Learn how to Create a Video Curriculum for Your Classroom |
A video curriculum is a video version of your curriculum. It can be a simple slideshow, or it can be a creative framework from you, your class, and the content itself.
For the record, there is nothing “wrong” (obviously) with a PDF or printed curriculum. You have worked for years and will do so for many years to come. However, this is not necessarily an either / or. In fact, it probably makes sense to have both formats on your teacher website (assuming you have one) in addition to some sort of FAQ.
What Are the Benefits of a Video Curriculum?
There are some drawbacks to creating a video curriculum – namely the amount of effort it takes to create one (depending on your vision, this can be completed in as little as 30 minutes) and the relative difficulty (compared to a Word document for example)) edit.
Also, it is more difficult for students to highlight, save excerpts, markup, etc. To reiterate, this is a kind of false dichotomy: a video curriculum can complement a physical or digital text document. So why should you create a video curriculum? Well there are some advantages.
First, students love videos. It is a form of media that they are comfortable with. This point is simple – video is generally more engaging than text.
Videos can also be interactive – some videos actually react in real time. At a minimum, students can ask questions in the comments, answer each other, etc.
A video curriculum is also available from almost anywhere (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc.)
It can also give you a different perspective on the course you are teaching by shifting your focus from due dates and chronology and grading to the content itself – in this case, how to make that content accessible to students involved in the classroom from the start.
While you can make a simple presentation “video”, you can consider doing some “publicity” to “market” your content to the students instead of creating a terrible checklist of assignments.
1. Clarify purpose
What should the curriculum “do” and “be”? A checklist of due dates and tasks? An invitation to learn? A framing of the content? A little more student-centered?
Minimum necessary: Something informative that makes the course interesting
2. Decide on a format
Presentation-based slide show? Visual ‘explainer video’? A creative and entertaining video with lots of pictures to show the students how the course was designed for them or how it will benefit them?
Necessary minimum: a slide show presentation with your commentary as voice-over
3. Create its content
Here’s one, but I couldn’t find many examples (surprisingly). This is 37 minutes long – a detailed explanation of the course, its tasks, etc.
The idea here is to decide (based on the purpose and format) what to include in the video. Think about how you could create the video differently if the audience was made up of experts in the “real world” as opposed to a parenting video.
It would probably be different again if you created one exclusively for students, and different again if your colleagues or PLN were the intended audience. Thinking about these differences helps you keep in mind the different types of approaches and information that you may include.
Minimum Necessary: The course title, your name and biography / background, the value of the content you will learn, and any major assignments
There are tons of high quality video editors out there. Some of these that I’ve used are Hitfilm Express, Shotcut, Loom, Lightworks, Adobe Premier and Adobe Spark, and Canva. There are also video editing tools like Moovly, Boosted, WeVideo, Animoto, Clipchamp, VSDC, Filmr and Videopad.
Even video hosting platforms like Vimeo and YouTube include basic video editors that can be enough for a simple video curriculum.
Minimum needed: If you want to start small, create a simple presentation (5 minutes or less) and do a voiceover while loom recording your screen. You can share or add to YouTube, SchoolTube, etc. right from Loom.
Decide on a privacy setting and make the video available to the students. The aforementioned Vimeo and YouTube are obviously hosting videos, as is Loom.
Minimum necessary: Share the file from Loom or upload it to a private YouTube channel.
6th Save original file
This is an important step – save the original file both locally (on your device) and on the video editing platform itself if possible. This makes it easier for you to revise it every semester or to copy it as a kind of template for other courses you teach now or in the future.
More tips on creating a video curriculum for your classroom
Harness the power of video – visuals, music, voice, effects, etc.
Keep it short and sweet – or not. Just be deliberate based on your stated purpose and format.
Do you decide if you want to allow comments?
Consider privacy – yours, your school’s, and your students’ when the video is posted and they interact with it in a public / social space.