Why recording online lessons is more effective than live-calling remote students

The reasons recorded videos are superior for students, plus software recommendations and video tips.
Daniel Davis is a digital marketer with more than 10 years of experience.
Daniel Davis is a digital marketer with more than 10 years of experience.

Online learning is experiencing a real boom today thanks to the development of the internet and, of course, the pandemic. Distance education saves time and money, provides the ability to study from anywhere in the world, it is accessible, comfortable, and inclusive.

But there are also disadvantages. Today, problems with the motivation of students, the lack of “live” communication, and the fact that students simply get lost online and don’t keep up with the course of the lesson come to the fore. Today we’ll talk about the last issue and try to figure out which one is better – online calls or pre-recorded video tutorials?

Online calls vs. video lessons

First, let’s talk about online conferences as a part of educational strategy.

One of the most striking advantages is the involvement factor. Online calls are more difficult to provide students with a vivid lesson experience. Usually, it appears automatically offline: simply due to a change in setting or topic. Nevertheless, at the conference, students see each other, talk with the teacher, and are less distracted – in two words, they get involved and interact. Video lessons cannot provide this.

However, the pros almost end there. With video calls, vagaries often happen: someone loses the Wi-Fi connection, others have sound or picture breakups. And if students dream for a couple of minutes, they will be deficient in knowledge because there was no opportunity to rewind the call.

So why is it more prudent for teachers to record video lessons for their students?

Benefits of online learning

  • Availability. The student can start the video lesson at any time. And if some part of the material seems incomprehensible, there is always the opportunity to rewind the video and view it again or pause and search for extra materials on the internet.
  • Psychological factor. Every person is different. Someone likes to be in the spotlight, speak in public, and perform in front of large audiences. And others perform best singly without being distracted by other people. For these students, video tutorials are the ideal form of deep learning.
  • Free schedule. Distance learning is all about flexible scheduling. Students can watch video tutorials and do their homework at any convenient time. But, of course, they have to practice self-discipline.

What can video lessons be?

 There are usually three types of educational videos:

#1. Screencast

A screencast is a recording from a computer screen and a voiceover that comments on what is happening in the video.

#2. Video with a “talking head”

In this genre of educational video, a person sits in front of the camera and reads the text. This video format is usually used to complement a PowerPoint presentation when you need to annotate slides.

#3. Video tutorial

It is a short training video which is similar to a TV show. Think of any science experiment, for example. Video tutorials are distinguished by rich video sequences and ideally thought-out “dramaturgy of the work.”

Best software for making educational videos

1. Hippo Video

Hippo Video is a platform for creating webcam videos and screencasts. Here you can trim clips, insert text labels, emojis, tags, highlight mouse movements, add introductory and finishing slides. Unlike many similar platforms, Hippo Video gives you access to detailed analytics: who viewed your video and how. This allows you to track who of the students is goofing off and who is not.

2. Panopto

Panopto is a multifunctional video platform for teaching. It provides great features for creating screencasts, webcam recording, as well as broadcasting live videos. The platform has editing tools: you can cut out unsuccessful takes, split a long video into clips, upload additional content and sync it with the video, as well as insert an interactive test or poll. Panopto is suitable for those who work on a MacBook.

3. Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is considered the industry standard among video editing software. Here you can create projects of any complexity. The program supports a large number of formats and offers the widest set of settings for video editing. However, it can be tricky to learn for beginners, so you can consider alternatives: DaVinci Resolve or Final Cut Pro. In case you have an old OS, take a look at Nero products or other programs where you can edit mp4 video on Windows 7.

 4. Wirewax

Wirewax is based on artificial intelligence technology, thanks to which the tool can identify people and objects in the frame, mark them and create clickable zones: static and moving. The movement of every object in the scene can be tracked. Static markers can be placed on any object in the video, and then users can interact with it. Thanks to this mechanism, viewers can define the script of the video themselves and move between scenes. Suitable for teachers who treat their work as real art.

5. Animaker

Animaker makes it easy to create cartoons and animated videos. There are many ready-made hand-drawn characters here – you only need to set the desired movements and facial expressions. Animaker has a huge library of characters, graphs, icons, sounds, and visuals. It is an excellent solution to engage students of all ages.

Tips for making really great online lessons

  • Know your students. This will help you make the video as useful as possible. If you teach kids, make a video in cartoon format, and if your audience includes an adult student, use the maximum number of cool transitions, bright inscriptions in the video, and other special effects.
  • Prepare the script. Even if you are well versed in the topic, it’s necessary to work out the script. It will help structure your performance and avoid unnecessary pauses. Start with the most interesting facts or briefly describe what the lecture will be about. In the middle, expand the topic of the lesson in as much detail as possible. At the end of the script, summarize and go over the key points again.
  • Pick up a camera and microphone. Video production gear is a must-have. Your students will be very enthusiastic about watching lessons with high-quality sound and rich pictures.
  • Choose a filming location. Ideally, the shooting location should be 100% suitable for the video tutorial topic. For example, if you are filming a chemical experiment, equip the filming location as a laboratory. And if the lesson is about literature, you can use the library as a background.
  • Think over the image. Teaching students remotely doesn’t mean you have to be in your pajamas. So that you still have the status of a teacher and the children listen to you, adhere to the low-key style. Besides, bright clothes will only distract from the main information.

Wrapping up

Making quality instructional videos can be a real challenge. But with the right tools, the process can go much faster. Try the tools outlined in the article and assemble your perfect editing kit. We wish you fun, interesting, and useful videos!

Daniel Davis is a digital marketer with more than 10 years of experience. He is a contributor to Content Marketing Institute and is regularly quoted as an expert in large media outlets. 

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