Formats of video to use in eLearning

Following on from the previous post – Using videos in eLearning we take a further look at some of the formats and types of videos available.

Rather than bombard you with information overload, in this post we will give you a quick overview of four video types when to use them as well as useful tips;

  • Piece to Camera.
  • Interview Style.
  • Mini-doc.

In our next post, we’ll be covering Scenario, How to, Explainer Animation, Digital Story.

Piece to camera

Format:

Short movie featuring one person looking into the camera while reading a script or presenting (as used in news on TV or by TV reporters).

What is it?

A piece to camera is the television and film term used for when a presenter or a character speaks directly to the viewing audience through the camera.

When to use:

Positioning piece by a leader in the team or organisation to provide a strategic context and the bigger picture.

Peer learning for people sharing their experiences.

Key points

Pros:

  • Scripted in advance so ‘on message’.
  • Simple format one camera, tripod.
  • Controlled environment.
  • Quick to edit.
  • Efficient to use same set-up for multiple subjects.

Cons:

  • Not particularly visually engaging.
  • Need someone who can read out in a natural, animated way.
  • The effort in advance of a shoot to create a detailed script.

Tips

Use an autocue app for iPad and experiment with speeds so suit delivery of person interviewing. A green screen can make a video more visual and relevant by positioning interview in different locations.

Interview Style

Format:

A movie featuring one or more interviewees who are responding to questions.

What is it?

Talking head refers to a person speaking directly to camera usually in a medium shot, meaning they’re cropped at the head and shoulders.

When to use:

  • If a subject is not able to write or approve the detailed script.
  • A basis for a more ‘mini-doc;’ approach with video footage or stills to illustrate key points.
  • If subject matter more discursive or sensitive and lends itself to a conversation as opposed to formally written delivery script.

Key points

Pros:

  • May end up with more natural delivery.
  • Basis for mini-doc.
  • You may be able to accommodate more than one interviewee.
  • Draws out reflections and narratives with emotional depth.

Cons:

  • Works best with two cameras – more equipment can impact costs.
  • Longer shoot time as not so tightly scripted.
  • As not tightly scripted, sometimes issues with answering in full sentences.
  • Some believe less engaging as the subject isn’t looking directly at the camera.

Tips

  • Ask the interviewee to answer in complete sentences, repeating the answer.
  • Cut out the interviewer – they are not the focus.
  • Ensure you don’t interrupt the interviewee's answer or make sounds or noises of agreement (this is harder than you think).
  • Warm up the interviewee with some lighter chat.
  • Send them key messages to be covered in advance rather than exact questions so responses not too wooden.

Mini-doc

Format:

A short documentary that tells a story with interview or voice over as the basis and a variety of activities and static shots and sequences.

What is it?

A cut-away is the interruption of a continuously filmed shot by inserting a view of something else. It is usually, although not always, followed by a cut back to the first shot, when the cutaway avoids a jump cut

When to use:

  • Topic lends itself to sourcing interesting, visual footage.
  • Combine telling with showing to explore context or challenges.
  • Bring the learner visually into different situations and contexts.
  • Reinforce key messages visually.
  • Avoid jump cuts.

 Key points

Pros:

  • Potential for highly engaging storytelling that informs and motivates.
  • Makes it real.
  • Shows the evidence not just someone talking.
  • Makes learning relevant and real with actual footage.

Cons:

  • More effort and time needed to prepare and script.
  • Longer shoot as not simply capturing piece to camera or interview.
  • Variety of locations – consider permissions, noise etc.

Tips

  • When scripting consider sequences of shots that will tell the story.
  • Ensure the backdrop for a key interview is ideally relevant to the story that’s being told.
  • Get shots from different distances and angles.
  • Think of establishing shots – buildings, doorways, signs etc.

Tutorial

Format:

Tutorial delivered via expert which mimics the experience of a lecture.

Get the lingo:

On-screen graphics – lower thirds are commonly found in TV news and documentaries and in their simplest form, a lower third can just be text overlying the video.

When to use:

  • You have access to an expert in their field.
  • Teaching, information-rich piece or complex concepts.
  • Strong presenter.

Key points

Pros:

  • Fast way to convert classroom to virtual learning.
  • Lends itself to efficient use of templates for implementation.
  • May be a stand-alone topic in a programme design – less ID effort.

Cons:

  • Push – may be passive experience for learners.
  • Heavily dependent on presenter for engaging delivery and content.

Tips

  • Include graphics and illustrations.
  • Intersperse with learning activities, pause points, questions and reflections.
  • Reinforce key learning with summary screens.

As part of our video production service at Aurion, we produce high quality and aminated content that can be used as a stand-alone asset or enhance and support eLearning.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

 

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