Thursday, October 16, 2014

How I Created Two Short Video Tutorials

I recently built two brief tutorials for a course I have been teaching in the IDPT Master's degree at Franklin University. I am teaching Foundations of Instructional Design, and in this course students are required to write an instructional goal, perform an instructional analysis, and perform a subordinate skills and entry skills analysis. I thought it would be interesting to document the process I went through to develop these tutorials (part 1 and part 2), and I will describe my ideas below.

The Background
When I taught this course in the past, I realized that the students needed additional guidance and examples of how to perform these activities. There were several examples from the course textbook and in the course website; however, all of these examples showed a completed example of the analysis, which (in my opinion) gives a false impression these analyses can be completed it in one draft. I wanted to give a real-world example of what it was like to work through these analyses in real time, showing that it takes some iteration and rework before getting everything in order.

Storyboarding and Visuals in Instructional Design
I realized as I worked on this project that I used visuals and rough storyboards throughout the process. In this blog post, you will see that I went through many different storyboards as I finalized what I wanted the presentation to look like. I think I use storyboards as a way to slowly and surely narrow in on what I want to accomplish. I start with general ideas and iteratively refine them as I get closer and closer to what I believe will work well.  My ideas went from (1) a giant sticky note to (2) a piece of paper to (3) a white board to (4) a PPT file and finally to (5) a finished video presentation. I thought it would be interesting to show how things evolved and show the visuals.

How to Record It?
I wanted to simulate how I have taught this kind of analysis in the classroom setting because I wanted it to feel more conversational in nature. My initial idea was to just get a camera and record me doing the presentation on a white board. I presented this idea to with my colleague/friend/elearning guru Julie Wuebker, who recommended using a SMART Podium so that I could draw it out on the screen capture it with a desktop capturing tool. This would, she reasoned, create a cleaner presentation and would allow me to stick to my goal to keep the presentation conversational. She drew out her ideas of how this would work on a giant sticky note as she explained her ideas in my office:

Julie's artifact - she used this to describe how I could use SMART Podium to record the videos.

Iterative Storyboarding
I thought about this off and on for a couple of weeks, and about a week before recording I brainstormed what I thought should be included in the presentation onto a blank sheet of paper. I tried to visualize the main pieces that I thought would provide an organizing structure and also provide examples of how to perform each of the tasks. I thought it through and mapped out the components I thought would be helpful. This was my initial storyboard:

My initial storyboard brainstorm. I tried to document everything I thought would be important to include in the short tutorial videos.

Whiteboard Storyboarding
The day before I recorded the videos, I wrote out some of the examples I thought I would use in the videos. I kept these pretty rough because I wanted to make sure the students could see the first attempt would not be perfect.

I wrote examples that I might use in the presentation on the whiteboard. This helped me to think roughly about what I would do.

After this brainstorming, I created a PPT presentation. I used this presentation (a) to present some of the concepts that I was teaching to the learners, and (b) to have a nice backdrop for the examples I would be sharing in the presentation.

My PPT file, which I used to present concepts and also used as a backdrop for the examples I was sharing.

Recording the Presentation
I used a SMART Podium. so that I could draw on the screen as I shared examples of how to do the instructional analysis. I wore a headset and recorded the raw video and audio using Microsoft Lync, which has a built in desktop capturing tool that is surprisingly easy to use (once you figure out where to go to start recording). I didn't write out a script for these tutorials because I wanted to maintain a conversational tone and show how the analysis might be done in a natural way.

I used a SMART Podium so that I could draw out my instructional analyses manually. I wore a headset and recorded video and audio using Lync.

Editing the Presentation
The recording produced an MP4 file which I uploaded from the computer with the SMART Podium to OneDrive for Business and returned to my office where I edited the videos using Camtasia Studio 8. I added in the visual call-outs with Camtasia. It took me about an hour to an hour and a half each to edit the videos into their final state.

My office where I edited the videos using Camtasia Studio 8. It took about 3 hours total to edit the two videos.

The Final Presentation
I published the videos from Camtasia as MP4s on my desktop and then uploaded them to my YouTube channel and also shared them with my class in the course website in our university's Learning Management System BlueQuill. Here are the final videos:

I am pretty happy with the quality of the videos, keeping in mind that one of my goals was to convey the iterative nature of an instructional analysis. I am hopeful it will give the students a little more context and some more ideas for the work they are doing in the course.

I hope this has been a useful view into my process for creating these videos. It is a rather rough approach, but I hope it gives you some ideas.

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