Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding differences between in-person and video-based teaching, part of Instructional Design: Creating Video Training.
If you're coming to video based training from a live classroom background, it'll most likely take some time for you to adapt to a setting where you're going from speaking and interacting with a classroom full of people, to sitting in front of a computer or a camera in a room by yourself speaking to no one in particular. And that's probably one of the biggest differences you'll need to get used to. If you're accustomed to an interactive classroom dynamic, where you receive both verbal and visual feedback from your students, it'll feel strange to get no feedback at all while you're recording. As a result, you'll need to develop an ability to anticipate both the types of viewers or students you expect to be watching your training as, well as the types of questions and concerns they'll have about the material you're presenting.
I'll talk more about that in the movies coming up in this chapter. But a lot of your success in creating good video training comes from understand key differences between a live classroom and a video tutorial. In a classroom setting students can ask you to repeat things or explain them in a different way. But in video training no one can ask you to repeat yourself, or to re-explain something you said. Although they will have the ability to rewind and listen again. You should aim for speaking as clearly as possible, and for providing thorough enough explanations, or real-world examples of what you're discussing, so that the students won't have to click back to rewatch portions of your video, just to understand the points you're trying to make.
But you also don't want to be too wordy or over-explain things. In those cases, your viewers might be reaching for the fast forward button instead of the rewind button. Along those lines in a live classroom, you as the teacher usually have the freedom to go off on tangents or to tell stories related to the topic at hand. When creating video training however, you should avoid tangents and asides, unless they're truly relevant to the topic you're discussing. As a rule, and we'll discuss more about this later, your videos should be short and focused on a single topic as much as possible. Now, this rule of course can bend depending on what you're teaching.
But often students are interested in learning something specific. How to work with tab stops in Microsoft Word, or how to repair a flaw in a photo using Photoshop. Or how to add images to a webpage. In video training it's more difficult to hold your viewers attention when you go off on tangents. Especially if they need to review your video multiple times. It will quickly become tedious to them, to have to fast forward or jump past a story or what in your opinion is an amusing anecdote, before you get back to the main topic. Now that isn't to say that you shouldn't let your humor or your personality come through.
You should still try to come across as though you are engaging a student and person. You want to speak in conversational, but enthusiastic tones. Toss a short joke or comment in if it fits your personality and style. But, just make sure you stay focused on the main goal, which should be teaching the information the movie is supposed to be about. Lengthy stories are easier to tell in a live classroom where students can participate, and they can usually see you circling back to the main topic. It's more different to make longer anecdotes work in a video though. Now if you're recording a course that's comprised of several movies or chapters of movies like we do here at lynda.com, it helps if you consider the fact that some viewers will be treating your videos as reference material.
Meaning that although you should creat your course so that the content is presented in a logical manner and which builds upon itself with each movie. You also need to consider that some viewers might watch your movies in a non linear fashion, skipping entire movies or chapters to find the information they need. Which is definitely something students can't do in a live classroom. But one of the main advantages in video training is that each student can learn at his or her own pace. And they can watch, rewatch, or hunt down specific movies based on their own needs. Therefore, it's often helpful to include short acknowledgements to the viewers who may have skipped ahead to a particular movie, by including statements like as we saw back in the second movie of chapter two, or and now I'll run this command which I showed you how to write in the previous movie.
Basically you want to leave some bread crumbs, or pointers, back to the material the viewers might need in order to understand, or to just give some context to what you're showing, in case someone jumps in right there. Lastly, if you do come from a live teaching background, one other thing you might notice right away when you're creating video tutorials, is that the rhythm of your presentation style may change. Since you won't be receiving feedback in real time, you won't have as many natural pauses for emphasis or to let an idea sink in with your students. Jokes that go over well in a classroom may fall flat in the video since there's no one there to even offer a polite laugh.
It becomes very easy to start rushing through your material to fill what feels like empty space. So, as you're recording, try to assess your pace. If it feels like the words are flying out of your mouth, or you're stumbling a lot, make a conscious effort to slow down and take your time. Like anything else, it takes practice. Some live instructors transition into video tutorials very easily, while others struggle a bit with it, and some fall right in the middle. But with practice, you'll definitely improve. Later in this course, I'll be offering some more tips specific to the recording process, as well as some suggestions on how to best plan out and prepare for recording.
But, for now, those are just some of the differences between classroom teaching and video training. You'll definitely discover many more as you go along.
- Understanding your audience
- Defining course- and movie-level objectives
- Scripting vs. outlining
- Deciding which visuals to use
- Preparing your computer for recording
- Handling mistakes and redos
- Sharing your movies