Selecting the Video Style That Fits Your Lesson

Concurrent Session 9

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Learn to create effective videos using available resources. Recognize how familiar teaching techniques apply to video production. Practice the process of:

  1. Identifying the need for a video solution

  2. Selecting the appropriate style

  3. Executing a successful video through the planning (pre-production), making (production), and sharing (distribution) phases.


As an instructional technologist I have the privilege of collaborating with some of education and industry's brightest minds in course design and supportive technologies.

Extended Abstract

As increased demand for video is met with lower barriers to production, where does the role of the media specialist or instructional technologist end and the video user (i.e., faculty and students) begin? When the quantity of easy-to-use, affordable video production tools exceeds the amount of possible videos to be produced with any, it seems the old Hollywood adage of choosing two of three options for your production--Good, Fast, Cheap--may find it's way to the cutting room floor. And yet, as ubiquitous as video has become, do we really know if we’re using the right tool for the job?

Learning Outcomes

Participants in the workshop will interact with examples of common video production styles as part of a pre-assessment and initial information session. They will practice identifying the production styles and organizing them on scales of complexity. They will map the production styles to the situations where the style appears most appropriate. They will describe what expected responses to the video they will receive and how they will measure those responses to determine if the video is effective.

Activity Context

The events leading up to the creation of this workshop activity are the result of increased expectations for video to be included in distance learning programs. Regardless of the reason for the increase, the need cannot be met with a single production style and instead requires participants to be equipped with a range of digital media literacy skills. When distance learning faculty work with designers and technologists to create learning objects and other digital artifacts for course sites, the team must factor as many of the constraints and criteria for each item as possible to design materials that are effective for student learning. A 5-component Venn diagram describing the production style selection process would include:


  1. Available distributed time for completion - How many days, hours, weeks, combined to all of the participants in the production team have to contribute to the video?

  2. Existing infrastructure and skill level - What available tools, platforms, workflows, vendors, services, or other institution supported systems are the participants familiar with and dependent on for the production of the the video?

  3. Known variables - What, if any, known variables are introduced to the production? Such as, a faculty request to convey a concept using a new or unusual presentation method. A technologists interest in testing a new platform. A designer adding an additional assessment criteria for measuring learning as a result of the effectiveness of the video. Variables can be unintentional.

  4. Awareness of precedents and past experiences for comparison - What, if any, prior video productions or other learning object developments can be used to measure this video against?

  5. Assessment needs - What related assessments, activities, or other learning objects need to integrate with the video?


While assessment, rubrics, and connection to other learning objects, lessons, or activities in a course are all important factors for a successful video, they are beyond the scope of this workshop. The workshop will focus on the production process up to the point of deploying an assessment but will not complete an assessment cycle during the timeframe of the workshop. Participants will be instructed on how to consider assessment needs when selecting a video style but the workshop instructions and activities will not dedicate any time to simulating assessment data, instead expecting that assessments will be an additional layer added on to the video when used in a course. Participants are encouraged to deploy their videos with assessment after the workshop and share findings via social media.

In-Class Activities

The activities in the workshop will consist of a pre-assessment to prepare participants for later activities, a facilitated information session that includes a demonstration of one identification-selection-execution cycle, small group participation in an additional identification-selection-execution cycle, reflection on the activity as a large group, and extended reflection through an optional post-workshop social media activity. Materials provided will include the pre-assessment in both analog (paper handout) and digital form (accessible by web link), props for the small group activity, and post-workshop social media web links, terms, hashtags, or signup forms. Participants will be encouraged to use their own resourcefulness and imaginations during the activity, some may choose to make use of their own personal electronic devices such as smartphones, cameras, tablets, or laptop computers that they may be carrying with them during the conference.

While the workshop will challenge participants regardless of their prior knowledge or skill level, it will not likely allow them to immediately come away with an artifact that solves an existing learning object development issue of their own. The activities are designed to simulate the video production process on a very simplified level and on a compressed timescale. However, my goal is to activate participants existing knowledge by helping them apply it to a new situation and through the networking and reflection components of the workshop to share the new group knowledge to move everyone forward as a whole. I anticipate that I will answer many questions of my own after working with the workshop participants and also raise many more new questions that will lead us to continue to reshape our media environments through new uses of technology.