If your online classroom uses lectures, it is best if you use video lectures. Different eLearning platforms offer you different ways to include these lectures. Some let you embed or upload them directly. Others will only allow you to connect to them via links to external sites. No matter what, video lectures provide a more engaging experience for your students than reading documents or viewing slideshows.
Producing a good quality video lecture is important. First, it conveys professionalism and care to both your students and any administrators who are auditing your course. Second, a high quality video will be easier to understand. High quality doesn’t simply mean making a high definition recording. Record the lecture in a clean and uncluttered space unless you are using your surroundings as part of the lecture. Remember that some students will probably be viewing these on smartphones. The visual aspect of the lecture needs to be understandable on a small screen. Additionally, make sure you script and practice the lecture before you start. Speak with clear enunciation, especially if you are working with a global classroom.
Keep It Short
Try to limit each recording to five minutes or less. This way, students on slower connections will be able to view the lectures without lengthy load times. It also increases the likelihood that students will watch all or most of the lecture. A five minute session is easy to work during a break or while waiting for dinner. If you need, you can always include multiple videos for one class session. Split them up at natural stopping points.
Provide Captions and Transcripts
This may seem redundant, but it is important. You may occasionally have students who are hearing impaired or who are still learning English. Captioning your lectures can alleviate their challenges by allowing them to watch and read at the same time. Transcripts are similarly helpful. They are also useful for students who wish to take notes or like information presented in multiple ways. It is best if you can provide both captions and transcripts for all your lectures. However, if you can only manage one, then make it transcripts.
Don’t Just Talk
A good video lecture should be more than you talking to the camera. Combine it with visual examples of content and methods. This can either be done while you are recording or during editing. A good rule is to change focus at least once or twice every minute. You can include images, videos, switch to another person, or simply change focus from your face to your hands or a board. Doing this will help keep your students engaged.
Video lectures can be a dynamic part of your online classroom. You need to make the videos in the best quality. If your institution provides recording equipment, take advantage of that, as well as the expertise of the people who maintain it. Plan your recordings to be short, helpful, and memorable. Quality videos will keep students coming back to your classes.