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Instructional Video


Why Use Video?

When used effectively, videos can be a powerful way to engage students with course content, and deepen learning. Reasons you would consider using video include:

  • Add an experiential component by showing places or phenomena that students would not otherwise see 
  • Break-down of procedural tasks
  • Catalyst for discussion
  • Connecting concepts with real-world examples
  • Develop media literacy skills
  • Encourage critical thinking
  • Allow more class time for discussion and activity
  • Create opportunity for students to master tough concepts by watching at their own pace

How to Use Video

Video can be used in two primary ways, 1) support or enhance the understanding of course content, or 2) as the primary mode of content acquisition. Students can watch video content either in-class or outside of class depending on the instructional need.

To determine the best use of video for your course you will want to clearly define your learning outcome. The learning outcome will need to be specific and measurable. Additionally, video content should be used in conjunction with instructional activities that show students have achieved the learning outcomes.

You can start by asking yourself these questions:

  • How will the use of video enhance learning?
  • Is the purpose of the video to introduce new concepts or support a class activity?
  • What will my students be able to do after watching this video, or completing this lesson?
  • What activities or assessments can I map into the lesson in order to measure the outcome?

Below is a list of ways video might be used for instruction:

  • Course welcome video
  • Launching point for group discussion
  • Mini-lectures / Microlectures
  • Simulations / Demonstrations
  • Student Video Projects
  • Procedural / How-to Videos
  • Showing otherwise inaccessible locations and phenomena

Using Existing Video Content

With so much existing video content online it might not be necessary for you to create the videos yourself. You might be able to find a high-quality production that will serve the instructional need without spending additional time planning, recording, and editing any video. You can read more about integrating existing video into your course in this article by Dr. Curtis Bonk, Indiana University, from “Faculty Focus”, Using Shared Online Video to Anchor Instruction: YouTube and Beyond.

Below is a list of sources for video content:

Producing Your Own Videos

While there is a lot of existing content on the Internet, you might not be able to find exactly the right fit to meet your specific needs, or you might prefer to create your own original content. In these cases, you would need to create your own instructional videos.

Video Best Practices

If you are going to create course videos below there some practical guidelines to enhance the quality of the final product:

  • Pre-Production Planning

    • Define the primary objective for the video and write a script or outline key talking points
  • Video Length

    • Try to keep videos as short as possible (6 minutes or less). For additional information read this article by Philip Guo, University of Rochester, How MOOC Video Production Affects Student Engagement.
  • Talk in a conversational manner

    • If you make a mistake or stumble over a word it is ok to correct it and continue recording.
  • Use a variety of graphics (pictures, illustrations, animations, etc.)

    • Try to support the verbal information being presented with graphics that support the concepts being discussed.
  • Make materials accessible

    • Consider captioning your video or providing a transcript of the audio to meet the needs of all learners. In your course
  • Host all of your videos in one location 

    • You can host them in the LMS, on YouTube with links in the LMS, or somewhere else but consistency will make it easier for you to manage the content in the future.

If you would like to discuss your course videos and develop a plan for production please contact us to set up a consultation.



Camtasia Studio
Using screencasting software allows you to record video of your computer screen and webcam, and capture audio. This is a popular means of creating video for many instructors who prefer to create mini-lectures by narrating over their presentation slides. The university supports the screencasting software Camtasia, and has two Camtasia recording studios in the King Building (Science Library) that can be scheduled for recording.


If you prefer to record your screencasts in your office, or at home, there are a variety softwares available including:


Studio Production

If you need to record an interview with an guest speaker or local expert, do a multiple camera shoot, or record other various types of instructional video, the Faculty Media Depot on campus can assist with those needs. (include a picture) The Department of Statistics, the office of eLearning, and CELT collaborated to create a lightboard which will allow instructors to record themselves giving a lecture while the instructor writes lesson material on the board. Please read more about the lightboard here.