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Instructional videos are powerful content-delivery tools in many blended and online courses. If you normally provide theoretical-based or performance-based instruction/tutorials during your face-to-face class, you can pre-record the instruction and make it available to students in Moodle ahead of time, then meet via Zoom for discussion or practice activities.

In online courses, videos are an important way of bring teacher presence to the course. In some online courses, the only time students will "see" instructors, is through video, so keep this in mind as you are planning your videos. Use this as an opportunity to connect with students by letting your personality come thorugh so students feel they are getting to know you.

Use the following guidelines to help you create effective instructional videos aimed to enhance students’ learning experiences:

1. To keep videos short, create a plan of short 5- 10 minute videos by concept or idea. Research on instructional videos show that students will most likely disregard large segments of videos, and that they navigate away after approximately 6-7 minutes (Guo, Kim & Rubin, 2014). If it is not possible to cover an entire topic in 10 minutes be sure to keep it to 20 minutes or less, or consider breaking the topic up into different aspect. 

2. Write a script for each video. Although this may take some time at at the outset, you will save time later during recording and editing if you have a script. It will require fewer takes and there will be fewer pauses and "filler" language making the final product greater quality.

Tip: If you don't want to spend a lot of time writing, you can record yourself doing the lecture without a script first then use the transcript as a starting point to polish off your lecture.

3. Start your video with a "hook" - something that engages students so that they want to continue listening. For example, ask a relevant question or make a bold or contentious statement.

4. If you are using PowerPoint slides, minimize the use of on-screen text, and use key words or visual cues to highlight important concepts and ideas. Studies show that highlighting key elements minimizes distractions and extraneous information (Brame, 2016).

5. Add visual elements to an abstract concept or an invisible phenomenon to promote student understanding and engagement with the lesson. However, be sure to describe all visual elements of a slide while presenting for those with visual impaiments. (E.g. This diagram shows...."). Remember to provide sources for images.

Tip: You can finf a large selection of free high-wuality graphics on Pexels.

6. Speak in a natural, conversational manner to establish a welcoming online environment. For example, pretend there is a friend with you and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Studies show that the use of conversational language provides a sense of social partnership between student and instructor and encourages students to try harder to learn about the subject (Guo, Kim & Rubin, 2014).

7. When showing slides or other content, also include a frame of your yourself (or just your head) in the bottom corner of your video as many students prefer the presence of the instructor.

8. Make your videos interactive by embedding open-ended or multiple-choice questions, audio notes, audio tracks, or comments on your instructional videos using programs like H5P or EdpuzzlePerusall to promote active learning, enhance students’ engagement, and allow students to test their understanding and receive immediate feedback on their learning. Alternatively, you can create quizzes or discusion questions in Moodle for students to do after they watch the videos.

9. Group and package your videos in a way to situate them in your course and emphasize relevance and links to preceding materials. Create a short (30 second) video to introduce each series of videos.  Consider using an advance organizer (i.e. mind map or visual representation) of the content to explain the purpose and context to show how each topic relates to one another and other course topics.

10. Record and upload your videos in the lowest resolution possible while still maintaining image clarity, so that students with bandwidth issues are still able to view them easily.

11. Use YuJa to host your videos so that they are captioned and a transcript is made available to students.

12. Review all the technical tips to ensure your video looks and sounds professional.

Additional Resources


Brame C. J. (2016). Effective Educational Videos: Principles and Guidelines for Maximizing Student Learning from Video Content. CBE life sciences education15(4), es6. [AC1]

Philip J. Guo, Juho Kim, and Rob Rubin. 2014. How video production affects student engagement: an empirical study of MOOC videos. In Proceedings of the first ACM conference on Learning @ scale conference (L@S ’14). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 41–50. DOI:


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