Creating and Using Course Trailers & Introduction Videos
You have likely seen movie trailers; those short videos that are designed to capture the interest of the audience to get them interested in seeing movies. You may want to consider creating your own course trailer. Create a short video that would give learners a quick glimpse of your course and the connections you hope to make throughout the semester.
In the course trailer video you can introduce yourself, the course description, the course objectives and topics. For this particular video type you might consider completing some, or all, of the following statements:
- Do you like…
- Are you interested in…
- Are you concerned about…
- Do you want to…
- By participating in this class…
- We will look at…
- Join us as we investigate/explore…
A course trailer would be an opportunity to introduce yourself to learners. Sharing course outcomes could also be done here. Think about inviting learners to participate and become part of this learning community.
Think about including campus and classroom footage as a way for distance learners to gain a sense of connection to the institution. You may also want to have a final statement that invites learners to participate, create and explore.
We can help!
If you are interested in creating a trailer for your distance course, content your instructional designer.
Take the plunge
If you would like to create your own trailer, a few of the following tools might be helpful:
Camtasia – This nonlinear digital video editing software is somewhere between entry level and professional levels. You can splice together audio and video as you need, insert graphics and titles, as well as a few other interactions. Available for both Windows and Mac OS. Camtasia Tutorials
Screencast-O-Matic – This software is available for both Windows and Mac OS, and has a free as well as a Pro version. At the push of a button you can begin to record right from your webcam, what’s on the screen, or both. When you’re done recording it can export the video to your desktop or even straight to your YouTube account. Screencast-o-matic Tutorial 1 Tutorial 2.
Explain Everything – This mobile app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows. Record voice and animations using the assets provided or insert your own! When you’re done simply export the video to upload to the LMS or your Website. Tutorials
Educreations – This mobile app is available for iOS. Record voice and animations using the assets provided or insert your own! When you’re done share the video with classes, embed it in a website, share it on Facebook or Twitter, or export it. Free and paid versions available. Tutorial
A Few Practical Guidelines
Creating a Storyboard
After drafting your storyboard review the topic(s) and learning outcomes. If everything adequately presented? Is there anything present on the storyboard that is not explicitly related to the topic(s) or learning outcomes? If so, why is that content present and would it be missed if omitted?
Speech – narration does not necessarily need to be written word for word on a storyboard. However, providing more detail will make the recording process much easier, even if you do not repeat it word for word. Attempting to “wing it” often results in multiple takes and wasted time. For more information about recording audio see Tips for Recording Narrations.
Sound bites can add realism, generate emotion, define space, depict identity, set the pace, symbolize meaning, and unify transitions. However, they should not be overused as they can distract the learner and increase cognitive load.
Imagery should be self explanatory, simple, at the learner’s level, match it’s purpose, and be relevant to the scene/objective/narrative. In your storyboard you might simply provide a short description, sketch, table or figure number or title, or a copy of the visuals that are to be on the screen. For more information about selecting types of visuals see A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words: Using Visuals.
Is most effective when the combination of audio and visuals is carefully considered and planned. Storyboarding will help you to identify if there is too much information being presented to the learner at one time (through audio or video) and avoid cognitive overload. Consider the pacing (rate of information), and transitions between ideas and what the learner is seeing and hearing. A general guideline for length is to keep the videos in your course around 6 minutes in length. However, this may vary slightly depending on the purpose and content of the video (e.g. a narrative story may take longer than 6 minutes to complete, but can still be engaging for its entire duration). The key is to make sure the video is no longer than is needed.
- Content created by DEU