Why Choose Video? Part 2

xavier holding camera

What goes into the video production process, and a strategic guide with MSU resources for creating a really great video.

By Nate Evans, Manager, Digital Content & Alyssa Bradley, Media Production Specialist

What are your course goals?

It is important to understand your course goals and objectives before making a decision about whether to include video in your course. Why? Because well-produced video will take a considerable time investment by you as the subject matter expert, in order to leverage the advantages that video can provide.

Obviously, there are a number of factors at play here, but here are a few time estimates to consider when planning for a typical 2-3 minute introduction video for your course:

  • Pre-production: Once your learning objectives are set, plan on 1-2 hours of time spent on scripting, editing, and aligning your script with your course goals. Scripting helps with two things: keeping you focused on camera, and saving you time and cost for captioning later. Scripting before you record isn’t for everyone, but will save you time and money during post-production.
  • Production: We always look and sound different than we think, which can make the recording process arduous. Once you begin recording yourself on camera, you will be surprised at how many times you may want to re-record yourself. This part of the process is iterative, and can take 2-3 hours depending on the level of perfection that you are looking for and amount of material you are trying to cover.  
  • Post-production: The time needed in post-production is really dependant on how smoothly production went and how perfectionistic you would like to be with the final video. This is the part of the process where you review your recordings, edit out imperfections, and edit in any notes, slides, titles, or sound effects. If you were focused and only have a few minutes of video to look through, this part of the process may only take a few hours. On average, plan on 3-5 hours of editing for every minute of video you produce.

Again, these are just baseline time estimates, but you can already see how each step of production is related to the previous step. This is to say, with video, the more time that you invest in the Pre-Production step, the less time you will spend on Production and Post-Production.

Strategic Guidance for Creating Great Video

In our previous post, “Why Choose Video? Part 1,” we provided you with some advantages and disadvantages of using video as a teaching tool. Below, we have provided you with some professional strategies that are easy to implement, and make all the difference in making or breaking the production process (and the final product itself).

Your video should be flexible

1. Begin with the end in mind. The implementation of your video should organically fit in with your overall goal. In the end, the video should be providing your students with the best experience possible.

2. Scripting is like painting. Writing a script and blocking out the video can take several rounds of reviews and revisions, tweaking, and rewriting before it’s exactly where you want it. Don’t be concerned if this part of the process takes a long time and many changes are made. This is completely normal! 

3. With resources like MSU’s Kaltura CaptureSpace, you can easily record presentations and lectures, as well as your computer screen. This is an excellent tool to easily capture assets that you will need in your video.  

4. Your video should be shorter than you think. Consider this:

a. The average attention span is now about 8 seconds. By making sure to include your most important information at the beginning, you ensure that your audience is getting what they need even if they don’t finish watching.

b. The timing of video should not be 1:1 to real life, be sure to leverage the advantages of editing in order to keep the pace of the video moving along.

c. Advantages of chunking. Consider creating several shorter, nicely paced videos instead of one really long one to keep your audience’s attention.

5. Your video should look good but sound great.

a. Audio is king. Research suggests that audio quality can impact the perception of the viewing experience, and that viewers are less likely to watch video with poor quality audio.

b. Most in-camera audio is not going to be quality enough. Consider using a professional microphone or a lavalier mic, and be sure to film in locations with low noise levels.


Now that you have some pro tips on producing a video, consider utilizing the services across MSU’s campus in order to assist you in the creation of your videoCheck out our Resources page for a list of services available at MSU. Also explore the Digital Content video production services in MSU IT (Learn more and initiate here).


Evans_NateNathan Evans

Do the hard things well. #a11y and #ux in the mitten state.


Alyssa_BradleyAlyssa Bradley

Media Production Specialist @michiganstateu. Videographer, storyteller, artist, and nerd who runs on daydreams and caffeine.



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