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Educational Video Production Process: Insights for E-learning Design

Sep, 13, 2021
Tim Aleksandronets
CEO at Blue Carrot

Introduction

The development of an educational video course is quite a complicated process, and even a professional production team needs to constantly keep a hand on the pulse to ensure that they won’t miss anything while producing hours and hours of video content.

If you want to know how to plan educational video production process or are about to start your own project, this article will guide you through the stages of educational video production process, and provide useful development tips to make sure you don’t get lost while working on your own course 👇

Summary:

  1. Educational Video Production Process — Project Outline
  2. Video Production Process for Education — Preparation Stage
  3. Seven Stages of Educational Video Production
  4. Educational Video Production Costs: What Parameters Influence the Production Budget?
  5. Final Thoughts
  6. Consider Blue Carrot Your Trusted Partner

 

Educational Video Production Process — Project Outline

So, you want to know — what are the steps in video production for education? The development of a video course starts long before a script writer grabs a pen or an artist starts drawing sketches. The educational video development process actually begins with identifying project needs, depth of subject knowledge, and project outcomes.

📌 Project needs

Here, you should ask yourself one single question: 
👉  What do we want to achieve with this course?

Maybe you want to create an easy onboarding process for new employees, introduce them to the company’s structure, or inform them on internal policies.

Maybe you want to improve the efficiency of a particular department — let’s say, you’ve discovered that a particular task devours a great deal of your teams’ time and you have figured out how to reduce the task completion time. Thus, your goal is to produce educational content to pass this new knowledge on to your team (or target audience).

📌 Depth of subject knowledge and/or skills

This refers to the level of understanding that your course should provide to the target audience. The educational course may briefly introduce learners to the subject, or may provide them with tools to complete a particular task, cope with a problem, teach certain skills etc. — these all are different knowledge levels to which a course should be adjusted for, accordingly.

In order to identify what level of understanding your course should provide, you need to figure out first what your target audience already knows and what else they need to be taught/informed about 🎯

📌 Expected outcome

This is where you outline all the outcomes you want a project to produce. It’s important to be precise in your expectations. For example, if your course covers bitcoin & cryptocurrency technologies, you may want learners to:

1) Grasp the mechanics of bitcoin;

2) Learn how cryptocurrencies achieve decentralization;

3) Learn how to store/use cryptocurrency. 

👉 Here’s also another example:

The educational video course has to always pursue concrete objectives 👍

Video Production Process for Education — Preparation Stage

Now comes the second part of the pre-production process. In this stage, you go deeper into the subject research and, thus, need more information to be gathered.

📌 Formulating methods of evaluation

After you’ve determined course objectives and planned the outcome, it’s high time to figure out HOW YOU KNOW IF OBJECTIVES ARE ACTUALLY MET. You need to put together all the methods and techniques you will use to measure the goal accomplishment.

The evaluation methods will be unique for each video course: however, the core principles remain the same.

👉 Thus, in order to formulate these, ask yourself:

  • How do we know that an individual actually learned how to apply the obtained knowledge?
  • How do we confirm that, exactly?
  • Which indicators or quantifiable metrics (if there are any) can help us to objectively assess the level of knowledge obtained by the learner(s)?
  • Do learners need to get the basic understanding of concepts? How do we define what the ‘basic understanding of concepts’ actually is?

 

📌 Gathering information from subject matter experts

This is one of the most important stages of educational video production as, here, you gather all the information that will serve as the foundation for your project. All the definitions, messages, statistical and research data, infographics, etc. — everything that you want a video course to convey. 

📌 Instructional design

The main goal of instructional design is to help you understand HOW and by WHAT MEANS the educational content will be delivered to the target audience. So, basically, you form a structure, outline all the information from subject matter experts in blocks, and choose the format of content for each block.

👉 The format of the online course content may be as follows:

  • Text
  • Games/quizzes
  • Interactive elements
  • Media slides
  • Live recorded videos
  • Animated videos
  • Screencasts
  • VR/AR applications
  • Tests
WE PROVIDE E-LEARNING VIDEO PRODUCTION SERVICES FOR EDUCATORS, CORPORATIONS, AND COURSE DESIGNERS

📌 Scripting + Technical task for media elements 

This is the final step of the pre production stage, during which instructional designers produce final scripts, break down an educational course into several sections, and complement them with all the necessary descriptions and visual references: videos, images, tests, diagrams, tables, etc. For example, for educational videos, scripts are being developed in this stage — they contain narration text and visual descriptions of scenes. 

👉 Scriptwriters also create a list of requirements for media assets which will be necessary for producing asset libraries. Each media element reference will be also accompanied with its own technical requirements that then will be passed on to the illustrator, motion graphic designer, etc on the production stage.

📌 Copyediting

Once you’re done with creating all the text and formatting it, we strongly recommend that you involve editors and proofreaders to fine-tune the course text, and revise all the content to make sure no stylistic or grammar errors slip into the final course.

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Find out how what Blue Carrot has to offer 

Seven Stages of Educational Video Production

1️⃣ Determining visual stylistics

When it comes to producing content for an educational video project, it’s important to come up with some basic rules regarding the appearance of visual objects in the course.

Normally, these will include the development of:

✔️ Style-frame

✔️ Animation sample

✔️ Animation template 

✔️ Brand identity elements (intro/outro, lower thirds, etc.)

EXPLORE OUR E-LEARNING CASES STUDIES:

2️⃣ Storyboarding

Storyboarding is one of the educational video production steps during which the artists sketch out all the video scenes based on the previously developed script scenario and other requirements outlined in the technical task for media elements (previous step).

Those who get to know the storyboarding process closely realize that it’s much bigger than just drawing sketches or putting scenes into color — there’s a lot going on and a lot to pay attention to.

👉 In order to save you hours worth of research, we’ve written an article entirely devoted to the development of professional storyboards. So, don’t miss the chance to check it out, as well!

3️⃣ Designing visual assets and libraries

This step includes the development of all the assets that a production team will use during the next phases of educational video production process.

The term ‘asset’ here is not limited to imagery only. For example, artists will be busy creating illustrations and design templates, looking for stock photos, crafting templates of animation, purchasing 3D models, sound effects, music libraries, etc. All these elements are considered assets.

👉 The assets are designed based on the corresponding requirements and references that come from scriptwriters. So, the whole asset development process goes as follows:

  • According to the needs of a scenario, script writers form a list of assets that need to be created — an assets library. This step also has a huge impact on the project budget: the kind and quantity of assets to be developed define the amount of time and work that a production team will need to invest further on.
  • Based on that information, the team proceeds to design all the illustrations, objects, models, visual/sound libraries, etc.

4️⃣ Voiceover

Once the narration text is agreed on, production teams normally proceed to recording a voiceover. The voiceover artist is chosen based on the preferable timbre of voice, age, gender, emotional tone, and even language accent.

Basically, there are two methods for finding a voiceover artist for your project.

The first one would be to turn to a local studio that will select a candidate based on your requirements (a perfect option for those projects developed for local markets only).

The second one would be sourcing a V/O artist on such platforms as Fiverr or Bunny Studio (if you are going to produce courses for a global audience).

👉 If you want to learn more about this topic, be sure to read our article on how to choose a voiceover artist.

5️⃣ Animation

In this step, all the animation assets are put together — according to the script scenario and storyboard. The development of animation for an educational course can become quite a cumbersome process if not enough attention is paid to it. So, here, we always recommend you to not overlook the management side of the process.

Educational video course production implies dealing with videos that are hours in length, include hundreds of illustrations and animations and dozens pages of textual content, and it means that, in order to deliver a project on time, you’ll have to involve a large number of specialists.

👉 Here, maintaining clear and effective cooperation between different team departments is everything:

  • Who will communicate with whom?
  • What will the communication process look like?
  • How do we identify the areas of responsibility for each team member?
  • How will project information be stored?
  • Who will be responsible for revising the final results?

The clearer the production processes are, the less time final editing will take — and the more time will be dedicated directly to the project itself ✔️

6️⃣ QA

During the QA stage, a team ensures that the developed project fully corresponds to the technical requirements and specifications set, and hands the client a project for further review.

7️⃣ Corrections

In this stage, the client gets a ready-made educational video course and adds comments or asks for corrections, if any are necessary. The tricky part about the review process is that it is the first time the client gets to see the project as a finished end product, and not in the format of separate blocks and components.

Now, if the pre production stages of video production for e-learning were carried out properly, and the client was highly involved in the project during those activities, then there’s nothing to worry about — most of the time, all the production team will be asked to do are minor or cosmetic edits. However, if — when reviewing the final result — the client feels that some ideas or course concepts do not work as they are expected to and asks a team to introduce changes that fall off the scope of the initially agreed concept, then this will affect the budget, as well.

👉 That’s why we always try to emphasize — as much as possible — the importance of a pre production stage. Carrying it out properly can help avoid costly edits later on.

 

Educational Video Production Costs: What Parameters Influence the Production Budget?

No matter the subject or kind of educational production course, several aspects that influence the final costs will always remain the same. These are:

  • Style and type of developed content — the complexity of imagery to-be-developed influences the amount of time that will be needed to produce the course. This is especially the case for style and type of animation used: whether it is a simple 2D animation overlay for live footage, or complex 3D modelling. More about styles and types of animation can be read in our article here.
  • Length — all video agencies charge a rate per minute for produced content, so without a doubt, a 30-minute educational video would cost less compared to an hour-long one. Now there’s a little trade-off though: the longer the video gets, the lower the rate per minute goes. So, for the last minute of a video course you can expect to pay half as much as a video agency would ask you for the first minute.
  • Additional requirements — producing supplementary components that don’t normally come by default as part of a video course will influence the budget as well. Here we are referring to extra research on the topic, localization in two and more languages, production of several voiceovers, PDF handouts, etc.

Check out our article about e-learning videos localization 🚀

These were three main components that influence the video project budget the most. If you want to know what else may affect the price tag, take a look at our article where we review the educational video production cost in greater detail.

 

Final Thoughts

E-learning courses usually have their own set of steps when it comes to the video content production process. Unlike ‘traditional’ promotional ads, educational courses are also never designed to sell any product or service to a viewer, meaning the goal-setting process will be different here as well. 

So, before starting to produce educational video content, make sure you know what you are dealing with, and what you want to achieve, in particular. We hope that this guide will make the educational video production process easier for you. But if you feel like you still need assistance with your project, just reach out to us, and we’ll do our best to help!

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Consider Blue Carrot Your Trusted Partner

🔹 IRI

An hour-long educational course that was developed by Blue Carrot for IRI — International Republican Institute — on democratic society development. The client put quite an ambiguous challenge before us — to produce a large amount of educational content within a short timeline.

We were tasked to create 11 videos that, in total, amounted to 34 min. of whiteboard animation, 24 min. of animation overlays, 5 min. of live-shooting, and 26 illustrations. A team of 20 people worked relentlessly to assemble this project and deliver to clients’ expectations. 

Aside from the management aspect, another big challenge was the subject of the course itself — the large amount of political theory we had to process put us in a position where half of the time working on the project was actually spent going through terms and concepts of political science. In view of that, to ensure that we still kept up with the schedule, all 11 videos were developed in parallel. 

The IRI was perfectly happy with the outcome and a special word of thanks and a 5-star review came our way!

🔹 Educational course for one of the top U.S. universities 

Here’s a sneak peak to the e-learning course that our team produced for our partners at a U.S. university. The goal for this course was to enhance pre-recorded live footage with animation to make a subject — Development of Healthcare Ecosystems — more understandable for students. The higher education video production process was quite intense, since our team had to deal with numerous challenges simultaneously. The biggest one was a very tight deadline — we had to produce 200+ minutes of content within just one month. On average, this job would take a video agency about 3-5 months to complete.

At Blue Carrot, we always put the client’s requirements first, thus we decided to significantly reinforce the number of specialists assigned to the project, which allowed us to deliver the work exactly on time.

Another challenge was to ensure content visual consistency throughout the course that was developed by a large team of specialists. This aspect was especially crucial since a complex course subject required every team member to pay maximum attention to the smallest details during the video production process for education. The project management team on the client’s side, as well as the professor in charge of the course, were completely satisfied with the work we delivered. 

Educational video courses happen to be one of the most complicated projects to develop. It’s very important to partner with an agency that can cope with large amounts of content and, at times, cumbersome subjects. The above examples prove that we at Blue Carrot aren’t afraid to jump in and take on the hardest job — even if it means multiplying resources on short notice, and carrying out several videos simultaneously. 

Blue Carrot produces e-learning videos for educators, companies, and e-learning designers. Check out our e-learning showreel and get in touch by filling out the form below 🙌

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