Let’s start by establishing how important it is to make recorded lectures more engaging. In a research done from 2000-2013, a human’s attention span was tested compared to that of a goldish. Researchers concluded that the attention span of humans decreased over the 13-year period to eight seconds, one second less than a goldfish.
In online education, a student has access to social media and cell phones, hence there are more chances of zoning out. This, consequently, puts more responsibility on trainers and teachers to get learners more involved. And we have just the right tips for you!
How to make your recorded lectures engaging, interesting and interactive 😍
1. Keep lectures short & sweet
Video lectures have become an integral part of education today. And duration of a video lecture can make an enormous difference in an audience’s engagement with the lecture. Research shows the median engagement time for the recorded lecture videos less than six minutes was 100%. As the duration increased, the engagement level kept dropping.
The theory concluded that the idea length of a recorded lecture should be 6-9 minutes. If a lecture spans an hour, you can break it down to 6 short clips to increase the audience engagement with the recorded lecture.
2. Speak slow and with clarity
Your way of speaking has a great impact on your audience. In recorded lectures, it is crucial that you are slow and specific. But how is speaking slowly and clearly associated with engagement? Well, it is – in many ways. When you are slow and clear, you get used to a particular pace.
Moreover, when you have a specific pace, it is easier for the audience to catch things. The problem with a fast pace is that things can slip out of your mind and it is generally difficult for the learners to grasp the information. This can further add to a lack of engagement.
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3. Demonstrations help a lot
This is very helpful when you record a series of lectures. While recording a series of lectures, it is recommended to start off from where you last left. Therefore, when you have a number of recorded lectures covering a particular topic, it is better to use the white board to give a quick synopsis to the sub-topics covered in the previous lecture.
But why is it important to have a white board? Well, when you write the keywords and then explain, it stays in mind for longer. Plus, it also serves a good recap for the audience. This increases engagement because you are not directly jumping to the next sub-topics; you are giving the audience some time to relax, go through their notes, prepare and then move forward.
4. Use minimum on-screen text
Using slides is not a new phenomena in education. You must have heard your students complain about that one instructor who, instead of explaining and teaching, reads the slides aloud and packs up. Such a way of teaching can decrease the engagement to a great extent.
To maintain and increase a certain engagement level, make sure you use minimum on-screen text. You can use specific and important phrases from the readings but avoid making wordy presentations. It makes classes dull and boring.
5. Ask questions
This is a good practice that helps in keeping the audience engaged with the lecture. While you are recording a lecture, throw in a question for the audience and reveal the answer in the end. The question will work as a hook.
While many will skip towards the end to see the answer, many won’t compromise on the rest of the lecture. But it works as a good little fun activity anyway.
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6. Consider mid-lecture exercises
Just as you were advised to break your lectures in multiple parts, you can do the same with the reading material/information too. You can incorporate exercises within the recorded lecture. If your lecture is 30-minutes long, make three bulleted summaries for each 10-minute interval. And ask the audience to do the same every 10 minutes and see how many bullet points they got right.
Moreover, if you don’t want to be too hard on assignments, you can ask the students/audience to submit the bullet points, which will add to their final grade. Two in one!
7. Don’t teach everything
Gone are the days when an instructor would teach every single concept. This whole idea expired when YouTube, Wikipedia and Google Search came into existence.
If you think there is a specific concept or topic that some YouTube videos or blogs are explaining better than you could have, use them to make recorded lectures easy and digestible. Sometimes we make things more complex, which leads to a less engaging lecture.
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8. Meme it up
This goes without saying – USE MEMES. Be it economics or sociology, there’s memes for everything. Memes make for a welcome change in education, where previously, there wasn’t much space for fun and jokes in academia. So keep it light, use visual content and share good vibes with your students.
9. Be expressive & appreciative
When you make recorded lectures, be mindful of the fact that you can’t see the audience but the audience can see you. And those who choose to see you and listen to you deserve appreciation. So, to boost their morale, it is highly recommended that you be more expressive.
And even though you can’t see the audience and it can get a bit difficult, try to be more expressive. Share a funny anecdote if you think the lecture might be getting a little dry. This way you retain the audience’s attention.
10. Be your best, give your best
To make recorded lectures engaging is indeed a difficult job. They can be difficult even for people who have been doing this for a long time. To combat this fear, just don’t have high expectations.
Give your best and be yourself and you will do well. Remember, when you are nervous, you talk faster and that makes things very difficult to understand. So, don’t brood about it much. Happy e-learning!
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