Editing tips

The final stage of the production stage is editing your course. This is your opportunity to fine tune your recording to create a more polished online course. Editing will help make your course look more professional and keep your learners engaged. 

Here are some common ways to edit your course:

  • Remove mistakes and filler words such as ums and ahs
  • Add annotations and images to emphasize certain points and improve and enhance your learners’ comprehension
  • Include slides and visuals to improve the learning experience
  • Add transitions and B-roll to improve the flow of your course 

As you’re recording your course and reviewing your videos, use this template to help you track any edits you want to make or note any of your favorite videos.

Removing mistakes and ums and ahs

Online learners can be more impatient than in-person learners. If they get bored, it’s easier for them to leave. If they find your course to be distracting, it will disrupt their learning experience and may negatively impact their review of your course. While editing your videos, you’ll want to focus your edits on removing mistakes and cutting out any rambling, tangents and long pauses. In general, people tend to use ums and ahs as filler words when they’re nervous or unprepared, and they are very distracting and more obvious online. You’ll want to edit out these fillers as much as possible. Also, make sure your narrative is to the point, clear, and engaging. The more you prepare your course in advance, the fewer distractions you should have while recording and consequently, less editing to do. Make sure you’ve read your script aloud and done a table read so that you’re comfortable with your course material.

Adding annotations that add value 

This is one of the most basic and helpful edits you can add to your course. Annotations are typically used to highlight certain points or phrases, to create lists, or to introduce new words in a visual representation. Annotations help you to focus your learners’ attention, keeping them engaged by visualizing important concepts. Do this by adding bullet points to your recording, but avoid transcribing everything you’re saying. It’s a best practice to highlight certain points or phrases, introduce new words and concepts, and create lists to emphasize the main points you’re teaching. Don’t go overboard and add in too much text. Avoid typing everything you’re saying. Instead, highlight the key concepts you want your learners to remember.

Including images or other visuals

An image or graph is another great way to emphasize key points you would like your learners to remember, but keep in mind that most learners will be watching on a mobile phone or tablet so you’ll want to think about the amount of detail and the size of the text you share. Help your learners by highlighting or zooming in on images. Import your images to add them to your video. 

Adding B-Roll and transitions

Video is engaging but can get monotonous. We recommend that you mix up your camera shots by cutting between two shots. You can cut from the main video to short clips to enhance what you’re saying which is also known as B-roll. If you’re doing a screencast you can cut to images or slides which adds variation to your course and helps to keep learners engaged. Making cuts or edits to your video may cause abrupt cuts to your recording. For example, cutting out the ums and ahs, may cause your video to appear to have skipped which could be a distraction. If this happens, you may want to add transitions or B-roll to hide these abrupt cuts.

Add music or sound effects

Music can change the vibe of your course. Use it to evoke an emotion, to make your preview videos more vibrant and professional or to emphasize a point. But, music can also be distracting, so make sure it doesn’t pull attention away from the important things you say. Choose your music carefully and deliberately. Most importantly, make sure it’s the appropriate volume.

Editing software

Every software is a little different, make sure to spend some time learning how to use your specific editing software.

Some popular editing software for use by instructors:

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