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Teachers, control your online videos

Most teachers now have the ability to link or embed videos into their online courses, but there is so much more that instructors can do to provide more appropriate media for their lessons. All teachers understand that videos should be relevant and concise or students will multitask or daydream through the activity. There are a few useful online video management resources that provide tools for video manipulation such as cropping or segmenting videos. Examples of these are Edpuzzle, Vibby and TedEd lessons. If instructors want to take the next step and manipulate video by capturing, editing and positioning their videos on YouTube for distribution, they can! Teachers, follow the four step process below to create, customize and position your instructional videos into their courses.

Steps to Creating and Positioning Educational Videos

Beyond linking online videos to your courses, there are several other skills that will provide instructors with the utility to fashion videos that are focused, relevant and sharable. These include the following:

  1. Video capturing
  2. Video editing
  3. YouTube video sharing
  4. Inserting a video into an online course
Video Capture

So many digital tools allow instructors to capture screen actions or to record people through a computer’s camera. Instructors should plan, script and rehearse their video captures to generate a video that includes all of the pertinent points that are essential to meet the lesson outcomes. I use SnagIt’s video capturing tool, but other options include the Xbox Game Bar on Windows, Adobe Premiere, online tools such as Loom and Screencast-o-matic, even some learning management systems such as BrightSpace and more conveniently – PowerPoint. Once the video is recorded, it should be saved in MP4 format. This will allow the video to edited by all video editors.

Video Editing

There are dozens of video editors available. One that is most accessible for instructors is the Microsoft Photos video editor. Yes, I know, it is counter intuitive to open a Photo editing app to start video editing, but it arrives with the Microsoft 10 operating system. I have been trying it out to see if it is useful for instructors without the budget or access to industry leading tools, for example, Adobe Premiere. The Photos video editor has most of the standard video editing features including:

  • Adding title, section or credit panels to a video
  • Shortening (Cropping/Trimming) a video
  • Segmenting (Splitting) a video
  • Add audio tracks (music narration) to a video
  • Video filters
  • Video motion effects
  • Adding 3D effects
  • Exporting the video to MP4 format

Since most instructional videos will not be streamed on Netflix, these basic features will allow instructors the ability to create customized videos for their purposes. I have created a step-by-step “How To” document for teachers to follow to edit their own videos. The videos can be exported in MP4 format. These can be uploaded and positioned on YouTube to allow students to stream the video at their convenience.

Uploading and Manipulating a video on YouTube

Two letters at most educational institutions that will sway the majority of teachers to upload their videos to the YouTube service are I and T. Many institutional LMS’s do not support teachers upload of videos as they take a lot of server storage. When this is multiplied by score of online instructors, resources may be challenged ans service could slow down. Instructors are usually requested to position their videos on a cloud service, such as YouTube and either embed it into an online course or link to it from an online course. Another reason to consider sharing your videos from YouTube is that the work well within authoring tools including H5P, EdPuzzle, Ted Ed Lessons, Storyline and Captivate as well as in most learning management systems.

Once your video has been unloaded to your personal or the institutional channel, you may be surprised at some of the features available before the video is published. Do yourself and your learners a favour and look into refining your videos with the YouTube Studio editor. It will allow you to customize the video viewing experience by

  • using a blur feature to remove unwanted people, backgrounds or logos
  • direct your student to the next video if you have a sequence planned
  • add licensing information
  • add subtitles
  • trim the video
  • crop the video
  • add a music track
  • customize the opening thumbnail image
  • customize the information at the end of a YouTube video to link to various social media options
  • set up privacy settings, including a password
  • add meta tags to allow others to find your video

Check out this current step-by-step “How To” document for teachers to follow to manipulate and host their videos on YouTube.

Inserting Video into an Online course

Videos can be either uploaded directly into a learning management system’s, LMS, file directory, embedded into a more complex learning object such as a SCORM or linked directly from an online course. Each LMS has its own process for embedding and linking online video. Consult the help files for your LMS. There is a video detailing this in the Resources section below.

Taking it to a whole other level!

At this point, the video has been captured or recorded, edited, refined and placed on your YouTube channel. If you want more than a video on your course, consider the many options to add interactivity to raise the video’s engagement. My favourite is H5P Interactive video, there is also TedEd Lessons, industry leaders such as Captivate or Storyline, or the popular EdPuzzle. Interactivity promoting student responsibility through grades amplifies engagement with online video. I know that this seems like a lot of work to produce relevant video content. It is because it does take planning and time. However, I hope this has inspired some of you to take on one or more of these steps while creating your next video for your online or blended courses.


Editing Basic with YouTube Editor, https://www.slideshare.net/mrpottz/youtube-editing-basics-workshop

Embedding a Video into a Moodle course, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n93ecVZwn8

H5P Interactive video “How To”, https://www.elearningworld.org/h5ps-interactive-video-feature

Making Ted Ed Lessons, http://blog.teslontario.org/create-video-lessons-with-ted-ed

YouTube Editor Ends Screens, https://youtu.be/Tgp0utWXyjY

Video Editing Basics for Teachers, https://tinyurl.com/3shxdseb

John Allan

John Allan

John is a Canadian who writes about learning object development and online facilitation from a teacher's perspective.

One thought on “Teachers, control your online videos

  • Great post John !
    Too many teachers just link to a movie, often on YouTube, and that’s all they do.
    But as you say, there are many editing and production options that are fairly easy to learn and use.
    I’m always amazed by the links you provide, and here again are a couple of apps and sites I’ve never used … so they are going on my future reading list now !


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