4 Do's and Don’ts for Producing eLearning Videos

What are some things you should—and shouldn’t—do when producing eLearning videos? And how can they help bolster your course’s effectiveness and promote student learning?


Back in my day (ahem), videos were either nonexistent or only supplemental to the learning process. A fun diversion that teachers could say was still educational. Nowadays, a course can be entirely video-based. And almost every course can benefit from videos that are well made and strategically paired with the content.

Perhaps you’re already on the eLearning video bandwagon and want to make sure your videos are high quality. Or perhaps your organization is new to eLearning videos and you’re unsure where to start. Either way, this article is for you.

The biggest difference between “regular” videos, such as those found on YouTube, and eLearning videos is how their “success” is measured. For regular videos, success means a large number of views and rave reviews from those viewers. For eLearning videos, success means that the students understood, engaged with, absorbed, and retained the information being presented.

Aim for student success by following these four eLearning video best practices.

Don’t: Let trends dictate your video style.

Beware the “trends trap”!

I once worked with an instructor who wanted all videos to not exceed a certain length, citing students’ decreased attention spans. Though I understood where she was coming from, I’m wary of arbitrary rules. As we talked about last week, the content should drive the video length. If you’re working with a hefty topic that splits naturally into manageable chunks, by all means, split the topic into multiple videos. But if a topic doesn’t split well, there’s nothing wrong with making one longer video. There’s no rule that says longer videos are guaranteed to turn off students, just as there isn’t one that says shorter videos are the only way to go.

Your video style should come from the content, not what’s considered trendy. Determine your video style by analyzing the content and how best to represent it. Certain styles that might work well for entertainment or marketing won’t work as well for learning. Ask, “Will this help my students learn the material?” If yes, keep it. If no, it’s gotta go.

Do: Adopt a clean design that works well with the content.