How to make online teaching videos engaging

Many of us working within the field of academia have transitioned to online teaching (either partially or completely). As I am an online academic, even when social distancing is no longer implemented, I am sharing some of my online teaching tips.

If you want to read my general tips for online teaching click here.

Making content videos engaging and insightful is essential if students are going to understand and consolidate the information presented to them. These are my few tips:

More is More! You have to be a little more ‘out there’ when you’re on video. Your expressions need to be bigger, your hand movements bigger, and your voice more expressive. It can feel really weird doing this at first as you may feel like you are way OTT. However, when you watch the video back you will notice that it makes you look more engaging and interesting.

Keep them short. Try to keep the content videos short, I try to stick to no longer than 12 minutes. Although this means that you may need to create multiple videos, students will be more engaged with short, snappy, and to the point content.

Feel good. This is a personal preference of mine, but if I know that I am going to be filming content I wear an outfit that I like (often I try to be colourful) and I also put lipstick on. I find that if I feel confident, that shines through on the video. 

Don’t aim for perfection. Not only is aiming for perfection time consuming, it doesn’t translate well on video. You want students to see the human behind the content. Aim for a one take rule (unless you completely f^*k up). Saying the wrong word, losing your train of thought, getting tongue tied, having a pigeon fly into your home (yep that happened), all help make you seem like a human rather than a robotic teacher. 

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