Guide to Shifting to Online Teaching: Best Practices

Creating and editing videos for online teaching can significantly enhance the learning experience for students, making content more engaging and accessible. Here's a comprehensive guide on how to effectively create and edit teaching videos, combining insights from several sources.

Planning Your Video

Creating educational videos requires thoughtful planning to ensure they're effective and engaging. The first step is identifying the learning objective for each video. This clarity helps in structuring the content and ensures that every element of the video serves a purpose in the learning process.

Define Your Objectives

Start by asking yourself what you want students to learn from the video. Objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This focus helps in creating content that directly addresses the learning needs of your students.

Select a Suitable Topic

Choosing the right topic is crucial. It should align with your curriculum and be suitable for video format. Complex subjects may require breaking down into smaller, more manageable segments to maintain engagement and effectiveness.


A well-prepared script is your roadmap for the video. It ensures that you cover all necessary points without deviating from the topic. Your script should include everything you plan to say and any specific visuals or animations you intend to use. It doesn't have to be overly detailed, but it should guide you smoothly through your presentation.


Storyboarding helps visualize the sequence of the video, including what will be shown on screen during specific parts of the script. This doesn't need to be artistically perfect but should give you a clear idea of the video's flow, such as when to introduce key concepts or visuals.

Keeping It Short and Engaging

Attention spans online are short. Research suggests that videos should be concise—ideally under 6 minutes for maximum engagement. Break down larger topics into smaller segments if necessary, to keep your videos focused and digestible.

Consider Your Audience

Understanding your audience is key. Consider the age, background, and learning preferences of your students. This understanding will influence your language, tone, and the complexity of the content. Younger students might benefit from more visuals and animations, while older students may appreciate in-depth explanations or real-world applications.

Choosing the Right Equipment and Platform

When it comes to creating educational videos, having the right equipment and choosing an appropriate platform for publishing are critical steps that determine the quality and accessibility of your content.

Equipment Essentials

While professional video production might seem daunting, you don’t need a high-end setup to create effective educational videos. Here’s a simple equipment checklist:

  • Camera: A smartphone or tablet with a good camera is sufficient for filming. Most modern devices offer high-quality video recording that meets educational content needs.
  • Microphone: Good audio quality is crucial, as poor sound can detract from the learning experience. Consider using headphones with an integrated microphone or an external mic to ensure clear audio.
  • Lighting: Natural light works best, but if that’s not possible, a simple LED lamp can improve video quality. Proper lighting makes the video more appealing and easier to watch.
  • Tripod or Stable Surface: To prevent shaky footage, use a tripod or rest your recording device on a stable surface. Stability improves the professionalism of your video.

Choosing a Video Editing Software

Simple, user-friendly video editing software can make a significant difference in the final product. Options like iMovie (for Apple users), Movie Maker 10 (for Windows users), and Magisto offer basic editing tools such as cutting, trimming, and adding text or transitions. These tools are generally easy to learn and can significantly enhance your video's quality without requiring professional editing skills.

Selecting a Publishing Platform

Where you publish your videos is just as important as how you create them. Platforms like YouTube are popular due to their accessibility and ease of use. Teachers can create a channel with link-only access, making the content available only to students who have the link. This approach maintains a level of privacy while still utilizing a widely accessible platform. For interactive videos, platforms like Animoto offer educational discounts and allow for easy sharing and student engagement.

Accessibility and Engagement

When preparing your content, consider how students will access and engage with your videos. Ensure your videos are accessible on various devices, including smartphones and tablets, and consider the platform's compatibility with educational tools your school uses. Also, think about the potential for interactive elements, such as quizzes or discussion prompts, which can be integrated depending on the platform you choose.

Creating Engaging Content

Creating engaging content for your educational videos is essential for capturing and maintaining your students' interest. This section will guide you on how to make your video content as engaging and informative as possible.

Focus on the Learning Objective

Every video should have a clear learning objective. What should students learn or be able to do after watching your video? Keep this objective in focus to ensure that your video content is relevant and straightforward. Avoid straying into unrelated topics to keep the video concise and on point.

Use Visuals Wisely

Visual elements can greatly enhance the learning experience. Use images, diagrams, and animations to explain concepts that are difficult to convey with words alone. Visual aids help in retaining information and can make complex ideas more accessible. However, don't overcrowd your video with visuals. Each visual should have a clear purpose and add value to the explanation.

Keep It Interactive

Interaction keeps students engaged. Even though they are watching a video, there are ways to make the experience interactive. Ask questions during the video to encourage students to think about the material. You can also suggest pause points for reflection or to complete a quick exercise. If your platform allows, incorporate quizzes or interactive elements directly into the video.

Show Your Personality

Don't be afraid to let your personality shine through in your videos. Students appreciate seeing their teacher's human side, and it can make the video more interesting. If you're enthusiastic about the topic, let that enthusiasm show. Humor, when appropriate, can also make videos more engaging and relatable.

Provide Real-World Applications

Whenever possible, relate your content to real-world applications. This helps students understand why what they're learning is important and how it can be applied outside the classroom. Real-world examples can also make abstract concepts more concrete and easier to understand.

Script and Rehearse

A well-prepared script ensures that you cover all necessary points in an organized manner. It can help avoid unnecessary repetition and keep the video flowing smoothly. Rehearsing with your script can reduce the number of takes needed and improve the overall quality of your video. However, try to maintain a natural tone – you're not reading the evening news but having a conversation with your students.

Edit for Clarity and Pace

Editing is not just about cutting out mistakes. It's also about pacing your video correctly. Too fast, and students will struggle to keep up; too slow, and they'll lose interest. Edit your video to ensure that it moves at a pace that's engaging and easy to follow. You can also use editing to emphasize key points or to add helpful on-screen text or highlights.

Editing Your Videos

Editing your videos is a crucial step in creating educational content. It's not just about cutting out the parts where you might stumble over your words or pause too long. Good editing can transform your video from a simple recording into an engaging, effective learning tool. Here's how to approach the editing process:

Choose the Right Software

Selecting user-friendly editing software is important, especially if you're not experienced in video editing. Programs like Filma, Movie Maker Online, and CamStudio offer a good balance between functionality and ease of use. They provide essential features like trimming, cutting, adding text, and even applying filters without overwhelming you with too many complicated options.

Keep It Simple

When editing, the goal is to enhance your video's educational value without overcomplicating it. Focus on making the content clear and easy to follow. Add captions or on-screen text to highlight key points, but avoid cluttering the video with too much information at once.

Enhance Audio Quality

Good audio quality is crucial for educational videos. During editing, look for ways to improve the clarity of your voice. Remove background noise, adjust the volume levels, and ensure your narration is loud and clear. Sometimes, adding a soft background track can improve the overall listening experience, as long as it doesn't distract from the content.

Use Transitions Wisely

Transitions between video segments can help maintain flow and keep viewers engaged. However, use them sparingly and stick to simple transitions like fades or cuts. Overusing fancy transitions can be distracting and may make your video look unprofessional.

Add Visual Elements

Editing is the perfect time to incorporate additional visual elements into your video. This could include diagrams, charts, or key images that support your topic. Visuals can help explain complex information more effectively and make your video more engaging.

Preview and Feedback

Before finalizing your video, preview it several times to catch any issues with the flow, pacing, or clarity of information. It can also be helpful to get feedback from a colleague or a small group of students. They might notice things you've missed or suggest improvements to make the video more effective.

Save in the Right Format

Finally, save your video in a format that's easy to share and compatible with various devices and platforms. MP4 is a widely accepted format that balances quality and file size, making it a good choice for educational videos.

Enhancing Student Engagement

Making your educational videos engaging is key to ensuring students not only watch but also learn and retain the information presented. Here are some strategies to enhance student engagement through your videos:

Interactive Elements

Incorporate interactive elements into your videos wherever possible. This could be as simple as posing questions during the video for students to think about or answer in the comments or on a separate worksheet. If the platform you’re using supports it, add quizzes or interactive exercises that students can complete directly within the video. Tools like Edpuzzle make it easy to embed questions at specific points in the video, providing immediate feedback to students.

Real-Life Applications

Connect your content to real-life applications to make the learning material more relevant and engaging for students. Showing how theoretical knowledge applies in real-world situations can help students see the value in what they're learning, increasing their interest and motivation. For example, if you’re teaching a math concept, you could include examples of how it’s used in everyday life, science, or in various professions.

Personal Touch

Your videos should reflect a bit of your personality and teaching style. Students are more likely to engage with the content if they feel a personal connection with their teacher. Don’t be afraid to let your enthusiasm for the subject show, share personal anecdotes related to the topic, or even include light humor. The goal is to make the video feel like a natural extension of your classroom.

Varied Content Delivery

Mix up the way you deliver content to keep things interesting. This could mean alternating between direct instruction, storytelling, demonstrations, and showcasing student work or case studies. Changing the pace and style of the video helps maintain student attention and caters to different learning preferences.

Visual and Auditory Stimuli

Use visual and auditory stimuli to enhance learning and retention. This includes using graphics, animations, and text overlays to highlight key points, as well as incorporating sound effects or music to underscore important segments. Be mindful of not overdoing it; the goal is to support the learning objective, not distract from it.

Encourage Engagement Beyond the Video

Encourage students to engage with the content beyond just watching the video. This could be through follow-up assignments, discussions, or projects that require them to apply what they've learned. Providing opportunities for students to interact with the content actively supports deeper understanding and retention.

Feedback Loop

Create a feedback loop where students can share their thoughts on the video content, ask questions, and provide suggestions for future videos. This not only helps you improve your video content but also makes students feel involved and valued in their learning process.


By following these steps and utilizing the right tools, you can create high-quality educational videos that are engaging and tailored to your students' needs. Always remember, the goal is not just to replicate face-to-face instruction but to leverage the unique benefits of video to enhance the learning experience.

Other posts

E-book just for you

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Filma logo