1. Planning

The more work you put into this stage of the process, the less work you will have to do later!

Things to decide while planning:

  • what content/topics will you cover in your video?
  • what copyright rules do you have to follow?
  • what tone will you use for your video (serious, silly, witty, scary, a combination)?
  • how long will the video be?
  • what footage will you use (live action, screencasting, images, animations, etc.)?
  • where are you hosting your video (Blakboard, SeneMA, YouTube)? who do you want to access your video (your class, Senecans, the general public)

Here are some tips for planning for each:


A good rule of thumb to follow is to “aim for only one learning objective” per video (Halls, 2012). Instead of creating one 10-minute video with five concepts, create five 2-minute videos covering one concept each.

Create a rough outline with bullet points of what you would like to cover, this will help you to write the script later on.


Evidence has shown that the use of redundant text while lecturing is prohibitive to learning (Fenesi, 2011). This means that showing screens/slides full of text while you are narrating/lecturing creates too much cognitive load for your student which prevents them from learning effectively. The same study recommended audio, related images and non-redundant text (think “just the facts!”) is a successful strategy for teaching concepts.

For screen captures, use images that relate to what you’re saying and don’t load the screen with gobs of text, just very important points.


PLEASE NOTE: This information aligns with Seneca College’s Copyright Policy and Fair Dealing Policy and may not apply if you are from another institution. 

Watch this video for a quick guide to using copyrighted materials in your video:

complete summary of the video

Here is a quick summary for what copyrighted materials you can and can’t use in your video.


There are a couple of ways to ensure you are adhering to Universal Instructional Design principles and meeting your requirements for the AODA Information and Communications standard for educational materials.

At the very least you should add closed captioning to your video. This is a word-for-word caption that appears at the bottom of the film and can also include descriptions of sound effects and other audio happening off-screen. This is possible in Windows Movie Maker as well as with open source captioning software. If you are uploading your video to YouTube, you can check to see if these programs would help you caption your video.

You could also include a transcript with your video. This is typed document that is a word-for-word account of the video. I always include a written summary with my video as I like my viewers to be able to take away a quick handout of the content.

Coming soon…we will provide expanded recommendations for making your videos accessible!


If you are asking someone other than your group members to be in the video, it may be a good idea to ask them to sign a waiver. A waiver shows they have agreed to appear in your idea.

Here is a sample waiver you could use. It’s not specific to your program but it identifies that the student is appearing in a video created at Seneca.


This can make or break a video. Too silly and students won’t take it seriously, too serious and students might fall asleep before it’s finished. Think about what you are trying to convey and select an appropriate tone.

Humour is ALWAYS a good thing, you just have to decide on the type of humour and the amount that is appropriate for your video.


Students’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter so try to shorten your video as much as possible. Your video should only be as long as it needs to be to cover your concept, no more no less.

Aim for no longer than 3 minutes, unless you are showing a process that takes more time.


You can make your video more engaging by selecting different types of footage to use. You could use live action as well as different types of screen capture (demos, static content, animations, etc.)

Alternate between different types of footage to keep your viewer engaged in the video. Allow time to absorb the information between shots.