Instructional Video Best Practices

March 27, 2023

Here are our top tips for making effective learning videos for your online courses.

Top Tips

Be yourself

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Talk as you would to students face to face. It is ok to make mistakes, just correct them quickly and move on as you would live. Look at the camera as you speak. The goal is to make the video feel like your authentic instruction for this particular class. Videos help learners connect to you as the instructor, and to the course content.

Keep it short

Studies show that learner attention wanes after 6-10 minutes. Focus on one main point at a time. If you need longer, consider recording multiple videos. Not only are shorter videos more engaging to students, but they also make it easy to update just one component at a time when needed rather than having to re-record an hour-long lecture video.


Keep your visuals and slides simple so students can focus on what you are saying. It can be helpful to provide important terms and topics so that learners can follow along, but too much visual information can conflict with the words you are saying. Focus on connecting the video to a set learning objective and eliminate extraneous information. Because learners can always replay part or all of your video if they want, there is no need for repetition.

Choose environment

Find a place to record your video that is free from distractions. If you are recording your screen, turn off all notifications so they don’t pop up in your video. Feel free to switch it up! Try different backgrounds for different videos throughout the course to add interest for your viewers.

Plan for accessibility

If you are using visual aids or actions, narrate what is happening for your learners. Use Kaltura to auto-generate captions, and be sure to correct them. If it seems natural to you, consider using a script – it can help you easily correct video captions later. This Kaltura Basics training video introduces how to auto-generate captions.

Make it active for learners

During the course of your video, ask reflection questions for learners to consider. If you are demonstrating a tool or process, ask them to follow along. Try embedding questions using the Kaltura Quiz feature for learners to quickly check if they understand what you have introduced to them. This Advanced Kaltura training demonstrates how to add a quiz to a video.

Let Clemson Online help!

Our video production team can help you plan, record, edit, and caption videos. Check out our video production services.

Upcoming Events

Quality Matters for Summer Accelerate

Clemson Online is proud to announce new opportunities for instructors to gain experience in online course creation, teaching with Canvas, and the Quality Matters course review process. They include:

  • Online Course Bootcamp
  • Improving Your Online Course (IYOC)
  • QM Essentials Review
  • COFFEE: House Blend

Please see the full descriptions and registration links at our Quality Matters for Summer Accelerate website.

For applicable participants, these trainings can be listed on annual reviews in the Faculty Success system. Check with your department for specific details. If you have any questions about these training opportunities or any aspect of Quality Matters at Clemson, please email Lori Kinley.

iClicker Cloud Training and Drop-in

Wednesday, March 29

Join us for a special face-to-face training on iClicker Cloud. Learn to use iClicker Cloud for active learning activities such as live polling, knowledge checks, and more. Clemson Online is collaborating with an iClicker representative who will be on campus to demonstrate how iClicker Cloud works and why you should be using it in your class.

We still encourage you to register if you cannot attend in person. We will contact you about a virtual one-on-one consultation that better fits your schedule.

  • Trainings: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM or 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
  • Drop-in: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Location: Cooper 204

Register for iClicker Cloud Training on March 29th 

Quick Hits – New ASL Zoom Feature Basics

Thursday, March 30

We are excited to introduce Zoom’s latest feature: American Sign Language Interpretation. Join this session to learn the basics of how this feature works and what you need to know if you are hosting a Zoom Event or meeting and require ASL interpreters. This training is for anyone who regularly hosts Zoom Events and meetings or for anyone who requires ASL interpretation. This training is the first of two events, the second is essential for hosting long Zoom Events.

  • Facilitated by Axel Ruiz, Sr. Learning Tech. Specialist, and Dan Lewis, Director of Digital Accessibility, CCIT Internal Operations
  • Time: 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Location: Virtual

Register here for Quick Hit: New ASL Zoom Feature Basics on March 30th 

Clemson Online Spring 2023 Events Calendar

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Review our Spring 2023 Events Calendar to see what Online Instruction Development opportunities await!

We have a robust Spring semester lineup of topics and live training formats to support your use of Canvas and other e-learning tools. Topics cover demonstrations of using Kaltura, presentations on inclusive practices for online education, and workshops to get your Canvas site ready to teach!

All of our live training is recorded. Registrants will automatically receive a link to that day’s video after it has been processed.

Contact James Butler with any questions about these sessions.

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