Whether the goal is to increase student engagement and success, or to explore alternative modes of information delivery, videos are a valuable addition to any online course. However, the complexity of the production process can make the incorporation of course-specific videos appear prohibitive. From time-constrained and camera-shy subject matter experts, to limited production resources, there are a number of hurdles faculty and designers face when producing effective high quality educational videos.
In a recent project, two designers from the Office of Digital Learning tackled these challenges, turning a text-based case study into a compelling video story under strict time and resource constraints.
Watch the video below to see their story.
[Music] A faculty for a fully-online course proposed a course-design challenge: turn a short case study into a compelling video story that holistically engages students.
For this project we had limited resources: 3 weeks and 2 Office of Digital Learning Collaborators – a course support specialist – that’s me – and a visual designer.
Due to these limited resources, we chose to create the video using VideoScribe, a program that enables the quick creation of animated videos like this one.
Working from the original case study text, the faculty and I broke the narrative into scenes. Google slides helped us brainstorm – each slide representing a scene and providing a space for us to imagine what the visual elements might look like. We used clipart, images, and descriptive text to convey all of our ideas.
With the Google slide deck as a starting point, I met with the Visual Designer to discuss how to illustrate the video with vector graphics. He provided insight on the final form of the visual elements and suggested that we focus on creating a simple hand-drawn look due to the animation style of VideoScribe.
This would mean simplifying some of our initial ideas, and imagining everything in black and white.
With our plan set, the Visual Designer got to work creating the vector graphics. This was an iterative process; the visual designer sought feedback on the illustrations early and often.
Our major pitfall for the project was the audio, which the faculty recorded before the project started. Due to the timing of the video, we needed to edit the audio to create more space between sentences so that there was enough time for animation and transitions.
The project was successful in meeting faculty expectations within the constraints identified. Through this project, we learned three things:
First, planning was the most critical stage; while we ended up devoting half of our schedule to planning we experienced a faster production time than in previous projects.
Second, by setting the expectation of iteration we increased our productivity because we were able to identify potential issues early on.
Finally, creating a Call to Action empowers students to continue to think about and apply the concepts covered in the video and brings the video to a logical conclusion.
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