Like lots of us, my work pretty quickly shifted this year to emphasize remote instruction. And remote instruction means (among other things) instructional videos. And I have never made an instructional video or any other kind of video that wasn’t just pointing my phone at something cute my nephews or pets are doing and then sharing that with friends and family. So… I don’t know what I’m doing. Like, not at all.
Last spring I made a few videos using our institution’s lecture capture system, Panopto. (Insert shudder here about the panopticon…) Pros: I was able to get up and running with no-frills videos quickly, and I really appreciate any help I can get with accessibility features like captions. Cons: editing is extremely limited, and I just couldn’t get it to do some of the things I needed.
So over the summer I watched some YouTube videos about making videos (very meta), and then I faced down almost a week of script-writer’s block, and then I spent a week writing a whole bunch of scripts. And I made myself a slide template so that my videos would have a consistent look to them, which I’m hoping will help me mix and match them for the various courses I’ll be supporting. And now I’m deep in the weeds of video production.
Here’s the process I’ve developed so far:
- Write a script (trying to get things down to 5 minutes or less means I can’t risk too many tangents, and making videos that people may need to watch more than once means I can’t risk too many stumbles, so scripts are where it’s at for me right now)
- Create slides in PowerPoint using my template
- Export the slides as large-ish JPEG images
- In QuickTime, record a “movie” of me going through the script. (I don’t use my face through the whole finished video, but if there’s any part of this where I want the video and audio synced up, it’s when my mouth is moving, so it’s easiest for me to just record this all and then overlay it with other stuff later where all I need is my voice.)
- In QuickTime again, record any screen captures I’ll need of me navigating through things or whatever.
- Sometimes I need screen captures of me drawing or annotating PDFs or whatever, and I do those on my iPad.
- In iMovie, edit the places where I stumbled or whatever, and then drop in the Slide images and screen captures (usually sped up to x2 or x4 speeds) where appropriate.
- Sometimes I need to do more voice-over work in iMovie.
- Export my movie to my computer
- Import my movie to Panopto
- Use Panopto to generate auto-captions and then go through and edit the captions as needed.
If the video isn’t super specific to a single course, I’ve added two more steps:
- Download the caption file from Panopto
- Upload the movie and the caption file to YouTube
Now I have two places where students can find my videos:
- Panopto: easy to feed into their Moodle courses, etc, and familiar on campus for course-related viewing
- YouTube: easier to stumble across or use for less formal work
And through all of this, one of the big things I’ve learned is that it is absolutely possible to be super corny and super boring all at the same time! Weeeee!
My main other take-away is that need to figure out a teleprompter situation. Right now I’m not very happy with the fact that my eyes are always just slightly down from camera even though I’ve pushed my script up as high as I can on my computer screen. Recommendations for good set-ups are welcome!