Planning Media Content

The inclusion of video or audio content in your module can dramatically improve the student experience, changing modules from text-heavy tomes into more interactive and engaging process.

When making the decision to create video or audio content for your module, you should think about all the variables which will affect the outcome of your finished media.

In this section, we hope to give you a brief overview of the best practice (or at least the ‘what not to do’) elements of media creation to help you produce useful video and/or audio content which is both informative and of a standard expected of educational content.

Contents

Scripting

When recording audio or video content it’s common practice to write a script. While not every situation requires a script — recording an interview, for example — most situations do benefit. Writing a script enables you to set out what you want to say accurately, coherently and logically. Writing a script takes time up front, but will save you time during recording and improve the quality of your content.

It may be worth thinking about some or all of the following as a checklist to work through whilst you begin to plan your script:

  • Have I explained myself in simple language?
  • When I read the script aloud, does it sound as if I’m talking to an audience (which is what I want), or just reading to an audience?
  • Have I avoided technical language and jargon?
  • Do I have any lists or main ideas that could be reinforced as text on the video screen as they are being discussed?

For more information, you may wish to watch this useful script-writing tutorial.

Back to top


Location

Location is an important part of making your video, so spend some time considering where’s best to record. You may decided that you wish to record in your office but think about a few key elements first:

  • Is there an echo in your office?
  • Do you share with someone else and are you able to record in peace?
  • Are you picking up background/outside noise?

You should choose a location in which you will feel relaxed, in which you are not likely to be disturbed and where you can be confident of getting the best sound quality available.

It is also worth considering the backdrop to your video. Plain white walls can look a little dull, whilst a busy background can be off-putting.

Back to top


Lighting

If you are recording a video, then, when you’re testing your camera and microphone, watch the test video back to check if you have your lighting levels correct. If your lighting levels are too bright, then you could find the video is over-exposed and it is difficult to see clearly. Similarly, if it is under-exposed then the video will be very dark.

Be careful of sitting too near to lamps or windows, but make sure you are not sat in a room with the curtains or blinds closed if you are not using alternative lighting.

The following video shows a quick walk-through of the different ways lighting can affect your shot:

Back to top


Which materials to use

If you are recording a video, you may want to think about any materials you wish to include. You may want to simply film yourself talking to camera, but you may also feel that the addition of slides from a presentation or images would add to your video.

It is always worth preparing slides and images in advance and editing them into the footage you have shot, but do be aware of copyright issues. You cannot simply use any image you find online unless you have copyright permission.

There are many sites where you can find royalty and copyright free images and music which you could add to your video, providing you reference them (if that is the stipulation of the copyright).

If you need more information about Copyright issues, this is available to you through the University’s Copyright and Intellectual Property page.

Further information on stock footage, images, sound effects and music can be found on pages in the different sections:

Video Sourcing
Image Sourcing
Music and sound effect sourcing

Back to top