What are the first images that come to mind when you think of e-learning video lecture? One man or woman, standing still in front of a camera, explaining different concepts and ideas in a monotone voice? Does that sound boring to you? If the answer is a resounding yes, then why not make YOUR video lecture a work of art.
We are no stranger to our parents’ inspiring stories of their striving for education in a bygone era where access to quality learning material is a luxury only a few could afford. However, in 100 years from now, “struggle for education” is likely to become an obsolete concept. Nowadays, an aspiring kid in a remote village can learn about Corporate Marketing, Finance, Human Resources and almost everything with just a mobile phone and steady internet connection. E-learning video had emerged as the new engaging and effective form of education. Everyone can learn everything on the internet.
Accompanied by the increasing popularity of e-learning videos and the growing demand for digital learning experiences is the raising bar for video quality. People used to mesmerize by a one-hour video of a lecturer elaborating on a topic, but now, not anymore! Video-based lectures are a dime a dozen. There are thousands of them on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Therefore, how not to make audience yawn at your e-learning video lecture is a big question to consider.
To help you rise and shine among thousands of video lecturers out there, here are some simple tips
I. First rule of producing high-quality e-learning video: Audible audio
Invest in a quality sound-recording device if necessary
Your efforts in curating thorough lecture content for your e-learning video can be useless if the audience can not hear what the lecturer is saying. Too often we come across a video lecture where the lecturer’s voice is drowned in annoying surrounding noise and unwanted echoes. It is the direct result of poor recording equipment. However, before you choose to spend your limited budget on sound solutions and recording devices, consider what types of video lecture you are going to make. There are only two types:
1. Lecture Capture and Talking head
Lecture Capture is a recording of your live lecture at school or university. The visual and acoustic quality is terribly low. Talking head? The same. Talking head videos may have slightly better quality than that of Lecture Capture but in their very nature, they are the Brother of Boring Monotone video!
Let’s face it, the risk here is that these types of video shout “boring” from the beginning and achieve low engagement from the audience, but if you opt for them because you have a low budget, want to save time and preserve the integrity of your lesson; consider investing in sound recording device your first priority. For example, a clip-on omnidirectional microphone would be ideal for recording your voice in the classroom environment.
2. Interactive lecture
Interactive video is one of the most complex types of video lecture, the most interesting one of course. By adding other features such as animation, charts, the lecturer can present the audience with the visual information in the most effective way. For this type of video lecture, smooth coordination between lecturer’s narration and background music is a necessity. Therefore, It is highly important that the lecturer’s narration is articulate and not overlapped with the background music. You will have to make a larger investment in a quality recording device and sound editing but the result certainly will be a bigger crowd of the audience eagerly waiting for your next video lecture.
Choose your background music wisely
Another common mistake regarding audio quality in video lecture is poor background music choice. Imagine you are watching a lecture video on Rwanda Genocide and the intro music is upbeat and cheerful. Disaster! The first thing one should put into consideration before adding background music is whether your video actually needs it. If you are making a simple Lecture Capture video, spending hours choosing background audio is a waste of time. However, background music is highly advisable for interactive video lecture as the combination of narration and background audio can impact retention of information.
II. “Wow”-ing your audience with on-screen actions
Put in dynamic presence
The ultimate goal for any audience when visiting your video lecture is simple: to learn. However, YOU is the most crucial factor that can make them come back for more. They will be more likely to come back for a fun, engaging, charming, confident lecturer rather than the monotone robotic ones.
There are few simple things you can do from the very beginning to lead your audience into an engaging e-learning experience.
Spark curiosity: Make a terrific introduction by put in some little-known or interesting facts relating to the topic. By adding in a little cliffhanger to excite the audience right from the beginning.
Passion and enthusiasm is the hook: Presenting lecture content in an enthusiastic manner will instantly captivate your audience, help them to focus and endorse your point of view.
Be fully articulate: Sound too simple? No, it is not. Many lecturers fall into “Jargon trap” by burdening their audience with endless jargon and abbreviations. Do not make any assumption. Making your lecture accessible and clearly understood right from the outset is critical.
Innovate with visualization and animation
The utilization of data visualization and animation is a great tactic to maintain audience interest throughout the course can not only render an effective tone-setter for the course but also bring about greater knowledge accessibility for the audience. Furthermore, customized animation can increase interactivity in learning beyond the capabilities of many in-classroom options.
Every e-learning video should have a tone, a rhyme, a signature style to engage the audience from the outset. However, when the dynamic and the effort of the lecturer alone is not enough to deliver the expected learning experience, animation can come in handy. Animation can break a complex subject into smaller nuggets of information so that the audience can absorb it at ease. The burden for the lecturer to deliver well-curated content and at the same time coordinate the atmosphere of the video will be diminished.
III. Small reminder: Content is always important
Visual and acoustic quality of your video lecture is of utmost importance. However, the two of them alone can make your e-learning video a work of art. The missing part here is Content. Always pay full attention to your content and follow these 3 simple rules:
1. Walk in your learners’ shoe
You can not curate great e-learning content if you don’t know which type of e-learning content you are going for. Online survey and social media poll can be helpful in providing the adequate summarization of what your learners need and the goals they are trying to achieve. Knowing your target audience means that you can locate a right direction to develop your e-learning content.
2. Find reliable sources and always double check the data
You do not want your course labeled ‘fraud”, do you? Collecting accurate information can be very challenging as the internet is a treasure trove of information. Authoritative websites and blogs, established articles are huge sources for your e-learning content.
And remember, double-check is pivotal. Double-check all of your key facts and stats to ensure that they are spot-on.
3. Identify the ideal method for your e-learning content curation
Different methods of e-learning content curation should be adopted based on the needs of your target audience and available online resources.
Here are 4 of the most common eLearning content curation methods:
Compiling all of the information you can file in one place. Organize them into distinct groups and categories, which can help your learners access the information whenever they are ready.
Collecting the information and then selecting the sources that are most relevant and valuable. It is is the foundation of eLearning content curation.
Provide the audience information from different sources with different points of view. This method helps the audience to quickly gather information and broaden their stand on a particular subject or topic.
Gathering information from different points in the past and then organizing them on a timeline helps to illustrate how an idea or trend has evolved over a period of time.
Also check THE COMPREHENSIVE TEACHER