Multimedia Benefits and Effective Practices

Chapter 3 Course Design & Development

Intro to Video Creation

This module provides guidance for SRJC instructors who want to create their own videos. To get you started, this page presents general information about the benefits of using videos in your courses, effective practices, and an introduction to the types of tools available to you. 

Benefits of Effective Videos

Videos can be an effective way for instructors to connect with students in all types of courses but are especially important for online learners. SRJC District Board policy for Distance Education states that it is the responsibility of the instructor to include "instructor prepared e-lectures" to help students comprehend course materials.

For learners enrolled in online courses, especially, effective instructor-created videos are important because they can...


  • strengthen social connections and enhance the instructor's teaching presence;
  • increase the richness of visual and vocal cues in instructor communications;
  • inspire students and hold their attention with the use of storytelling and by engaging the senses; and
  • enable instructors to model problem-solving processes and a creative mind at work.

For both online and face-to-face learners, instructor-created videos posted in Canvas...

silhouette of man with laptop

  • offer flexibility because they can be viewed anytime;
  • allow students to view (and review) content at their own pace using pause and replay;
  • can free up class time when instructors "flip" the classroom (read more on this below); and
  • must be captioned, which benefits all learners but especially students with hearing impairments and English language learners.

Effective Practices for Video Creation

Not all videos benefit learners. In fact, some practices detract from learning. Some key best practices include:

star Keep videos brief and targeted on learning goals

star Audio and visual elements should be complementary rather than redundant (e.g. don't put text on the screen and read it).

star Embed videos in a context of active learning by pairing them with homework assignments, discussions, or other activities.

star Use storytelling techniques and a conversational, enthusiastic style.

star Check out a high-quality microphone from Media Services. Poor audio quality makes a video difficult to caption, which is a legal requirement. 

For more quick tips, see 3 Tips for Creating Great Video provided by Canvas.

For detailed guidelines, see Vanderbilt's guide: Effective Educational Videos.

For storytelling ideas, see NYU's webpage: Storytelling in Teaching and Learning.

Also see EDUCAUSE: What Makes an Online Instructional Video Compelling?

For research on digital storytelling, see Susan A. Baim, "Digital Storytelling: Conveying the Essence of a Face-to-Face Lecture in an Online Learning Environment." Journal Of Effective Teaching 15, no. 1 (January 1, 2015): 47-58. 

Not Teaching Online? Consider Flipping.

In a flipped classroom, lectures are delivered online and class meetings are used for student-centered activities such as collaborative learning, case-based learning, peer instruction, and problem sets. But there is no single formula for flipping a class. For instance, an instructor could create a 10-minute lecture video for students to watch online to free up enough class time for a 10-minute hands-on activity. Or all lecture material could be delivered online as a combination of videos, pre-class reading, and other exercises. See these resources for more ideas:

Tools & Uses

light bulb

When selecting tools to create videos, consider your purpose:

Webcam recorders can be used for...

  • Course welcome & ice breaker
  • Launching point for group discussion
  • Feedback for students

Screen recorders can be used for...

Animation tools can be used for...

  • Scenarios
  • Storytelling

Graphic tablets can be used for...

  • Illustrations of spatial relationships or abstract concepts
  • Simulations of systems or processes

Video captioning

All videos need synchronized captioning to be accessible to students with disabilities.

3CMedia Solutions offers an easy way for instructors to request captioning using the DECT Captioning Grant. Learn more about 3CMedia: Captioning, storage, and sharing service


There are many ways we can use screen recorders in our teaching. Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking provided by Bonni Stachowiak, host of the podcast Teaching in Higher Ed: