Perhaps one of the best things about making a video for your subject is the fact that you can reuse it. By future proofing your video, you can make your content contemporary, relevant and more valuable to your students. It also avoids having to do things from scratch!
At UTS, some academics can still get great results using tried and trusted videos. In this article, we’re going to look at a few tips and tricks to help future proof your video with longevity in mind.
1. Avoid dates and times
One of the easiest things you can do to future proof your video is avoid mentioning dates, times and due dates. Instead, just mention these on your Canvas site either below or above the video. Also, don’t mention anything that could change from year to year. Pointers such as “check the subject outline for the due date” will help make your video last longer.
2. Edit or chunk down your videos
Imagine you’ve got a video of great value, but one part is really dated – what do you do? On one hand, you could edit it out, but perhaps a better is to deliver your content in bite-sized chunks. Instead of creating a one-hour video, why not five ten-minute videos? As well as the content being more digestible in this format, it’s easier to delete or replace the one part that feels no longer relevant.
3. Avoid current or trendy references
Current or trendy references go out-of-date really fast. The latest slang or movie reference may relate to students today, but it might not next year – so, being ‘in’ can be a bit of a gamble as it can date your video quickly. Even mentioning things like COVID-19 will date your video, so be aware.
On the flip side, referencing a real world example from the news can be useful when teaching. It may not be something your students will remember down the line, but it still happened. (You’ll notice I did this in my next point below.) Use your best judgement.
4. Back up your videos
Future proofing can also mean protecting yourself from losing your video down the track. This is easier said than done, as the reasons why you may lose a video can be hard to predict. A recent example is that YouTube rolled out a security update which made all unlisted videos prior to 2017 private. This has made accessing videos from previous UTS staff very difficult!
At UTS, our recommendation is to use Kaltura for your subject videos. For backing up your files, we advise using Cloudstor or OneDrive. For extra safe keeping, consider also keeping a file stored locally on your own computer.
5. Make a high quality video
I know it’s easier said than done, but making a high quality video will help it’s longevity. Make sure your audio is clear and you’re well lit. Try and use a webcam or a phone that was made this decade. For more tips on improving your video quality, check out this blog.
Bonus tip: You don’t have to future-proof everything!
Yeah, that’s right! You don’t need to future proof everything. Chances are you’re older than most of your students – they won’t be surprised if you mention a singer or TV show from a previous generation. Also they may not use Facebook five years from now, but they’ll still understand what you mean. My point is: don’t sweat the small stuff. Just make sure the content is going to be relevant to your students for as long as possible. Good luck!