creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-ND ) flickr photo shared by MyEyeSees

How to Make an Engaging Video

Hello Online 2 Coetailers!

Did you have a lovely summer? I certainly did! My family and myself spent the entire summer in Canada, where I call “home”. We spent one week sight-seeing in Vancouver. I met face2face with a few educators that I know through Twitter. It was great fun meeting them in person. My daughter went to the IB World Student Conference in Montréal where they looked at the theme, “Human Rights in the 21st Century”.

During the summer, I also finished my own Coetail Course 5 Final Project Video. While I was creating my video, I tried to keep in mind guidelines on how to make an engaging video. Since you are starting course 3 on Visual Literacy, I thought I would share with you some hints that I know.

I got the information from these web articles, entitled “What 6.9 million clicks tell us about how to fix online education” and “How MOOC Video Production Affects Student Engagement.” The articles’ main purpose is to look at factors that influence the drop-out rates of MOOC students. One of the factors is the effectiveness of online videos.

They published a paper that explains their research findings on what makes an effective video. Here are the points in brief (quoted as they appear in the first article). Please read the web articles and paper for more details.

Effective Video Presentations

  • Brevity (viewers generally tune out after six minutes)

  • Informality, with professors seated at a desk, not standing behind a podium

  • Lively visuals rather than static PowerPoint slides

  • Fast talkers (professors seen as the most engaging spoke at 254 words per minute)

  • More pauses, so viewers can soak in complex diagrams

  • Web-friendly lessons (existing videos broken into shorter chunks are less effective than ones crafted for online audiences)

I confess that “brevity” is not my strong point (especially in writing!) but in my video, I tried to move through my images rather quickly to hold my audience’s attention. If it was a static image, then I used “Videoscribe” that Coetailer Jason Graham @jasongraham99 introduced to me. Videoscribe allows you to turn a static image into a moving image. See my video for some examples. I also tried to talk quickly through my content but talking fast is usually not a problem for me! 😉

I don’t know how effective my video was, as it’s difficult to gauge one’s own work but I did show my video to my four children who are between the ages of 10 and 17. They all gave me their stamp of approval. When the 15 year old said, it was “OK and there isn’t anything you should delete”, I figured it was gold and ready to be published. Praise from a 15 year boy old is high praise indeed! 😀

I think you’ll find Course 3 on Visual literacy very practical and useful, and you’ll be analyzing everything you see on the web through a more critical-eye, afterwards. As I come across more articles on Visual Literacy, I’ll be tweeting them out. If you haven’t joined Twitter yet, I hope you’ll give it a “go” soon. It expanded my Coetail learning exponentially. Who knows? Some of your Twitter connections might end up becoming friends and you’ll be making plans to meet them personally, as I did this summer.

Best of luck on the start of your new school year and your Coetail studies this year!

Onwards and upwards!