Video Best Practices

Here are some best practices for creating videos:

  • Length
    • Shorter is better.
    • 3-5 minutes is optimum, no longer than 10 minutes when possible.
    • If you must use a longer video, break it up into smaller, standalone chunks.
  • Writing
    • Write a script or at least an outline.
    • Write in as conversational and as friendly a tone as you can.
    • Use short sentences.
    • Don't read on-screen text. Students can't absorb both the spoken word and on-screen text. Use visuals and explain the image.
    • Write for the ear – not for the eye (most people will only hear the video narration so you can be informal, use contractions, etc.).
    • Read your script out loud (then you'll hear where you need to make changes).
  • Recording
    • Rehearse and practice before you press the "Record" button.
    • Use an external USB microphone for better sound.
    • When recording with a webcam, use a front light so your face is illuminated.
    • If you make a mistake or stumble over words, let the recording continue, pause for five seconds, then pick up again where you left off. You can edit out the bad portions later.
  • Formats
    • Record MP4 video, a flexible cross-platform format.
  • Captioning
    • You should either caption your video or offer a text transcript of the audio.
    • For more information about appropriate and reasonable accommodations for students with special needs, contact the Office of Disability Services.
  • Using in your course
    • Record using the Kaltura CaptureSpace Desktop Recorder, available in Canvas.
    • Upload the finished video to My Media.
    • Embed the video on a Canvas Page.
    • Increase student engagement by adding interactive questions to your video using the My Media Video Quiz tool.
    • Integrate video into discussions.
  • Copyright Considerations: Be sure you have the right to use any videos that you want to add to your courses. If you're unclear about what those rights are and what your responsibilities include, please review these resources: