We now have a good understanding of how to create great videos with great audio and have begun to learn how to edit them. With the basics, we can now explore the different ways we can use these skills to create different types of videos for teaching and learning. While there are many different types of videos they types we will use most frequently fall into three categories – a VLOG (Video Log), a video lecture and eLearning. 


Vlog (Video Log)

You may be familiar with the Vlog style of video from YouTube. The Vlog is a common approach to share an opinion or information. The Vlog is typically a short video that uses a conversational tone to connect with the viewer. They can be serious or humourus, even sarcastic! The tone usually fits the subject and the presenter. The video is typically short, unscripted, personal and shares a POV. The video is typically created by talking to the camera and avoids extras like additional graphics, photos – although sometimes they can help. Here is an example of a Vlog (about how to Vlog!):

Vlogs in teaching

Vlogs can be a great addition to course content. They are a great way for virtual learners to get to know the instructor. They can help build an online community and create engagement. A Vlog can also be used as a quick update about the course, content, etc. Getting asked the same question over email? Do a quick Vlog to answer the question and save time having to respond individually. You could use Vlogs to start discussion, explain activities, assessments – there are so many ways to make learning more engaging by using video!



Video Lectures

Likely the most typical use of video in teaching, the video lecture can be a very effective form of sharing content online. A video lecture is similar to a Vlog, but scripted with the intent to inform the learners.  The video lecture can include video of the subject matter expert simply recording themselves speaking. It may include other learning aids like PowerPoint presentations. While maybe a little more “edutainment”, a very polished example of a video lecture would be a Ted Talk. Here is a very popular Ted Talk:

Video lecture in teaching

The most typical (and obvious) use for a video lecture is to convey content for learning. There are a number of ways and products that will allow instructors to create a video lecture. At McMaster we have tools like Echo360, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, MacVideo and Camtasia. There are many other tools that can also be used. Regardless of what tool you choose, using the principles we discussed to create great video and audio will help immensely to maintain learner attention and engagement.




eLearning is also a very broad term that encapsulates a variety of approaches to learning online. For our context we are using eLearning as a term to describe a robust video that utilizes a variety of engagement techniques to convey content in an exciting way. A simpler way to describe this could be a “fancy” video lecture.

eLearning in teaching

eLearning builds on the video lecture and may include additional ways to visualize content including PowerPoint presentations, whiteboard/lightboard demonstrations and supplementary images and graphics.  eLearning can also include interactive components like in-video quizzes. While more time-intensive to create, eLearning can be a very effective way to share course content in a new, intriguing way.  Here is an example of an eLearning video:

Pro Tip: The best practice for any video length is to keep it short – less than 10 minutes. If you have content that requires more time, “chunk” it into multiple  segments.

Pro Tip #2: Plan your videos. Take the time at the start to understand what you want say, share and how you will do this. It will save you a lot of time later in the process.


Video in Teaching

While video can be a great tool to increase learner engagement and pique interest, it is not the only way. Video is great for sharing information quickly, storytelling and demonstrating concepts or techniques. However, sometimes you can convey the same information in text or another medium. There are many tools at your disposal. Choose the ones that will work for you and improve the learning experience – and have fun!



In a few short lessons you have learned the crucial elements required to create great audio and video, how to edit them and the different ways you can utilize video in teaching.


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Blended Teaching: A Guide for Applying Flexible Practices during COVID-19 by Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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