5 Steps to Build Video-Based Courses that Work

We’d seen it time after time.  The participants of the 3 day instructor-led training were bored, exhausted and couldn’t wait to leave the room when the clock struck 5PM.  We wanted to get real data, so we explored the smile sheets and the learner comments confirmed it:

  • “Great content, but why so long?”
  • “The Instructor was great, but it would have been nice to go through this on my own time”
  • “I loved the workshop, but not sure I will be able to remember everything because there was so much content”

The people had spoken, as we wanted to give them what they asked for. So we dove in and built it online. Here are the 5 steps we took to build a video-based program that worked:

  1. Make it Micro. Anytime you are taking content that is delivered over an extended period of time, it’s important to remove and condense the content to align with the attention span of modern learners.  We used the formula of one learning objective per video. From there, we used the least amount of content we could to ensure that learning objective was paid off. The end result looks simple, but getting micro-content can take much more effort than longer content.
  2. Script it.  Once we had removed unnecessary content it was time to write the script for the shoot. We use the formula 120 words = to 1 minute of video. No matter how familiar you (or the person on camera) is familiar with the content, a script is a must to ensuring you meet your learning objective and stick to the “micro” strategy. Scripting also assists with the SPEED to launch of the final product (particularly in the shooting and editing phase).
  3. Film It. Our office is equipped with a studio that’s always ready for shooting at the flip of a few switches.  Don’t let the lack of studio stop you from creating your own video content. With the popularity of YouTube and the like, people are less concerned with the quality of the video and driven more by the content and what they can gain from watching.
  4. Post-Production.  We use FCPX to edit our videos. In addition to the video shot, we incorporate b-roll, images, and call out text to enhance the learning experience.
  5. Publish It. It easy to publish video-based courses on the LearnLoft platform by using our course builder. Just upload your video and then add other supporting chapters like Discussions, Activities, Quizzes and Learner Responses to create a robust, social learner experience.

There you have it – the 5 simple steps to creating video-based courses. If you’re just venturing into the world of video, it may seem overwhelming. There are tons of resources on YouTube and other online courses about shooting and editing video. If you want to make learning videos and need help – contact me at cwilder@learnloft.com

In our follow up article we will explore the 5 steps we used to make it as successful as possible once the course is published.  Stay tuned!

Want to see our newest video-based program, Modern Leadership? Check it out here.

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