distracted very easily. You don’t want to overload them with information that they can do without.
The reason television shows and video content shot by professionals look so good is because the camera operators and editors have been practicing and perfecting their craft for decades. If you’re worried you haven’t had enough flying time to produce top video content, don’t worry. There are three ways you can avoid common mistakes, which will instantly boost the quality of your video.
Shoot with a tripod. Amateurs often shoot without a tripod and end up producing wobbly-cam, which looks horrible and is distracting. This easily can be prevented by mounting your camera on a tripod. You’ll be amazed at how dramatically it improves your pictures.
Use manual camera functions. Less-expensive cameras offer a range of auto-functions such as auto focus, auto exposure, and automatic level control (audio). It’s easy to rely on these functions, but you’ll get better pictures by setting focus, exposure, and audio manually.
Use an external microphone. Every camera comes with a built-in microphone, but very few of them offer good sound quality. Instead, capture external audio with an external microphone. If your camera does not allow you to plug in an external microphone, make sure to position your camera as close to the sound as possible. It won’t be perfect, but the closer you are, the better your chance of getting acceptable audio.