If you've never taught online, the idea of creating your own teaching videos—or hiring someone else to create them for you—can be intimidating. However, we've found that effective videos can be created using equipment and programs available to almost anyone. 

We've put together an FAQ below with some common questions we hear and answers we've found regarding planning, shooting, and editing video. 

I don't have a good camera. How am I meant to shoot a video for my course?

While no one can replace a professional videographer, we've seen fantastic videos in courses shot completely with an iPhone. Here are a few tips for the process:

  1. Use a tripod. Your hands will never be as steady as a good tripod.
  2. Keep it simple. You don't need lots of movement to make a good video. Work on framing the shot well and getting good sound. We've found this video and this video helpful for explaining what that means. 
  3. Keep it short. Your video doesn't need to be long—especially for a personal introduction. Personal introduction videos should be kept at about 1 minute and 30 seconds or less. Teaching videos should stay between 5 and 15 minutes. 

This tutorial on shooting video with iPhone from Wistia is also really helpful. 

I've never written a script for a video. How can I do that well?

  1. Write your script. Don't trust yourself to get in front of a camera and know exactly what to say, especially when you're explaining a complex process.
  2. Write for your learners. Imagine speaking directly to your target learners as you write. 
  3. Test your script. Find people who represent your learners's demographic or friends you trust and read your script out loud. This is called a "table read." Read your script out loud and, if the video will be a demonstration, work through what you intend to show on camera. After your read-through, ask those at the reading clear and specific questions. 

Ok, I've got a script and I think I can shoot a video with my iPhone. But how in the world am I meant to edit that video?

Great question. Fortunately tons of people have paved the way for us and have left tutorials behind. Apple has a host of tutorials on using iMovie that are really helpful, but this tutorial from Wistia is probably the best place to start. 

Here's a tip we'd like to emphasize: 

Make the shoot and edit easier by getting the script right. If you can do a few clean takes—without a lot of mess-ups, mishaps, and backtracking—your edit will be a lot simpler. 

The last step will be to upload the video to a hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo Plus; then you can embed that video in Pathwright.

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