I recently posted on integrating audio with e-learning authoring tools, and in the near future, I’ll be covering some aspects of the visual aspects of creating e-learning content, focusing on creating video for application demonstrations and using still imagery in e-learning.
In the meantime, the eLearning Guild have just published an informative primer called Making a Demonstration Video for E-Learning Use.
The article in Learning Solutions e-Magazine discusses a favorite of mine: straight-forward ‘How-to’ video demonstrations. The authors, Steve Haskin and Tim Martin describe this learning modality:
“How-to” instruction is an important training modality; in fact, “learning how to do things” is the cornerstone of being human. Our lives are spent learning how to do things, and this doesn’t stop simply because we “learn” in the workplace or even when we slip the “e-” in front of learning.
In this context then, tasks and activities can be elucidated using a number of video based approaches including:
- Sequenced still images
- 3-D animation
Video photography is basically light captured on a medium like film, video tape, or DVD. However, lighting a subject properly is something of a black art and if done poorly will undermine the learners’ ability to interact with the subject matter. The article’s authors discuss the basics of lighting in reasonably good detail, including key-, fill-, and back lighting, as well as color temperature, and new lighting technologies like fluorescent and LED light types.
They go on to describe the importance of a good tripod, and what you should look for in a video camera. I would agree with their assertion that HD cameras “are complete overkill” (p.7) and in fact that good old reliable MiniDV digital tape is still the best video media choice for e-learning practitioners – your content is captured as uncompressed DV-AVI video (so it can be edited and rendered in either NTSC or PAL as well as in various compressed formats), and MiniDV is a great archive format.
The authors conclude by discussing the pros and cons of various video codecs, their benefits and disadvantages.
Video can seem technical, overly-involved, and even intimidating to the novice videographer: I suggest that you have a look at the article if you want a good introduction to video for e-learning and if you want to know your blondes from your redheads. (They’re types of light: I wasn’t being rude!)
Haskin, S., Martin, T. (2009) Making a Demonstration Video for E-Learning Use. Learning Solutions e-Magazine [Internet] Available from: http://www.elearningguild.com/articles/abstracts/index.cfm?id=302&action=viewonly Accessed 30 March 2009