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Pro Tips: Multimedia Content Creation for Blended Learning and eLearning

June 15, 2017

*This is a short series where I’m recapping some of my favorite sessions from UBTech 2017. Relive the conference on demand for free at UBTech 2017 Showcase 

Jason Webb, online learning analyst at Syracuse University, posed this question to the audience at UBTech 2017: Do instructors at your institutions want to create multi-media content for their classes but don’t know where to start?

At Syracuse University, they often start with Jason.

He draws from his deep background in television, radio and film to answer that question by sharing a simplified workflow of how to plan, record, edit, and broadcast interactive content through the use of mobile devices and computers.

He shared his go-to consumer-grade tools and applications to create engaging and informative materials for blended learning, flipped classrooms, and ultimately tell an interesting story that students will pay attention to.

“It’s all about storytelling. Creativity and imagination are not the same thing. Creativity is imagination in action. Tell your students the stories that engage them,” Jason said. “With blended learning, flipped classrooms, e-learning and online classes, tell a good story. The technology doesn’t matter as much as a good story.”

Here’s his process and exclusive pro tips for doing just that:

PRE-PRODUCTION: Instructors increase their odds of creating compelling stories that capture students’ attention with solid planning, outlining and storyboarding. A little work upfront will save a lot of time during filming.

Jason’s Pro Tips:

  • The Adobe Photoshop app can help you streamline the storyboarding process.
  • Animation and scripting program Plotagon is a visualization tool that even shows you camera angles when you write your scripts.

RECORDING: Video output is only as good as video in. Said another way, there is no amount of post-editing you can do to fix sub-par video.

Tablets and smartphones do an exceptional job of capturing high-quality videos, but Jason says it never hurts to help the process with DSLR and GoPro cameras to improve output.

Jason’s Pro Tips:

  • The Filmic Pro app on your phone shoots the same quality as the $13,000 Canon C300.
  • iOgrapher makes lenses that snap onto your mobile device. You can shoot with fish eye, telephoto and wide angle lenses, giving you better quality images and more options to record with.

POST-PRODUCTION: This is where the magic happens and your lesson, learning module and story come to life.

Jason’s Pro Tips for Editing:

  • With Adobe Premier Clip you can do quick linear edits on mobile devices and send it straight to YouTube, and it works well with Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • KineMaster is now available on all devices for multilayered editing, picture-in-picture, green-screening and more.

Jason’s Pro Tips for All-in-One Video-Production Apps:

  • Adobe Spark allows you to create a PowerPoint-style video in minutes on a browser or any mobile device.
  • TouchCast – use multi-camera inputs to full broadcasts, live green-screening, write over the video and even create a “lightboard studio” without the lightboard. Twitter and Google feeds become live video apps hosted by TouchCast.
  • Office Mix is a free plugin from Microsoft that turns your screen into a studio. Faculty can create a video from a PowerPoint they’re using in class, directly export the video to the learning management system and get feedback from students.

Jason’s Pro Tips for Free Stock Photos:

As an Online Learning Analyst at Syracuse University, Jason works with faculty at the university and local high schools to show off digital content created through video. He has degrees from Oswego State in Technology Education and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School in Television, Radio, and Film.


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