1. Home
  2. Create Content
  3. Engage your learners with video

Engage your learners with video

Video can be a great way to bring a subject to life, but you don’t need the latest kit or a Hollywood budget to create something engaging. 

Video works 

A 2014 study of how video affects student engagement highlights the importance of investing time and effort in pre-production. 

Its findings show: 

  • Shorter videos are more engaging, so spend time planning your video content for delivery in smaller chunks. Aim for a runtime of under six minutes. 
  • Learners like to see your face, so don’t hide behind your PowerPoint slides. Edit your video to include talking-head segments or go for a picture-in-picture setup. 
  • Enthusiasm counts, so present with passion. Try writing a list of talking points instead of a script. 
  • Learners prefer a more personal feel, so don’t worry about having studio-quality production values. Try recording in an informal setting where you can capture clear audio and make frequent eye contact with the camera. 
  • Virtual whiteboards are better than static text, so consider a digital chalk and talk instead of a standard slideshow. Microsoft’s ink tool, for example, lets you highlight and annotate slides as you present. 

Develop a concept 

Developing a concept for your videos can help you convey information to your learners in a more engaging way. 

Your concept could be built around a recurring theme or developing narrative that helps your learners to connect with important information, theories and practice. It’s a great way to focus your content, ensure consistency and, ultimately, enhance your learner’s journey. 

For example, is there a relevant case study with a compelling story that can hook your learner’s attention and keep them engaged from one video to the next?  

Choose the right tools 

 You have a host of video tools at your fingertips. Here are some that we recommend:  

Digital Tool What’s it for? What can it do? Record Limit
Planet eStreamLectures, explainers and welcome videosRecord your screen, webcam or both. Edit videos online. 
Generate transcripts and subtitles. Integrate with Aula
Screencast-O-MaticMicro-lectures and welcome videos Record your screen, webcam or both. No limit with university’s account. Ask your faculty for access. 
Narrated PowerPoint Narrated slide presentationsRecord your voice and slide presentation. No limit. Though, you may need to compress the file size. 
LoomMicro-lectures and welcome videosRecord your screen, webcam or both. 5 minutes (free 
Adobe* ExpressShort narrative/explainer videosCreate short videos and visual presentations. N/A 

*Please note that this tool is not directly supported by the Coventry University Group, so you must follow the appropriate social media guidelines and inform your Associate Head (Student Experience) before using it with your students.

Look and sound great on camera 

 If you’re appearing on camera, a few simple adjustments to your setup can make a big difference. Watch the following video for some helpful tips. 

Video: Tips for Recording Mini Lectures

(You can also view this video on Microsoft Stream)

Top tip: Before you start recording, test your kit. Record a short one-minute test video and watch it back. There’s nothing worse than recording the best performance of your life and realising a cable was loose. 


  • Christian Whittingslow

    Christian is a production editor at Coventry University Online where he works with learning designers, media producers and academics to help create effective online courses.

    View all posts
Updated on April 5, 2024
Was this article helpful?