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7 Things To Do At Home To Record Videos for eLearning

Do you want to know how to set up your home office on a budget and start recording quality videos for E-Learning courses?  Taking the time to make sure that your video process will present you in the best light (literally!) can make a huge difference when you upload your course and begin to market it to the public.  It isn’t necessary to have a film crew in your home but with a few simple adjustments, you can turn your course into a professional eLearning success!

Check out my tips to see how I transform my attic space into a mini-recording studio.

Since 2017, I have been traveling between cities setting up branches for my business, and in that period, I got used to Zoom, virtual meetings, and project management apps. I was also very familiar with Learning Management Systems (LMS). So in March, when one of my companies decided to convert a large majority of their training courses to E-Learning courses, I thought it would be easy. ‘I will just record on my computer, edit it in iMovie, and then upload it to the LMS’, I thought. The first couple of videos I watched were terrible. Then, I started seeing how other people recorded and offered their online training courses, and I felt even worse. I was so unhappy with my video quality and the way I looked, and how I sounded. So after eight months of trial and error, here are my seven tips to help you record the best professional-looking videos for your training courses.

1) Purchase the right equipment.

I tried all sorts of backgrounds for my videos; fixing and decorating my office and trying cloth backdrops. I finally decided on using a good quality green screen. I purchased a 90-inch portable green screen that mounts on a tripod or the wall. For lighting, I bought 2 Pieces of Bi-color 660 LED video light and stand kit and a good quality ring light. For the sound, I like using a professional lapel microphone. It connects right to my desktop or laptop. Try to get one with a longer wire in case you want to stand a few feet away from your camera.

2) Purchase the software.

There is so much software available to help you record and edit your videos. I am not an editor, but I wanted a way to record all my videos myself. So I decided to purchase Camtasia and use it for editing my videos. I also bought the pro account on Loom to help me record presentations on my computer screen and use the camera on my computer to record me at the same time.

3) Prepare yourself and your environment.

Before I start recording, I make sure it’s quiet time at my house. I have four delightful children, and on the weekends or weekday afternoons, our house gets loud. I do not recommend getting in the habit of repeating your recordings. Try to get it done in the first take, so record when the kids are at school. Another recommendation is to finish all your content and do the recordings in one day. That way, you do not have to do your hair and makeup and prepare everything over and over. For your clothes, wear something sleek, like a solid color suit, without patterns or any distractions. Don’t wear a shawl or loose clothing.

4) Get energized. Get set. Record!

Before I start recording, I get excited. Your audience will feel your energy. Take a walk, do some jumping jacks, or meditate. Whatever gets you centered and energized. Stand up, talk with confidence, share that boost of energy you have with your virtual audience. Pretend that you are conducting a live session in front of millions of people, no second takes. It is your only shot. If you make a mistake, it’s ok; keep going.

When I record, I like to record two types of videos:

  • talking head video for my intros
  • presentation with video for my lectures

talking head video is a video that shows my head and the top of my shoulders without any accompanying presentation. I never read a script, I keep these videos short, and I use them to introduce people to the video.
Example 1: “Hi this is Samia, and today we are talking about blah blah blah”.
Example 2: “What will education look like in the next 50 years, why are we talking about early childhood education in the age of artificial intelligence…… this course is made up of 5 sections, in section 1, we will ….”
For the talking head videos, I use the camera on my computer to record, and I usually stand in front of a green screen. Make sure that the edges of the green screen are not visible in your camera, and remember to put the microphone somewhere on your clothes that it stays away from your hair and hands (It is challenging to edit those annoying sounds later).

The second type of video is a presentation with video, just like if you were in a classroom and your students could see a presentation on a projector and see you at the same time. In these videos, learners can see you clicking through and pointing around your presentation and see your face in the corner of the screen. These are great when you have a presentation, and you want to talk your learners through your content.

For these videos, I record directly through Loom.

5) Phew, done. It is time to watch.

Hopefully, now you have done all of your recordings. That was the easy part. The hardest part is watching yourself and forcing your kids to watch it and give you feedback. If you are unhappy with it, don’t worry. You will improve over time. However, please remember that if you think of recording yourself repeatedly because you didn’t like the way you said something or how you sounded, it will not improve your video quality. Give yourself time. Publish your videos to the best of your ability NOW, and then record new things every two or three weeks, and you will notice yourself improving over time.

6) Editing.

If you recorded the Loom video, the only thing you might have to edit is the end of the video when you are trying to click the “stop recording” button on your screen (I can never remember the short cut). Download the video and save it in a folder named and labeled so you can find it later to upload to your LMS.
If you recorded the talking-head video, then you need to import it into the video editing software like Camtasia, and get rid of the green screen, and choose a simple background to place behind you. Here is a tip: If you wore glasses, and there was a light reflecting on your spectacles, then put a darker background behind you. It might help reduce the glare.
If you watch some ‘How to’ videos, you might be able to add a logo on the video, your name and title, and some other cool features while you are editing.

7) Done and ready to upload.

Now that you have all your videos edited prepared and organized in your folders. You are ready to upload them to your LMS. After you upload them, use a different browser to watch your videos and test them out. Ask people to watch and give you feedback.
You did it! Congratulations.
The best part of recording a video that looks great is that you too will feel great about it.  A few investments in your time and perhaps some better equipment can have your course going from good to great!  I hope that you share your process and successes, and if you have any other tips that I missed, please share them in the comments.Do you have unique e-learning courses that you want to launch through a state-of-the-art platform?  Click here to find out more about how you can teach with Global Childhood Academy.
#eLearning #VLOG #videorecording
Dr. Samia Kazi, Global Childhood Academy Partner. Samia is a social entrepreneur, innovator, and partnership builder. Samia has been the CEO of Arabian Child (arabianchild.org), and now serves as a regional director at Childhood Education International (ACEI.org) and a voluntary board member at Ellis (ellismemorial.org). The Huffington Post named her one of the top women who are reshaping early childhood education in the Middle East. Samia holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Leadership, a master’s degree in Education Policy and Leadership. Samia is married with four children.

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