Instructional Design: Best Practices for Using Video in e-Learning
Instructional Design: By Jessica Athey, December 1, 2010
“When creating videos or screen recordings, plan ahead to get the most professional results. For beginners, it will take a little longer to get the quality desired because there are many things to know about and control in the production environment. But the work gets easier and faster with experience.”
Using video in e-Learning courses can be a powerful way for your organization to meet its learning objectives effectively and rapidly. Video infuses asynchronous e-Learning with human interaction and visual demonstrations that can be lost outside of live instruction. Here are some tips to help you get started with adding video impact to your e-Learning courses.
Consider how video or screen recording should support learning objectives
There are many types of knowledge that companies want to transfer to employees. Some knowledge types lend themselves to video or screen recording technology – namely processes and procedures. Specific ways to include video are narration or vignettes, demonstrations or how tos, role play of problems and solutions, and simulations.
If you intend to use a lot of video and screen recording in your e-Learning courses, it will be worthwhile for you to consider which authoring tools and multimedia production products you will use. For instance, Lectora Inspire includes very extensive authoring capabilities, along with Camtasia® for Lectora, which allows you to easily create and edit video and screen recordings to your courses directly within Lectora.
When creating videos or screen recordings, plan ahead to get the most professional results. For beginners, it will take a little longer to get the quality desired because there are many things to know about and control in the production environment. But the work gets easier and faster with experience. Here’s a check list of items to consider:
- Create a script
- Talent – if your budget allows, consider hiring professional voice-over talent or even look into auditioning local acting students.
- Keep your instructional designer and SME close at hand so if last minute changes occur, you don’t lose instructional content.
- Use a USB microphone – digital input gives you higher quality audio.
- Restrict noise while recording or consider using a studio – buzz and ambient noise are not easy to remove in editing – better to keep it out during production.
- Remove distractions.
- Control mouse motion while screen recording.
- Practice, practice, practice.
Manage file sizes
One of the biggest considerations for using video in e-Learning courses is managing file size. This is important because learner experience is severely degraded by jerky, halting video. Here are four practices that will keep your file sizes manageable:
- Limit the size of your video segments or break it into smaller chunks
- Limit the width and height
- Compress the video as much as possible
- Consider streaming the video portions if Internet access is available
Lectora Inspire includes complete video editing features, multiple compression formats, and the option to stream video from popular video sites such as YouTube.
Consider the learning platform
When deciding on the file format of the video embedded in your e-Learning course, it’s important to think about the computers or devices learners will use. Flash video is the most popular format for video, but not all computers or Smart devices support Flash. For example, the newest mobile devices from Apple Computer, including iPad, iPhone and iPod, do not support Flash video. Lectora Inspire supports a variety of popular formats, including M4V for Apple iPad, iPod, iPhone and iTunes.
Inserting video into e-Learning authoring tools
There are a variety of ways to create video and use it in e-Learning courses. Many different software products exist for capturing screen activity and video, editing these files, and deploying training. Here are some considerations based on common requirements that may come in handy as you consider what tools you will use:
- Ease of editing/maintaining courses – Course maintenance and editing can get complicated and expensive for departments with multiple course developers and software packages. Standardizing on software and templates will save time and money.
- Compatibility with LMS – Be sure to choose authoring software that works smoothly with your LMS.
- SCORM/AICC standards – Many companies require e-Learning courses to be SCORM compliant, in order to run on any SCORM learning management system.
- Budget – Different software packages for specialized video production and editing, screen recording and editing, audio recording and editing and authoring can be expensive. An all-in-one package, such as Lectora Inspire, is worth investigating if you are just getting started.
- Branching capabilities – Using video and branching can be difficult if the software is not user friendly.
- Security – Some companies prefer to stream highly confidential information and information considered to be trade secrets, rather than have it download to individual systems.
To get more tips and tricks on using video and other multimedia in e-Learning, visit http://www.trivantis.com/.
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