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How do I create a video lecture for my course?

Here are some general tips on what makes a good video:

  1. Audio is everything. If audio quality is bad, crackly, or low volume it won't work. This is the number one factor can create a negative student experience. To get the best possible audio quality, record where there are no background noises and use an external microphone. Do a short test recording to see if the microphone is picking up any unwanted sounds.
  2. High definition video (720p) is the standard for new recordings
  3. Student engagement drops after 30 minutes on average. Have a goal of 15-30 minute videos and if your lecture is longer than that you may need break it up into multiple videos. A short course with a single 60 minute video assignment is okay, but keep in mind engagement will drop off after about 30 minutes.

Our instructors choose from a variety of options when creating their video. If you have a pre-recorded webinar presentation or a screencast of a slideshow, that can be a great place to start. Some instructors use screencasts of presentations they have recently delivered on the course topic. If you don't have either of those, create a 30-minute presentation on a specific aspect of your expertise that you might present at an industry conference or webinar.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, more specific topics are always better than general ones. For example, solar design expert Ryan Mayfield created an excellent free short course Arc Flash Calculations and Insulation Resistance Testing. The topic is extremely specific, which narrows the audience, but the people who sign up know exactly what they're looking for and what they'll be learning about.

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