Best Practice Hints and Tips: Video in learning and teaching

Photo Credit: bernat... via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: bernat… via Compfight cc

At our recent East Midlands Learning Technologists’ meeting, ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’, we were exploring the digital video creativity and between us we came up with a list of hints and tips for those wanting to work with video in learning and teaching.  I promised I’d share our hints and tips… so… here they are…


  1. Don’t underestimate the time it takes.  Time is often the limiting factor.
  2. Consider your location
  3. Think about accessibility – consider file types and subtitles as part of the production process
  4. Get permission from participants
  5. You don’t always have to create your own video – there’s so much stuff out there already so reuse where you can!
  6. Establish the purpose of your video – why do you want to make it?  Don’t just make videos for the sake of videos!
  7. Rehearse and think about using a script – even if you are super familiar with the content it reduces the ums and urrs.
  8. Have appropriate production values – not everything has to be top quality, some materials can be rough and ready
  9. Will the video be standalone or be used with other learning materials? Tailor your video content to compliment the other materials.

Pre-recording checklist

  1. Consider your audience – this will help you decide whether you want the presenter to look directly at the camer
  2. Steady hands needed!  Alternatively… use a tripod
  3. Check jacket for porridge!  And teeth for spinach!
  4. Might audio work okay on its own?
  5. Make sure you consider sound, in many ways it’s more important than the visuals
  6. Think about how your video will be delivered?  Will it be accessible on YouTube, DVD, download?
  7. Get some phone and tablet tripod mounts – mobile devices can be a great way of recording video


  1. Keep it short
  2. Tag / apply meta data to your videos
  3. If you are creating your own video something, try to make it reusable or usable in different contexts
  4. Avoid dates and names etc so that videos can easily be reused
  5. Be aware of the message you’re trying to convey
  6. Listen back to what you’re recording
  7. Consider eye contact – for example, in an interview have someone ask questions so they have a focal point to look at.

Other ideas for video in learning and teaching

  1. Get students to create and edit their own videos!  They could be for revision purposes or showcasing skills for an e-portfolio etc
  2. Use for verbal feedback for students – you can expression your opinions quickly and in more detail.  You can also clarify points if a student is unsure of your feedback and the student can look over this in their own time… and it provides evidence that you are giving constructive feedback to improve their work
  3. Use video to introduce yourself and the course on the VLE – this adds a personal touch and helps build relationships
  4. Create short instructional videos of basic skills that students will require throughout their course but may need sporadically – this is useful as you don’t need to go over this material repeatedly and reduces the likelihood of ‘cold’ learning in teaching sessions

Are there any other hints and tips you’d add?  Use the comments box to share them with us!


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