Short courses - staff resources


Develop communication skills: creating videos

You can use videos to develop learners' communication skills, including making video blogs or lectures, filming performances or using YouTube videos by others.

Videos can be really useful for both learners and for you as a short course designer. 

You might create your own or re-use videos made by others within or outside of UCL. 

Check copyright and get permission

Always check copyright before using any images, videos or recordings in an online course.

Observe confidentiality where you need to and think about any ethical issues if you or learners are making videos, for example protecting people’s personal data.

Make sure that learners preserve anonymity and get permission if they’re filming in the workplace.

Benefits of videos for you and your learners

You can use videos to:

  • reinforce learning by providing visual resources
  • illustrate practical skills
  • bridge the gap between university learning and professional or workplace learning
  • keep track of how much learners are getting out of your course
  • view several times so you can give learners better feedback

Learners can use videos to:

  • revisit and review teaching material
  • heighten awareness of their learning experience
  • use extracts in a virtual (online) portfolio 

Making video blogs

Getting your learners to make video blogs (filmed diaries) can motivate them and give them the chance to recognise successes by their peers and teachers.

You can also use video blogs for feedback and extracts to contribute to final marks.

Be clear about how much video you need learners to produce and how often filming could take place.

You can create a supportive community by getting students to:

  • upload extracts from their video blogs to share with other learners
  • encourage learners to comment on each other's videos

Filming performances

Learner-produced videos can be used as an alternative to observing professional performance. They might also represent concepts or theories.

Be aware that videos of performances can only capture part of what is going on.

Mobile apps can help you and your learners in producing videos.

Help your learners produce videos

When you're getting learners to produce videos of performances start by being clear about: 

  • what the performance should demonstrate
  • what the video should include
  • how long the video should be

Make the criteria for a good performance as transparent as possible. You can do this by showing learners a video and inviting students to point out the key aspects of the performance.

Provide learners with resources to prepare them for filming. You can use Penn State University’s tips on video production

Use videos in assessment

You can base oral exams and feedback on videos of performances. Learners can:

  • comment on performance
  • provide a rationale for their choice of action or approach
  • self-assess and pinpoint areas for development

Creating video lectures

Video lectures (webcasts) are easy for learners to digest or revisit to suit their schedules. However, you should plan preparatory and follow-up activities so you can stay connected to your learners.

Prepare a clearly structured plan that includes:

  • breaking up the lecture into five-minute sections
  • checking learners know how the lectures fit into other courses
  • checking learners have the knowledge they need to understand and benefit from the lecture

You should also give learners the chance to test their learning afterwards, specifically being able to:

  • use and apply their learning
  • pose follow-up questions
  • discuss content with their peers

You can ask learners to do any of the following to test their learning:

  • take part in forums or chat
  • complete quizzes
  • write brief reports or thoughts on key points
  • do calculations
  • design diagrams or concept maps

Using YouTube videos

You can make use of a huge range of freely available YouTube videos and easily embed them in the UCL Extend.

  1. Search YouTube for the key words on the relevant topic.
  2. Select the most appropriate video.
  3. Consider what you want learners to focus on and provide guidance, for example asking them to rewatch a video and comment on different aspects.

You can also:

  • add pre and post-video teaching and learning activities
  • ask learners to record themselves and upload their own videos to YouTube, as long as the material is not sensitive and adheres to ethical guidelines

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