Preparing and Sharing Content for Lecture Videos

When recording a lecture for online students, planning and delivery are the keys to success. Sharing online content with students can become a challenge while working on a screen with limited space. In order to convey concepts to students who cannot be in the room with you takes extra planning.

 

Keep in mind that lectures do not need to take the entire class time. Consider a mini-lecture of 5-7 minutes. Scenarios, working on problems, group work, case studies and similar authentic experiences help students get a better working understanding of concepts.

 

Preparing your lecture recording content

  • Design with course objectives and outcomes in mind
  • Be as concise as possible
  • Organize logically and time-weighted according to the importance of the concepts you’re trying to convey
  • Illustrate with images, links to videos or show applicable software programs when possible
  • Provide good examples; authentic, real-world examples are best

 

Slide text and colors (PDF, PPT, etc.)

  • Use dark text (preferably black – never red or green) on a white or very light background
  • Borders/design should not be distracting or compete with content
  • No more than 5-7 bullet points and keep sentences short
  • Use Arial, or Helvetica, Tahoma (sans serif, web safe and good for cross platform) and avoid changing fonts type/size in your document
  • Titles and headers 36-40 pt; subpoints no smaller than 32 pt; no text smaller than 16 pt

 

**Adapted from IEEE Online Presentations Best Practices, NIU Teaching with PowerPoint

 

When recording your screen             

DO

  • Use a pen tablet and stylus to make annotations; it will make it easier to communicate concepts to your distance students
  • Show applicable software, equations, documents etc. so students can view authentic, practical applications of the concepts being taught
  • If using an ELMO, take care to ensure your text, symbols or diagrams are large enough and that you have a dark pen like a black Sharpie. Preparing materials ahead of time to make it easier for students to read or view and can be re-used another semester
  • Zoom in (CTRL + in a browser) to specific content

DON’T

  • Don’t write on a whiteboard or point to a projector screen (if live capture); it will be difficult for online students to view the material
  • Don’t forget to have documents full size in the application window and preferably zoomed in on the specific content (in Word or Excel, change this on the View menu)
  • If possible, don’t use an ELMO as your primary mode of delivery if you are mostly sharing text. It is important to keep text limited and to the point; keep sentences short
  • If text/images simply can’t be made bigger (for example a font used within a software demo you are showing) find another way to post materials for online students to view through Canvas or Cybox