This blog is designed to help you create a YouTube video that you can load into your course. Videos are a great way to connect your students with course material but also to give them a sense of connection with you.
The full PDF version can be downloaded here, best-practice_youtube, and includes additional material you may find helpful.
Creating an Account and Channel.
Creating an account with YouTube is easy. It requires a Google account which will be used to access YouTube. If you do not have a Google account, click this link Google to create one. Follow the trail in Figure 1 and you’re in business. (Click the Chart to enlarge it.)
Figure 1. Creating a YouTube Account and Channel.
Overview of the Video Making Process.
Screencasting software. Very helpful when making good quality video productions of any length. Screencast-O-Matic is free and provides basic tools for editing both video and audio components of a recording.
Tools needed. The following tools are essential for creating quality video.
1. Microphone. Your typical computer or phone mic will not give you the sound quality you need for your videos but a decent beginning mic can be had for under $50. Several good types are: lapel, headset, or shotgun mics with USB connectors.
2. Webcam. The webcam on your computer will likely do a nice enough job for shooting desktop videos. If you want something a little more versatile, you can find a good webcam for under $60.
3. Online Host. There are several online hosts available but YouTube is very popular. Take a glance at YouTube EDU.
4. Screencasting software. Open Screencasting software is readily available. It is very helpful with the production and editing aspects of creating quality video.
Material. Material helpful in creating video.
1. Transcript. Very helpful in providing the narration for your video but also in sequencing your content. The transcript can also be used to engage the closed caption feature.
2. Storyboard. Similar to a transcript but includes any other media you might use in your video: screenshots, graphics, photos, and anything else you might need to get your point across. Storyboards set sequencing as well as placement of parts and will guide you through the production of your video. See the linked article on Storyboarding for more information and an example.
Create A Video for Your Course.
Video Script. A video script is a valuable tool in preparing for your video whether it will be a three minute take or longer. A script can be anything from a few basic talking points to full narration if a transcript is needed. Some things to consider when creating your script:
1. Keep things simple and conversational. If you are just starting out with video production, stay with things familiar and give yourself the space to grow from there. It does take practice to come across comfortably to your audience so make sure you practice talking in front of whatever recording device you will use.
2. Will you need a transcript for closed-captions? If so, a script that stays close to your actual narration is recommended. There are a number of tools available that help with developing a transcript of your video.
3. Will actions, items, or other features be included i.e., Slideshare, images, whiteboard, and etc.? If so, you may want to create a storyboard which details the how, when, where, and why for each item that will be included along with your video.
Environment. Your surroundings are important to consider as they will have an impact on your viewers.
1. Ensure your setting (what will be seen/heard on the screen) is clean and uncluttered. There should be nothing to distract your viewers whether visual (Cat walking around in the background) or audible (dog barking).
2. Wear something comfortable but understand how small or high-contrast patterns i.e., pinstripes, plaids, flowers, and etc. can cause visual anomalies when viewing your video.
Lighting. Lighting for video production can be complex so the following tips are just a few simple things to keep in mind that will help make the video a pleasing experience for both you and your students.
1. Avoid backlighting. A light source shining behind the subject will make it difficult to see the subject and will wash out most other things on the screen. This also includes anything in the background that might reflect light i.e., glass in a picture frame or glossy paint on the wall.
2. Shoot with one type of light. Avoid combining light sources such as sunlight coming through a window with an overhead fluorescent.
3. Lighting should illuminate what you would like your audience to see and diminish everything else to help reduce distractions. Best lighting comes from the front and is warm in tone – not overwhelming.
Sound. There are several types of microphones that can capture quality sound while cutting down on ambient noise. Whatever you choose to record with, do some testing with your microphone to make sure you are getting good sound without the distracting issues like “popping” due to mic being too close to mouth, nose whistles, or too much ambient noise coming through.
Practice run. Even if you’ve recorded a few videos and feel comfortable with the process, make sure you do a test run with your equipment to ensure your set up is working well and that students will be able to see and hear what they need to. Make it a dress rehearsal to ensure your clothing works on camera and use any props that you plan on using in your final take. Another good practice is to get a peer to look at your video before you publish for your students. Ask them for feedback regarding quality and then apply their recommendations. Remember, you’re not just making a video but creating a sense of presence which will be critical for each of your students.
Video run. If you’ve planned and prepared well, the actual video take is the easy part. So relax, hit the record button, and have a nice conversation. Then make sure you have captured everything on screen that you intended.
Editing. Editing practices will differ with various screen casting programs. YouTube includes a video editor that is very helpful for the beginner. You can access it from your Creator Studio under Create. The Editor allows you to add effects, transitions, timelines, and to crop parts that you don’t want. There is also a sound library with a multitude of sounds that can be added to your video.
Helpful Material. There is a lot of helpful material that will guide you in the video creation process. The following are offered to provide a little motivation.
1. How to make Library Instructional Videos and Screencasts.
2. How to make Educational Videos.