Should you use video in your online courses?

the Ceramics studio by chin badger media with charlie budd and leyla folwell.jpg
We filmed Leyla Folwell of The Ceramics Studio teaching people how to throw a pot and make a mug.

Of course the answer to that is ‘it depends’. 

There are some major benefits to using video in your online course and those benefits are mainly about making deeper connections. 

To help you make your decision it’s best to think about your subject, your audience and your budget:

  • If your subject is very visual and process-driven it makes perfect sense to make a video showing that. We’ve made video courses on pottery and dressmaking – perfect for video. Showing people the whole process, and those tips and tricks that experts know brings real value to your students. 
  • Even if your online course isn’t particularly visual, using video can allow you to explain it in a way that really engages with your students. People respond to people. 
  • Many people prefer watching videos to reading. These are the people who will naturally be drawn towards a course with video content rather than purely written or illustrated content. 
  • Budget is something to keep in mind. Some courses you may be able to film yourself, but if you’re wanting something really high quality and you can earn your money back from selling your course at a good price, then getting a professional video producer can be really worth it. Amateur-looking content can make people question the expertise of the tutor. 
  • Video is especially good for children. A video course with lots of play acting, colours, and fun can be really engaging. You can back it up with well-illustrated digital or printed materials – but young people love watching fun, well-made videos. 
  •  Live video discussions can be really helpful in getting students engaged with the tutor. Whether you use Zoom or Teams, having Q&A sessions can help students feel as though they’re being involved and listened to, even if they don’t all ask a question. It also raises the perceived value of your offering and students greatly value the opportunity to ask a question live. 
  • Of course, if you’re using video in your online course, you can use video to promote it as well. Short videos in social media content, paid video ads and videos on your course landing page can attract attention, show expertise and give that vital human connection. 

It really is about connecting with your audience. There’s nothing like a human face to create connection – and if you can get your students to connect with you as a human being, they are far more likely to be engaged throughout the course. 

You can use animation of course, and there are some subjects which really lend themselves to animation. But with animation, you’re not being faced – literally- with another human being. There’s a certain amount of disconnect which is easily resolved – put a face to your online course, and a voice, and your personality. Why? This will help the connection between you and your audience.

If you’re wanting to create online courses you need to connect. Have a chat with us about how we can help. We know what works – whether it’s a technical course on LinkedIn, teaching about Shakespeare’s life to primary schools, or how to measure yourself to make your own clothes. 

Our email, phone and social media contact details are at the top and bottom of this page.

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