Making instructional videos
Since the COVID-19 situation began, many teachers have had to move their teaching online to continue offering education to their students. For those of you who haven’t sat in front of a webcam for teaching before, here are a few tips for making instructional videos for your students.
They’re divided into three stages: before, during and after recording.
- Write an outline of your message with task instructions and an example.
- Practise what you’re going to say before recording.
- Dress in a work-appropriate way. Consider your choice of colours and styles.
- Think about what can be seen behind you.
- Test the lighting is correct so that your face is not over-lit nor in shadow.
- Position the camera (or laptop) so that your head and shoulders are visible and your eyes are at camera level.
- Make sure you are sitting comfortably at a good height. Avoid angles which make you look like you are staring down at the camera or looking up at it.
- Test the sound recording levels before you start so that your voice is recorded at an appropriate volume. Using a headset with microphone is best.
- Let the people living with you know you’re going to record so they don’t interrupt you. If they do, it’s not the end of the world though and it might reassure learners that you are also juggling work and family life from home.
- Choose a time of day to record when you are feeling fresh and can communicate interest and enthusiasm about the task to your students.
- Wait a couple of seconds after pressing record otherwise you might appear in the initial screen shot with your mouth open.
- Look at the camera (not at yourself on the screen!) in order to simulate looking at the students. (Tip: If you feel intimidated by looking directly at the camera, try looking fractionally above it.)
- Begin with a smile and a greeting! Introduce yourself.
- Be expressive and friendly as you speak.
- Speak naturally (with varying intonation) and clearly, grading your language to an appropriate speed for your students. (Tip: Speak more slowly when you deliver the instructions and more quickly when you give the example.)
- Watch your entire video after recording to check that it can be seen and heard properly.
- Watch your video again after uploading it to make sure that it has uploaded correctly.
- Let your students know that you have posted a video and where to find it.
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