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Our standards and submitting your course for review

In order to ensure that our students have a great learning experience, we have a created a quality review process for all new courses. When you start building your course we will create a course roadmap for you that will detail the specific standards. Once your course is ready to be published, you can submit your course for review.

There are 3 important standards to keep in mind:

  1. Courses should contain at least 60 minutes of video content
  2. Courses should be well structured to deliver on learning objectives.
  3. Audio should be clear and intelligible; Video should be clear and high-definition.

After you submit your course for review, HeatSpring will evaluate your course and provide feedback. Once your course is approved, it will be published and can be discovered on the HeatSpring platform.

Course Standards

Video Quality
Audio Quality

Content (top)

  • On a topic within one of HeatSpring's top level course subjects (e.g. solar, storage, green building, geothermal, microgrid, energy etc) or a topic related to an existing HeatSpring course.
  • Provides participants with accurate, up-to-date, and actionable information, knowledge, and skills
  • Contains specific, technical, real-world information (as opposed to general or theoretical information)
  • Should have one specific audience in mind (and specify their pre-existing knowledge, skills, level of experience, etc. on the sales page)
  • Is primarily original material that is not publicly-available anywhere else

Assignments (top)

  • Must include 60-minutes of lecture video at a minimum
  • Must include at least one supporting assignment. Some instructors include lots of these, examples include readings, links to publicly-available resources, or tools (e.g. Excel calculators)
  • May include a quiz to test participants’ understanding of the material
  • May include discussion questions (if the instructor would like to encourage interaction on the discussion board)

Presentation (top)

  • Should be a narrated slideshow. See recording options we recommend.
  • May contain an introductory portion with video of the instructor speaking to the camera but does not need to include video of the instructor throughout
  • Should not contain dates (e.g. September 2016) or references to upcoming course sessions (since the content will likely be used for several years)
  • Keep presentation branding light to extend the video longevity
  • Should not contain hyperlinks since they will not be clickable in the video
  • Related websites can be linked as separate items in the course itself
  • At least 1 hour of video content. Student engagement drops after 30 minutes on average. Have a goal of 15-30 minute videos and if your lecture is longer than that try break it up into multiple videos. Just keep in mind engagement will drop off after about 30 minutes.
  • Should cover a single topic in some depth
  • Should provide real-world examples and images whenever possible
  • Slides should not have any branding or logos on them
  • Should not use slide transitions other than a simple fade in/out
  • Should only include the instructor’s contact information if s/he is okay with being contacted directly by participants
  • May mention that certain concepts or topics are covered in more depth in a full, premium course
  • PDF copy of slides may be included in course as a downloadable resource

Video Quality (top)

  • Video should be created using Camtasia or a comparable screen recording software
  • Export file should be an MP4 file with 720p resolution or better.
  • Details on ideal export settings for HeatSpring videos (more details):
    • File Type: MP4 (recommended)
    • Codec: h.264/AVC (required)
    • Resolution: between 720px and 1080px
    • Bitrate: 5,000–8,000 kbps (recommended)
    • Framerate: constant, 30 frames per second
    • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 recommended

Audio Quality (top)

  • Should sound like the viewer is in a quiet room listening to the instructor
  • Should not have background noise (e.g. dog barking, whirring fan, static, other voices, rustling of clothing, traffic sounds, phone or desktop notifications)
  • Instructor should mute any phone or desktop notifications before recording
  • Should be recorded using a professional USB-connected microphone.  Our top recommendation is the Blue Yeti USB Microphone or if you prefer a more affordable headset style Logitech USB Headset H340

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