10 Tips to Record Instructional Videos

Young businesswoman thinking about something while sitting front.

Image source: Adobe Stock by iana_kolesnikova.

by Clara Galán

posted on 03-30-2020

If you’re used to teaching a room full of students, recording your lecture or lesson to an empty audience might feel strange. But, recording video instruction actually gives educators the opportunity to edit content and add visuals — without any classroom interruptions! In a flipped classroom model, students watch recorded lesson “playlists” at their own pace and use live virtual classroom time for interactive discussions and projects.

Getting started: Video lessons in distance learning

With schools transitioning to distance learning environments in light of COVID-19, many educators now have to record instructional videos. If this is new for you, get started by taking this Flipped Classroom introductory course on The Adobe Education Exchange. Then, create a simple video in Adobe Spark or Premiere Rush. As you’re getting started, try these tips for filming your first video:

    1. Determine your camera: Luckily, most laptops and mobile phones have a built-in camera. You can easily record your video without having a separate high-powered video camera. However, if you do have one and a tripod, feel free to use them!
    2. Eliminate background noise: Be sure to record your video in a quiet place without background sound. Sometimes using headphones or an external microphone can be helpful, as it can be challenging to record in a busy home environment.
    3. Ensure steady lighting: Try and record your video in one place with a lamp for front-facing lighting. Try to position your camera away from a window or other light source. Make sure you are clearly visible and well-lit. Also, clean your camera lens for the clearest image!
    4. Steady your camera: Place your laptop, phone, or camera on an even, stable surface so that you have a steady image during recording. Before you record, make sure that everything fits into the frame of the camera and will be captured.
    5. Incorporate video clips and images: In Adobe Spark and Premiere Rush, it’s easy to upload additional video clips or images to break up talking heads. Just like a lesson in the classroom, your video should be visually engaging for students.
    6. Incorporate question prompts: Try and make your speaking/lecture portion short to allow your students to interact with the instructional content. Incorporate questions in your video for ongoing formative assessment with tools like Edpuzzle. This will allow students to pause and reflect, and it will keep them engaged.
    7. Screencast: Easily record directions or processes on your computer screen with tools like Camtasia or Screencastify. Once you record these clips, you can upload them to your video. This is especially helpful if you want to walk your students through a specific online resource or process.
    8. Be explicit and allow pauses: Be specific about instructions to help your students follow along. If it helps, make notes beforehand to focus the content of the lecture or lesson. If you have a point in instruction that requires students to respond to a prompt, ask them to pause the video to give them some time to answer it.
    9. Use captions / subtitles: If possible, create subtitles for your video so that it is easily accessible to all students. If you upload your video to YouTube, you can easily add subtitles / closed captioning to your video in any language for free.
    10. Review and upload your video: Before you upload your video, review it for lighting, sound quality, and pacing. Upload your video in a place that is easy for students to access like your LMS (Learning Management System) or Google Classroom. You can even provide a larger audience for your instructional video by uploading it to YouTube.

With your first video recorded, watch it and make notes regarding student responses. What worked? What you would like to change for the next time? Over time, you will learn how to adjust content and your style to best meet your unique group of students’ needs.

Know that you are not alone in this process. In order to share with the larger community of educators navigating distance learning, we encourage you to share your instructional videos on Twitter or Facebook with #AdobeEduCreative. We look forward to seeing and sharing your work to support students everywhere!

Resources to get started:

Be sure to stay tuned to our Distance Learning page for even more resources, live and on-demand virtual events, and more to support your journey in the virtual classroom.

Topics: Education, News, COVID-19

Products: Premiere Rush, Spark, Premiere Pro, Creative Cloud