course design

Pedagogical scripting is the backbone of learning success

When you know why you are producing the course for and you know your learners, it is still not the time to produce any content yet. Instead, you need to create a pedagogical script to guide the content and course production. “Well planned is half done” applies here, too.

A pedagogical script is a project plan for your course production build on insights about the learners, the learning outcomes, and evaluation criteria.  Without a clear course flow, purposefully selected contents, and  meaningful learning activities, your learners won’t know what will be expected of them and won’t perform as well as they could.

When designing learning activities, course creators should keep in mind that learners have plenty of real-life experiences in their pockets. Utilize this and make your course as directly meaningful to your learners as possible. By applying what is learned or by utilizing real-life experiences in social knowledge construction (building knowledge together with fellow learners around a particular  topic) you  can enable the famous transfer effect – your learners will start using what they learn in real-life situations as well.  This helps your learners to see the impacts and benefits of participating in your course in a very concrete way.

To help course creators with this task, Claned has created Learning Design Program (step-by-step pedagogical templates and workshops)  for this purpose. This way you don’t have to be an educational expert, but you can still construct your course flow and its content in a way that supports learning and the learning experience optimally.

Your course has now a pedagogical structure and a purpose with defined learning outcomes. Now you need to make sure your learners understand them, too. You need to  explain to your learners how you intend the course content to be studied, what kind of materials and tasks you have included, what is the timeline for the course, what are the evaluation criteria for this course, and so forth. By explaining and showing your learners how you want them to behave, you are much more likely to receive that kind of  behavior, too.  This kind of prediction helps to increase motivation and prevent feelings of frustration.

The last thing to remember before creating a top-notch service experience for your learners is to allocate enough time and human and monetary resources for your production. Do not think that you can just transform your classroom content into online courses directly, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. You need to put your mind to the course production and maybe even search for a trustworthy partner to steer you to the final line. Online learning has arrived to stay, and we can help your courses become the most desirable ones.

If you are interested in our hands-on learning workshops for creating successful online courses, email us at support@claned.com

About the Author

Solja Sulkunen works as Head of Customer Experience in Claned Group creating the best possible learning experience for all Claned users. She ensures everyday fast and easy deployment of the platform for our new users.


Simple secrets of great learning videos

Today, a big part of the media that we consume is in video format and they are proven to engage learners effectively. Videos are easy to follow and watch even on-the-go. While video does not work in every situation, it is a winning format for delivering learning content today due to its ability to combine pictures, text, and sound. However, for many of us, creating learning videos can feel slightly an overwhelming, even intimidating task.

Not to worry, our team has bundles of experience in creating pedagogically optimal learning videos and we want to share some of our cool tool and production tips with you. So, let’s get started and discover simple ways to create something engaging but effective for your learners.

 

PowerPoint

Wait, but isn’t PowerPoint just a classroom presentation tool? Surprisingly, this familiar tool has many more features and gives you an easy option to make your first learning video.

PowerPoint has an option to record your slideshow and add narration and even draw to your slides. PowerPoint offers very good options to use transitions and animate the content on each slide so that the actual video won’t be just static slides.

You should also think about how much information you want to stuff into the screen at once so that the learner can focus on either the text or narration. Even it might feel tempting to do, don’t just record all 40 slides of your presentation — longer presentations like that work best in their original format. Instead, try breaking up your long presentations into shorter ones with specific topical focus per presentation. This way learners have a better chance to grasp the essence of your key messages and stay focused.

 

Lumen5

If building animations and turning your PowerPoint presentations into educational videos feels a bit overwhelming Lumen5 service might be just for you.

Lumen5 uses Artificial Intelligence to create videos from text automatically. Your text can be an existing website,  document or you can type the text straight into the Lumen5 editor. From there, Lumen5 will animate and add pictures that fit the context!

Furthermore, Lumen5 understands to keep the amount of text on the screen at an appropriate length and helps you to create a nice flow to your video. This works well when you are creating a short introductory type video to deliver a small bite-size amount of information. Additionally, with Lumen5 you can give an assignment for learners to do a video.

You can try the service for free first, and if you are happy with it, Lumen5 offers subscription options to use the full potential of the platform.

 

Adobe Connect

Sometimes you just want to provide a recording of a lecture to your learners to watch it later on. For this simple need, Adobe Connect works well. You can upload your recording afterward to YouTube or Vimeo and add it to your learning areas for learners to add comments to the video.

 

Recording your screen for tutorials and instructions

For OSX, QuickTime provides an easy out-of-box screen recording option. Similarly, for Windows, there is ActivePresenter available with features to record your screen. These tools allow you to capture your screen for easy editing later on and also to record audio through the microphone.

Besides these free options, there are non-free options to choose from like Camtasia. It offers the ability to record screen and edit the material comfortably and intuitively. This works well if you intend to do tutorial or instruction videos. Generally, screen recording requires some editing afterward. This allows you to add text and other highlights to increase its value.

If you have plenty of time in your hands and want to learn to edit videos properly, you could take a look at some of these cool free software: HitFilm Express, DaVinci Resolve, OpenShot, or iMovie.

 

Take your videos to the next level!

Hopefully, you are starting to feel a bit more confident about using videos in your online courses by now. So, let’s next look into different ways to elevate the quality of your learning videos further.

Here are some useful tips for you:

  • Sound: If you have audio on your video, make sure it’s clear. Using an external microphone you will significantly improve the quality of sound. Almost any external microphone will beat the quality of your laptop’s microphone. This makes the listening experience more pleasant to your learner, instead of hindering the actual learning.
  • Captions: Consider adding captions to your video if it’s in a foreign language. Also, if your content is likely to be viewed when commuting, captions are much appreciated.
  • Camera stand: If you are filming yourself, use a stand. It allows you to focus on speaking and performing instead of holding the camera. This will also help your videos achieve more professional final quality.
  • Background music: A heavy, text-based video, could benefit from background music. You can search for CC-licensed music from FreeMusicArchive.
  • Additional material: There is also a lot more CC-licensed material available for you to use in your content. You can read more from CreativeCommons.org about different licenses and resources.

 

Content creation partners

Now you are ready to produce some cool learning videos. However, if you know what you need or have great ideas for learning videos, but your time and resources are limited, using a content creation partner might be a solution.

Your excellent pedagogical script or material can quickly be turned into a video, a presentation, or a document by an experienced third-party organization. Using this kind of service saves you time and money. Instead, you can focus on marketing and delivering your professionally produced courses with your brand touch and feel included. The investment into professional production can spin ROI immediately, as the content is usable again and again.

Let’s start creating some amazing learning videos!

If you don’t have a content creation partner to work with yet, send me an email to teemu.vaalasmaa@claned.com, and let’s discuss how we can help you to make your learning videos effective and engaging.

Teemu Vaalasmaa

Teemu is passionate about e-learning and technology in general. He helps customers to succeed in using Claned platform.