During this unprecedented time of remote learning, creating effective, engaging online courses can be challenging.
Educators are quickly moving to adapt courses to online platforms, but because the shift has been so sudden, many struggle to engage students and provide interactive resources in a remote learning environment.
One of the best ways to provide engaging, remote learning experiences is to use video.
Using video has two key benefits:
- It’s an excellent medium for sharing information
- It allows for asynchronous delivery of content
When content is provided as a video, students can consume it on their own schedule. Then, scheduled, online face-to-face time can be used for discussion, questions, and other interactions that are more conducive to synchronous delivery.
So, what kinds of videos are best to create for your online courses?
We put together a list of 7 types of videos you can easily create for your online courses that will grab (and hold) your students’ attention — no matter where they are.
1. Intro video
It’s always helpful to share an introductory video at the beginning of any online course. It’s often a quick and easy video to create, and it can be incredibly helpful to students. Use this video to introduce yourself and explain the class syllabus, schedule, goals, and expectations.
It’s also a great opportunity to share some fun facts about yourself and your background. This can help you seem more “human” and accessible to your students, which can be harder to do when teaching in a remote setting. Sharing what makes you a unique individual can jump-start a student’s interest in the course material and cultivate a strong teacher-student relationship.
2. Course navigation video
It’s important that students understand the online course organization and how to access the materials you’ll be sharing with them. This video should cover how to navigate to the course calendar, where to find the syllabus, where to submit assignments, and other commonly used online pages or tools for your course.
The more in-depth your online course navigation video, the fewer repetitive questions you’ll get from students about where to find materials.
3. New week, topic, or unit video
This video is your opportunity to give students an overview of what to expect in the coming week, topic, or unit. Students appreciate knowing what to expect and will feel more connected to you and your online course if they’re consistently made aware of the course content and schedule.
This is also a great opportunity for you to express your excitement about the upcoming material. It can be tough to engage with students during an online course, so sharing some highlights can really help. Tell students what you’re looking forward to teaching, perhaps even including some cliff hangers. These previews can help to facilitate and maintain a personal connection throughout the duration of your course.
4. Walkthrough videos
Consider making simple how-to videos to accompany online course materials or assignments. There’s no need to get dressed up or go all out with production — students will respond best if you seem more personable and approachable. In fact, some informality is encouraged!
“Students don’t really care if I make a mistake, have a bad hair day, or sneeze on video,” says Tracy Schaelen, Distance Education Faculty Coordinator at Southwestern College. “They want to see me — the real person, not a professional spokesperson.”
Here are just a few suggestions of what to cover in your walkthrough videos:
- Course Schedule
- Lab procedures
- Project or report details
- Using class discussion forums
- Submitting assignments
- Taking quizzes and assessments
- Due dates, timelines, and other goals
5. Assignment and project feedback videos
Rather than sending students written feedback, consider recording it as a short video. That way, you can explain your markups and comments about an assignment and give students a better understanding of how they can make improvements. It’s also a great opportunity to give extra demonstrations or explanations for a particular student if you observe a repetitive error.
Students taking online courses will appreciate the additional time and effort you made to connect with them. This personalized and conversational feedback will help them feel valued and engaged with your course.
6. Student-created videos
A great way to involve students in your online course is by including them in the video-making process! Asking students to create videos rather than submit written assignments encourages creativity and adds to their digital skill set.
Consider having your students create welcome videos of their own, or even video responses to a discussion thread. This can increase student-to-student engagement, which can be very difficult to foster in a remote setting.
7. Concise video lessons
Video lectures are the backbone of any effective online course. Your students rely on these videos to learn course material and understand the topics of discussion.
Rather than recording hour-long lectures of yourself simply talking over presentation slides, try to shorten your videos and make them more interactive. It can be hard to keep students engaged, and shorter clips are easier to focus on (and faster for you to produce and caption).
Show your face! While you can record just about anything on your screen, it can be a really nice touch to include your webcam, too. Adding interactive components, such as quizzes, can also help engage students and make them feel more involved with your online course.
You’ve got this!
We’re all feeling the stress of shifting to remote work, but that doesn’t mean learning has to stop or become less effective.
And now, you don’t have to be overwhelmed by creating videos, either.
With the information shared here in mind, you can easily start creating high-quality and engaging videos for your students.
Need more tips on creating effective and engaging online courses? Read more here: