Haven’t we all dreamed of creating the perfect video? One that could be used over and over without getting redundant, one that would be applicable in many contexts, one that even our colleagues could use for their own subjects? It would be professional-looking, super-engaging, and answer all of life’s questions – okay, maybe I’m going a bit too far there. But seriously, what would the ideal video for reusing and sharing with colleagues have?

When you’re creating a video, consider how you can make it reusable for yourself and others and think about who you might want to share it with – your teaching team, your school or faculty, or with the wider UTS teaching and learning community? Here are some tips to help you achieve this.

1. It avoids (awkward) dates

The ideal video would avoid featuring dates/times that would date the video and make it irrelevant for the next session or whoever might want to use the video for other contexts. For example, saying “last year…” or giving outdated advice about current pandemic restrictions would put an expiry date on the video. Mentioning due dates for assessments would also date the video and make it applicable for that one session only.

If it’s important to the context of the video, “in 2020…” would be a good alternative for “last year”. These dates could also be mentioned in text outside the video to make it relevant for that particular session and class. Text is readily changeable compared to video.

But dates can be beneficial. You might be making regular topical videos like the UTS Accounting Weekly Show; in this case, it’s important for people wanting to share this to know the date for context. These types of shareable videos are designed to be an ephemeral, snapshot of a moment in time, so it’s important to know when that time was.

2. It’s short and straight to the point

The ideal video, would be short and straight-forward, and focus on a key point. Its length would fit the topic structure and concept. And it would be highly engaging and interactive, providing students with opportunities for discussion and reflection.

Chunking your videos to several short standalone segments will make it easier to replace sections that aren’t relevant anymore and conveniently reuse it for future sessions. It will also be quicker to share shorter videos with colleagues, so they can pick and choose which segments to use. Shorter videos are faster to record the first time and re-record if needed.

Once chunked, it can be packaged with content outside the video such as text or an H5P activity to structure and enhance the learning experience.

3. It looks professional and high quality

Having high picture quality, clear audio and slick editing increases a video’s longevity. Investing in good visuals such as clean and polished slides, consistent font sizes/colours and high-quality images adds that professional touch. When you or your colleagues need to reuse the video for other purposes, you’ll have the best to work with. It certainly beats spending time and effort to remake videos with the same content again.

The LX.lab Media Spaces provide professional equipment and the space to record and edit your videos. Alternatively, some ideas to refine your home video production include improving lighting, using better webcams and microphones, and editing your videos like a pro.

4. It’s open and ready to share

The ideal video would include copyright information, references and acknowledgement in its description or metadata. This makes it clear how you want the videos to be reused when you share videos with your colleagues. In Kaltura, you can specify the Creative Commons license you want to apply to your video in the description field when editing the video. You may need to add collaborators or change ownership of the video first before your colleagues can reuse, remix, or recycle the videos. By uploading your videos to Kaltura, you’ll be able to quickly share with a wider audience using the publishing settings.

Readiness to share also means giving your videos a meaningful title. So while ‘UTS Accounting Weekly Show S02 E09’ is a great title that accurately describes what the video is about, ‘GMT20211012-223347_12345-Lecture_12_1280x720’ isn’t so useful even though that’s what you might get when you download a Zoom recording. ‘Lecture 1 Module 1’ might make sense to you but ‘Business Analytics – Descriptive data mining part 1’ makes more sense to someone searching the Shared Repository. Consider putting the topic and optionally the subject name in the title. If there are multiple parts to the topic use the same naming convention for each video. 

5. It’s accessible and considerate

The ideal video would be highly accessible to anyone and meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards. It would consider appropriate colour usage and text size, avoid rapidly flashing content, and describe any important visuals for individuals with vision impairments.

As a minimum, including captions and a transcript for the video helps those who need a text version of the content, such as ESL students or those with cognitive impairments. By uploading your videos to Kaltura you will automatically have captions and a transcript that are already around 96% accurate. You can then go in and edit them further where required. You might also want to avoid ‘seductive details‘ that might cause extraneous cognitive processing.

Ready to share? How can I do it?

Photo by Vinicius “amnx” Amano on Unsplash

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