How to make videos your students will love

5. Don’t waste your students’ time. We’ve watched teacher-made videos where teachers talk about their favorite football team for five minutes. Students are watching this on their own time, and this sort of discussion wastes that time. Keep to your topic.

6. Add annotations. Think of your screen as a whiteboard with cool pictures. Use annotation equipment to add pen markups. We do not think we would ever have embraced the flipped classroom if the annotation feature had not been available.

7. Add callouts. We incorporate a fair amount of postproduction editing in which we can add callouts. A callout is a text box, a shape, or some other object that will appear for a while in the video and then disappear. Our students have found these very helpful, because they bring their attention to the key elements in a video. We also use these to show steps in a problem. For example, we use the callouts to list the steps in the process. We state these steps during the recording, but also reemphasize them visually with the callouts.

8. Zoom in and out. In the postproduction editing, we zoom in to different portions of the screen. Having the ability to zoom adds to student comprehension. For example, when we do a mathematical problem, we zoom in to the onscreen calculator. Or, when we are highlighting a picture on screen, we can zoom in to the portion of the picture that is most important for comprehension. This not only emphasizes a particular item, but it declutters the screen and helps the students focus.

9. Keep it copyright friendly. Because these videos will likely be posted online, make sure that you follow all appropriate copyright laws. Consult experts in this area to ensure that you do not infringe on the copyrights of others.

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