Image of instructional videoIncorporating video in your instruction can have its rewards and challenges.  When utilized properly, videos can assist the learning process.  According to Alessi & Trollip (2001), video is becoming popular in interactive multimedia.  You can create videos to demonstrate or model a procedure, interview an expert, provide visual activity, and present plays.  Videos can be appealing, entertaining, and promote higher order thinking skills (p. 72).  Additionally, instructional designers must think about the pedagogical and cognitive implications videos can have on the learners.

As part of my instructional design project this semester, my team, EdTech Solutions, is incorporating video into the web-based unit.  Not only are we utilizing video in this multimedia unit, we are filming the footage ourselves.  Through my experience creating the videos for our client, I want to share some information I have learned along the way that may be helpful to others who are thinking about creating video as part of their instruction.

1. Planning

I have found through my recent experience, planning is one of the most important parts of creating video for instruction.  It is vital to begin with a plan and not go in to a video shoot without an idea of what is going to occur and how it is going to happen.  You will end up spending a lot of time trying to decide what to do and waste valuable time for you and the client.  On the other side of planning, it is equally important to think about the learner.  Mayer and Moreno (2003) state multimedia learning (i.e. videos) can cause a cognitive overload.  This occurs when the learner’s cognitive processing goes beyond the learner’s cognitive capacity.  A few ways to prevent cognitive overload through videos are to avoid narration and on-screen text at the same time, segment pieces of the video, scaffold the instruction, and match the video’s narration with the images.

2. Storyboarding

Storyboarding is a must!  It helps instructional designers determine parts of the video, timing, and organizes (or chunks) pieces of the video.  Storyboarding is the blueprint that assists the instructional designer and informs the subject matter expert on the video details such as video layout, text, graphics, animation sequences and narration (Weingardt, 2004).  In essences, storyboarding allows designers to break down the story into manageable elements.  Storyboarding can be as simple as sketching the segments onto a piece of paper or putting your ideas in digital format.

3. The Process

Once you have a plan and know the details, the next thing to consider is the video process.    There are a lot of details that go into the process such as using a tripod, avoiding wide shots, refraining from panning in or out, and match the narration to the video.  Bell (2005) recommends arranging the set so that it is not cluttered, using proper lighting, and using an external microphone.  Alessi and Trollip (2001) also recommend using video in instruction for important information that would benefit through the use of video as well as keeping the video presentation short (p. 74).

Video is one of many components of multimedia learning and can have an impact on the learner when used effectively.  If you have experience or knowledge on creating video you would like to share, please post in the comment section.


Alessi, S.M. & Trollip, S.R. (2001). Multimedia for learning: Methods and development (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Bell, A. (2005). Creating digital video in your school.  Library Media Connection, 24(2), 54-56.

Mayer, R. & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 43-52.

Weingardt, K. (2004). The role of instructional design and technology in the dissemination of empirically supported, manual-based therapies.  Clinical Psychology, 11(3), 313-331.

Guest Blogger

Jennifer Nelson is a doctoral student of Instructional Design and Technology and the coordinator for school partnerships and clinical experiences at the University of Memphis. She has taught high school as well as undergraduate and graduate level courses. Her research interests include technology integration and teacher education.

About Michael M Grant

Dr. Michael M. Grant is a passionate professor, researcher, and consultant. He works with faculty members, schools and universities, and districts to integrate technology meaningfully and improve teaching and learning. When 140 characters just won't work, then he blogs here at He has a beautiful wife and three equally beautiful daughters, who will change the world.

2 Thoughts on “Lights. Camera. Action! Creating video to enhance instruction

  1. How detailed was your team’s storyboard? If you did it again, would you include more or fewer details?

    • Jennifer on March 24, 2011 at 10:15 am said:

      Good question Jamae. Our storyboard was not detailed enough that’s for sure. Since this was our first time doing something like this, it was a learning process. If we were to do it all over again, we would be sure to include more details such as the different camera angles since we used three different cameras.

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