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How to create a video tutorial for an online course

From screen recordings to publishing: how to make video tutorials with an authoring tool for eLearning and a good story

If there's any way to show learners how they should use software or any tool, it's to show them with a video tutorial. These instructional videos, as YouTube demonstrates, are meant to guide the viewer step-by-step towards accomplishing an action. How to embed a video tutorial within your LMS? Here are some pointers on tools and practices for creating effective video tutorials.

Software for creating video tutorials

The first thing to know about video tutorials is that there are special software to create them in the best possible way. Basically, there are three techniques to adopt:

  • Use a screen recording tool. You can also find free tools that allow you to capture an area of the screen along with the audio.
  • Use video editing software. In this case, the webcam is also used and there are advanced tools for trimming videos, inserting special effects, buttons, narrating voices.
  • Rely on an authoring tool for eLearning that can incorporate both a screen and video capture tool and a video editor that can work simultaneously. The effect is definitely cleaner, more professional and better meets your training needs.

Among the main functions that you should keep in mind is the possibility of publishing the video made in SCORM format or any other eLearning standard supported by your LMS, learning management system. Also, you should always check that the camera and microphone used are of quality. So far the tools, now the ideas.

Create a video tutorial suitable for the beneficiaries of the course

Let's say the company has decided to introduce a new management software for employees. Some are using it with some difficulty, but have already gained experience with the previous system. Others, however, need to be trained from scratch.

As there will always be a disparity in employee knowledge and skills, the first step is to assess training needs. What practical aspects of the software are critical to know? What functions do you have the most difficulty with?

From there, you establish the training objectives, which, in the process of creating videos, need to be quite specific. Microlearning teaches that videos that are too long and vague run the risk of distracting and not engaging the course beneficiaries.

Creating the storyboard and script for the video tutorial

The next step is to think about the storyboard, a tool with which you visually define the content to be narrated through the videos. Again, you need to make use of one of the most used techniques in eLearning, which is the ability to tell a story. With storytelling applied to video tutorials, the explanations provided have a beginning, vicissitudes and an end. Therefore, the script must be realistic and speak to the beneficiaries in a simple and natural way.

Record the audio and the demonstration video

With the recorder built into your editor, you can record voice-overs or use text-to-speech to turn the text into voice. Any errors in the explanation can be corrected in post production. When the audio is ready, you can move on to recording the video with the chosen tool. The desktop should be as clean as possible and show only the software covered in the course.

Synchronize and share the video tutorial

Audio and video should be synchronized with your authoring tool and at this stage you can cut unnecessary fragments and insert other elements that make the video more attractive: annotations, comics, captions, shapes, buttons and any other graphic object that helps you identify with the course.

Publish the video tutorial in your LMS

When the video is ready, all you have to do is choose the format and publish it in your LMS. It is good practice to share the course with a small group of people and then correct the course thanks to the feedback received, before expanding the audience of users.

A video tutorial can be made with various screen recording programs or video editors built into your authoring tool. The quality of audio and video is key, along with the naturalness of storytelling and the inclusion of elements, such as buttons and descriptions, that make the demonstration more interesting.

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