Transitioning online has been a slow and tedious process for many. The sudden shift to digital has caused a strain on the way that we deliver lessons and learn. If you are used to standing in front of a white board and speaking to a live audience then it should come as no surprise to you that simply sticking a camera on the front desk just doesn’t cut it in the world of online learning. As online learning becomes more mainstream, our audience’s expectations for quality production increase. Here are a few tips for filming quality online content!
Outside noise can be distracting and appear unprofessional. Close a door, ask your dog very nicely not to bark at the mailman, and silence your cell phone before hitting record.
Your viewers understand that this is as challenging for you as it is for them! People understand that you may trip over your words or have an occasional tech problem the same way you may have in a classroom. If this does happen to you, address it! It connects the students to the learning exert and helps them to see the real person behind the camera. Remember if it is a recording you can always edit it later!
Having clear sound allows the listeners to focus on what you are saying rather than the sounds themselves. The pop filter will help get rid of the popping sounds when you pronounce certain letters like ‘K’ or ’P’.When using a microphone, you avoid crackling sounds, input problems, and whooshing air sounds. Bonus points if your microphone is corded so you can avoid it dying mid presentation.
Pillows in your space will help to absorb the sound waves. Bouncing sound waves make your audio sound echoey so having soft surfaces around you helps absorb or soften those waves.
Nothing is more distracting than a busy background! It is easy to divert your attention from the lecturer and begin picking up on their background. It is easy for the learner to tune out and begin focusing on titles on a bookshelf in the background or random notes on the presenter’s desk. Clear these spaces to remove distractions and also to protect your privacy.
Technology can be extremely finicky! Especially when using older technology in combination with newer applications. Sometimes settings need to be adjusted or third party resources downloaded. Make sure to check beforehand so that you don’t lose precious recording time. We recommend doing a test run of your technology the day before you plan to fim or go live to ensure enough time to fix any bugs that you may have.
When possible go split screen! Seeing a face rather than just hearing a voice helps to build connections and makes learning feel less like a one way radio broadcast. You don’t need to give up the utility that having a slide deck comes with, you can do both! Recording for eLearning means a lot of editing can happen in post-production. Talk to your production team ahead of time to learn how they plan to position your video with the content.
Being prepared for your next shoot will make the experience better for your learners and less stressful for you. Just like anything in life, the more you do it, and the more practice you have, the better you will get. Eventually you will figure out what works best for you and your learners and will continue to evolve as technology does!