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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.

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

1. Split up long lectures and demonstrations into smaller videos between 6-10 minutes each (if this is not possible, do not exceed 20 minutes). 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).

2. Keep videos short and focused on a specific theory, concept or idea. For example, one video may cover a single concept (or set of related concepts), provide a few examples, and give students a task or a short, simple assignment.

3. Start with an advance organizer (i.e. mind map or visual representation) of the content to explain the purpose and context for your video (e.g. concept) and how it relates to other course concepts.

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. 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 Edpuzzle 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 in Moodle for students to do after they watch the videos.

6. Add visual elements to an abstract concept or an invisible phenomenon to promote student understanding and engagement with the lesson.

7. 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).

8. 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.

9. Group and package your videos in a way to situate them in your course and emphasize relevance and links to preceding materials. For example, create course sub-channels in YuJa for week or topic.

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.

Also see: Quick and easy video production for Librarians and Instructors (for Mac users only) by Olivier Charbonneau, Business Librarian at Concordia University (Montréal)


Videos can be used in a variety of ways in your course, including:

1. Giving a tour of your Moodle course (e.g. go over content organization, collaborative tools, and communication strategies etc.)

2. Introducing your course requirements (e.g. syllabus, assigned readings, assignments, deadlines, etc.)

3. Introducing yourself to students to establish an online teaching presence and promote a welcoming learning environment

4. Replacing a face-to-face lecture

5. Explaining an assignment

6. Giving feedback on assignments, artifacts, or projects

7. Recording a live lecture and publishing it via Yuja to make it available to students

8. Clarifying difficult concepts and answering students’ questions


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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