My name is Vaida Bogdan and I’m an experiential trainer. A few years ago I moved my trainings online in an attempt to reach more students and I was confronted with the killer of online trainings: BOREDOM!
In this article I’ll tell you how I’ve used Screenflow to catch the killer and “trim” it out of existence.
You see, in an offline class you can intuitively realize when people start losing focus or getting bored. There, you have options: you can ask questions, play a game to energize them, skip/rephrase the boring part in other words — INTERACT.
This *intervention* doesn’t happen in an online class. If your students lose their focus at a point in the video, they’ll just ALT+TAB to their Facebook account and from there on *you’re the background noise*!
Maintaining the student’s attention and facilitating learning are *the* goals of online educators everywhere.
I’ve been using Screenflow for video editing since the beginning of my online career.
Oh wait .. I actually tried using iMovie for a few weeks … the horror .. the slowness …
Most of the time I only did basic editing: cutting video, fixing sound, inserting pictures .. and that was fine. I loved its speed. You don’t really need a powerful MAC when you’re editing with it.
A year ago I participated in Video Genesis, an online course on video editing (and more). In it I learned to do a few tricks with the videos, in order to maintain attention (make things appear out of nowhere, add bloopers, strategically zoom in/out, changing views when cutting .. just to name a few).
That’s when I married Screenflow.
Since I started adding effects, bloopers and what not, my online courses received thousands of students and 5-star reviews.
All of my courses are edited in Screenflow, check a few bloopers I added (for edutainment and attention):
APPLYING THIS INFORMATION
I won’t leave here until you get something from this article, something useful.
Here are 3 tips to maintain attention in your videos:
1) Make sure you change something on your screen every minute
Research shows that attention spans have shrunk from 12 minutes in 1998 to a scary 5 minutes in 2008.
To maintain attention you could add an image that illustrate the point or maybe pop up a text box to highlight the main idea.
2) Add something out of the context of the video
(not one of my best lighting setups :))
Adding outside elements to your videos will create pattern interrupts (NLP terminology for breaking the thinking pattern and, in our case, getting the student out of his mind and “into” your video).
You can add external sounds (I added a guillotine once, while I was saying NOoooo in a video).
You could also add a 5 second clip of yourself playing with your dog before you begin your video.
A list of sites that offer free multimedia (images, audio, video) can be found here.
3) Add special effects
A great teaching video + special effects == the best way to teach, through edutainment.
How to make a glass of water appear in your hand:
– Put the glass on a table, out of the screen
– Make the hocus pocus sign
– Freeze your posture
– Slowly, using one of your hands, raise the glass
– When you edit the video, cut from the hocus pocus to the point you had the glass in your hand
– Now it looks like the glass suddenly appeared
Check it out:
Congratulations, you’re a magician!
Once you start using these 3 tips, you’ll see how your students begin to interact. They’ll leave comments on your videos and share them on online media because you’ve just jumped the quality of the video from a good lecture to a great *entertaining* lecture.
Vaida Bogdan is an experiential trainer who loves creating courses where students learn by themselves.
His motto is: “I teach students how to become their own teachers!” and he uses Screenflow on a daily basis. You can check his course on Mastering Screenflow here.