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7.1 Introduction

There is evidence that videos enhance learner performance (Ertelt, 2007). This is because videos can provide learners with a meaningful, authentic context and can include simulations and animations, all while being supported by the instructor’s narrative. Videos enable the instructor to transfer a lot of information to students in a short period of time. In addition, videos work well for explaining procedures, formulas, or staged events. Furthermore, unlike in a lecture, a student is able to go back and watch the videos again, whenever and wherever they want, if they have not fully grasped the concept.

 A major component of the CEPHEI courses is the videos that are provided to students online on the learning platform. In the CEPHEI approach, videos play a key role, as it is through videos that information transfer takes place from instructor to student prior to class. This furnishes the students with the main concepts prior to class. The aim of the videos is to familiarize the students with the concepts and grab their attention and get them interested in learning more about the subject. This means that students have the information they need to put into practice in student-centred activities when they are in class. This chapter outlines how to make videos for your CEPHEI course.


7.2 Length of Videos

There are many differences between how presentations are performed in traditional lectures and in videos. However, the biggest difference is length. Unlike traditional lectures, video presentations are short. The subject is generally presented within six minutes. This is because students’ attention spans for videos is low. When videos are too long, analytics show that students do not watch until the end. Therefore, to avoid exceeding attention spans, and to retain the interest of the students, ideally, videos should be six minutes in length. If they do go on longer, they should not exceed 15 minutes. If a video is longer than 15 minutes, it should be chunked into smaller segments.

 Videos should also be self-contained. Students will not necessarily watch the videos in the order you plan them in. Students many skip videos related to areas they already know. They may only choose to watch videos if they believe they are lacking knowledge in that area. However, making videos self-contained has many advantages. It means that you can re-use the videos in different settings. It also means you can direct a student to a specific video if they need to work on that concept to achieve mastery.


7.3 Presentation Slides for Videos

It is important that videos are properly branded, as it is through branding that CEPHEI will get recognition and become known to consumers. For this reason, a branded CEPHEI PowerPoint template has been developed (Figure 12). The template has been developed specifically for a widescreen format and for use with greenscreen. It is recommended that all videos made for the CEPHEI learning platform use a similar template. The grey panel on the right side is where the image of the presenter will be shown. Therefore, when creating your slides, make sure to keep this area clear.

Figure 12: PowerPoint Template for Images

When creating your PowerPoint presentation for use with your video, we make the following recommendations.

 ●       Slide 1: Opening Slide

Videos are most effective when there is a clear start. This also helps to contextualise and focus the topic. Use the opening slide from the CEPHEI PowerPoint template. The opening slide should contain the title of the video, your name (with title – Dr) and your institution. This slide should last for three to five seconds.

 ●       Slide 2: Introduction to Subject Slide

In this slide, start off with about 5 seconds of narration that is not immediately important to know. This gives viewers time to settle on the scene: what does this presenter look like, what is he/she wearing, what is the layout on screen. In essence, these are throwaway lines. They are only said to give the viewers time to notice who they are watching, where the slides are, where the visuals are, etc. For example, “When recording your video in the B-Lab, there are some practical issues you need to consider. However, if you come well prepared, you can record your video in less than an hour”. On this slide, you should show a general image of the topic of the video.

 ●       Slide 3: Introduction to Instructor Slide

Once you have got the viewers’ attention, you should introduce yourself. Your official title (e.g. Dr) was used on the opening slide. It is not necessary to use it again and it is important to get a more informal feel in the video. Therefore, do not use your title when you introduce yourself. You should also state the main subject of the lecture. For example, “Hello, I’m Caroline and I’m going to show you how to make your video effectively, quickly and clearly”.

 ●       Slide 4: Learning Outcomes

State the learning outcomes on a slide at the start of the video. Learning outcomes describe the knowledge or skills students should acquire by the end of a particular module and help students understand why that knowledge and those skills will be useful to them. Learning outcomes are clearly stated at the start of the video and correspond to learning outcomes in the syllabus/course overview.

●       Last Slide: Closing Slide

Videos are most effective when there is a clear end. The CEPHEI PowerPoint closing slide should be used for this. The slide should stay up for three to five seconds in length.

●       Transcript is provided.

Some students prefer to learn by reading as opposed to watching videos. Other students like to have a static record of the video. Therefore, video transcripts must be provided. To create a transcript, it is recommended that the instructor makes notes under the PowerPoint slides and then saves this as a pdf with the notes showing. This can then be uploaded under the video on the CEPHEI learning platform.


7.4 Presentation Images, Animations and Video Clips

To make videos more engaging for the viewer, the presentation should include images, animations and video clips. In this section, we provide advice for these aspects.

 ●       High quality images should be used throughout the video.

Students learn better from words and pictures compared to words alone. Therefore, to enhance learning, images should be used throughout the video, and these must be of a high quality.

 ●       High quality animations should be used throughout the video.

Animations can be added to support students’ learning, but only if they are of a high quality.

●       High quality video clips should be used throughout the video.

Multiple types of video clips can be used to improve the overall quality of your video. These also enhance learning. However, if used, these clips must be of high quality.

●       Annotations (titles, subtitles, etc.) should be used to indicate to students what the key points are. Annotations support students’ learning. Therefore, annotations should be used throughout the video to highlight key points.

●       All images, animations and video clips must adhere to copyright guidelines. More details about copyright are given in the section below.


7.5 Copyright Guidelines

Any courses uploaded to the CEPHEI learning platform must adhere to copyright guidelines. If copyright is not adhered to when creating CEPHEI courses, copyright owners who realise that their materials are being used without permission could file a copyright infringement claim with the learning platform provider. This could lead to the course being removed from by the learning platform provider, as they will wish to protect themselves from liability. Removal of a course in this way would be disruptive for students and would make CEPHEI look unprofessional. Therefore, any instructor creating a course for CEPHEI must consider the following copyright issues.

No Permission Needed

Instructor’s Own Content

o   Courses may contain newly authored content or previously authored content by the instructor, as long as the instructor owns the necessary rights. For example, you may need permission to use one of your own articles if it has already been published in a journal).

Open Educational Resources

o   Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials that are provided free of charge and can be used without permission. Many OERs are currently available, for example PubMed and OpenStax.

Public Domain

o   If materials are in the public domain, it means that they are no longer protected by copyright. This is often due to the age of the material. Governments often release materials to the public domain, as do some authors and photographers. To find public domain materials, simply search for “public domain images”, “public domain books”, “public domain videos”, etc.

Creative Commons

o   Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use copyright licences to make a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use the work of authors who sign up to it. You can search for materials from Creative Commons here: https://search.creativecommons.org/

Fair Use

o   Fair use is a legal doctrine that says you can use the copyrighted material from other works without asking for their permission. According to the rules of fair use, copyrighted material can be used if the amount of materials used is limited and if it is used for a transformative purpose. There are two main groups of transformative purpose: the material can be used if it is commented upon or criticised; the material can be used if it is parodied. Under the heading ‘commentary and criticism’, you can: quote some song lyrics if doing a music review; summarise or quote from an article if writing a report; copy some paragraphs from a newspaper article for use in a lesson; copy a portion of a magazine article for use in a case study. The rationale behind fair use in such examples is that public benefit emerges from the transformation/enhancement of the copyrighted material. Under the heading ‘parody’, you are allowed to use a well-known work and ridicule it or imitate it in a comic way.


o   It is possible to provide a link to a website that contains third party content. However, this must be a legitimate site. Make sure you do not link to a site that hosts pirate materials. When adding the link, make sure it takes students to the site outside of the site where your course is hosted. Do not embed it into your site, as this may break copyright laws.

Permission Needed

Third Party Content

o   If you use content produced by others, you must obtain permission from the author/company/publisher to use these in your course. Third party content may include texts, films, books, sound recordings, graphs, charts, art, photographs, screenshots, and clip art. If using third party content, you can consider the following:

●       Get Permission

Text – Short quotations are OK. However, anything longer requires permission from the publisher or author. Publishers are more likely to grant permission if you are using text from your own published work, and if the students are encouraged to buy the text being quoted. In such a case, it is recommended that the instructor provide a link to where students can purchase the text.

Images, video and sound – Visit the website of the publisher of the item and search for a link to “copyright” or “contact us”. You will find information on gaining permission. You may be charged a fee to gain the licence needed to use the materials. The following sites contain images that can be licenced: www.istockphoto.com, www.gettyimages.com

For further information about copyright, check out this short animation https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=suMza6Q8J08, or the UT-LISA website.

Further information on copyright for e-learning can be found here: https://elearningindustry.com/intellectual-property-in-instructional-design-copyright


7.6 Video Scripts

Some instructors favour creating only a basic structure for their videos, and then fill in the gaps as they are being videoed. While this may work for some people, it can be challenging for others who feel they need more structure. Therefore, writing a video script in advance of making a video is highly recommended. A video script is a chronological run-down of what will be said and which images will be shown in a video. Video scripts are uploaded to teleprompters in B-Labs. A teleprompter is a device used to project a speaker's script on to a transparent panel in front of a television camera lens in such a way that the text remains hidden from the camera. This means the instructor can read the script as they are recording. This helps with staying focused and structured.

Videos, just like lectures, consist of two parts: what you say; and what you show (the images while you are speaking). If you followed the advice above, you will have already created your images on a CEPHEI PowerPoint template. The next stage is to create your video script. This can be done by using the template in Table 8. Here are some guidelines for writing your script.

Keep a clear structure.

●       The text is used to guide students through the thought process. Each sentence only conveys one piece of information which either explains the previous sentence or poses a new statement leading up to the next. By chaining together statements, questions and explanations, the students will stay focused.

Keep sentences short.

●       Every sentence should ideally contain one specific statement. If you need to elaborate on that, just make a new sentence.

Be definite.

●       Remember, you are the authority on the subject, so be definite in what you say. Don’t use ‘if, but, maybe, might, could’. Instead, use ‘must, will’. Keep your points clear and short.

Use natural language.

●       Writing for a video is different from writing an article or a text book. When you are speaking on video, it should sound like you are naturally speaking without following a script. This means that you should write the way you speak. To check that you sound natural, we recommend that you read your script out loud before you record and make any adjustments if sentences need to be shorter, or text needs to be changed to less informal language.

The connection with in-class activities should be clearly outlined.

●       Blended learning involves providing information transfer to students prior to class, and then getting them to put that information into practice in student-centred activities in the classroom. In order for this to be effective, there must be a clear connection between the concepts in the video and how these concepts will be used in class.

Voice should be clear and varied.

●       Voices in video need to be more animated than in a lecture in order to gain and retain students’ attention. Clarity of voice is also important in order for students to gain the information they need. Therefore, the instructor’s voice must be clear throughout the video and intonation must be varied.

Cut redundant words.

●       Keep your text as simple as possible. Sentences should be short. Words should be simple. A tool that can help you with this is the Hemingway app (http://www.hemingwayapp.com/). Simple copy and paste your text into the app and follow the instructions to simplify it.

Video should end on a positive note.

●       Viewers may feel more inclined to explore the subject matter of your video more if you end on a positive note. The easiest way to do this is to thank the viewer for watching or to connect your finishing statement to the subject of your video. For example, “The B-Lab may look somewhat overwhelming at first, but everything is set up to help you create the perfect video. If you come well prepared, it will only take a short time to make your videos look professional.

Video should end with an answer to the question that was posed at the start.

●       The video started by posing a question and then explaining the topic. The video closes with an answer to that question.

Audio should be of good quality.

●       Poor audio is the downfall of a good video and can negatively affect learning. Therefore, the quality of audio must be consistently clear throughout the entirety of the video.

Table 8: CEPHEI Video Script Template





Learning outcomes


Target group


Info for technical support





1. Heading 1


Slide 1. Opening slide, full screen, with music

a. Subheading 1.1

Hello, and welcome to this video on…

Slide 1.1. Instructor to the right, no music.

b. Subheading 1.2

In this video, we will be looking at…

Slide 1.2

c. Subheading 1.3



2. Heading 2



a. Subheading 2.1



b. Subheading 2.2



c. Subheading 2.3