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Bytesize 1: Creating Instructional Videos

In this edition of NET Section Bytesize, we would like to introduce the procedures for making instructional videos with PowerPoint (and for MacBook users, Keynote) and Google Slides so that you can create your own instructional videos for your classes.

In response to the disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID pandemic in the 2021/22 school year, the Regional NET Coordinating Team (RNCT) at the NET Section offered a self-paced online e-Learning workshop during the vacation adjustment called ‘Creating Instructional Videos with PowerPoint and Google Slides,’ which proved to be very popular.

In the workshop, participants first learned how to create a short self-running slide show in PowerPoint and how to export it as a video file to create an instructional video for online use or flipped learning. (For MacBook users, the same can be done with Keynote.)

They then learned how to create an instructional video with Google Slides by presenting it through Zoom (or another video-conferencing application) and using the screensharing and recording functions to record the video.

The final task required participating teachers to:

  • create a short instructional video for one of their classes using PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides (or another online application of their choice);
  • share the instructional video with a rationale explaining how they would use it; and
  • comment on at least two other instructional videos created by other teachers in the discussion board.

We were pleased to find that the instructional videos submitted were of very high caliber, and the discussions they generated were collegial, informative and insightful.

In their comments to one another, many teachers highlighted some of the features that would most effectively engage students while viewing. For instance, effective use of the voice, along with well-timed animations, annotations, and laser pointer movements all contributed to a more engaging viewing experience. Turning on the video camera often enhanced the human element, particularly when the presenters looked directly into the camera and delivered their lines in an engaging manner. When used in moderation, background music and sound effects were effective, but they were sometimes considered distracting. Many teachers skillfully embedded mini-tasks, instructing students to pause the video to complete the task before resuming. Perhaps, most importantly, it was noted that instructional videos should be brief and to the point, ideally no longer than 5 minutes.

To follow up on the online workshop, the RNCT organised two Regional Cluster Meetings in June on the same topic, inviting a number of the teachers who participated in the workshop to share as guest speakers. These teachers had the opportunity to share their instructional videos and the processes they used to create them with a wider community of secondary English language teachers in Hong Kong. The feedback on both cluster meetings was overwhelmingly positive.

In this post-pandemic education landscape, it is our hope that you will find these ideas useful and that you will want to share them with your colleagues… and with you students.

To find out more about how to turn your PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides presentations into instructional videos for online use or flipped learning, click here.

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