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How to Create E-learning Videos: Development Options, Budgets & Tips

May, 22, 2022
Christina
Senior Account Executive

Introduction

Many organizations, educational institutions, and instructors mistakenly believe that in order to create a professional e-learning video course you need to invest heavily in its production. 

But what if we say that it doesn’t have to be so? In fact, being knowledgeable about the nature of the video production process — at least on a basic level — can help you get professional-looking video on an achievable budget.

In this blog post, we’ll show how to create e-learning videos, take a look at the development options, and budgets, and provide some essential tips that will make your interaction with a video production agency more productive 🚀

Summary:

  1. E-learning Video Creation: Development Options
  2. How to Create E-learning Videos: Step-by-step Production Process
  3. How Much Does It Cost to Produce E-learning Videos: Estimation and Budgets
  4. Consider Blue Carrot Your Trusted Partner
  5. Final Thoughts

 

E-learning Video Creation: Development Options

When it comes to the production of an e-learning video, there are actually dozens of ways you can carry it out — the e-learning course can be shot in a professional studio, a home studio, or with a generic web camera. It can come in the form of a podcast, screencast, animated video, etc., etc.

In order not to confuse you with the vast variety of options, we’ll only cover three basic ones you can choose from when making an e-learning video.

The choice of a particular option for e-learning video production is normally based on 1) available budget, and 2) the objectives you set for the project 🧐

📌 Live footage

As the name implies, it’s a video that is shot live in a professional or home studio. When filming the course in a professional studio, you can get access to quality equipment and thus get a better picture. Studios may also offer some extra services — for example, you can hire their filming crew (director, make-up artist, lighting specialist, videographers, etc.) that will help you shoot the instructional video course. 

👉 Studio example:

If you have access to basic shooting equipment — like a green screen, lighting, and camera — you can set up a studio at home (or on site, at a university, office, etc.) and film an e-learning course there. If your budget is very tight, you can even record an e-learning course on a web camera, building an e-learning video in a so-called “talking head” format. In this case, just make sure you have enough natural light and know the basics of acting on camera. 

👉 “Home” studio example:

 

📌 Animation

Here your video course will basically consist of animated video(s). This can be a whiteboard, traditional, 2D, 3D, cartoon, or cut-out animation. The whiteboard animation is often considered the most affordable, so if your financial resources are limited, this type of animation would be a go-to option.

Animated e-learning course:

👉 Keep in mind though, that creating an animated video for an e-learning project makes sense — in terms of budget — especially if the course subject is simple and doesn’t include intricate concepts. Otherwise, the production process will involve the creation of complex animation sequences that may hit the project budget hard.

📌 Combined video

This is a combination of two options — live footage and animation. In terms of production, combined videos are perfect for those who want to get a professional-looking video course with minimum investments. Such videos may come in different forms: these can be combinations of live footage with custom animation, screencasts, stock videos, and so on.

👉 Example of live and animation combination:

Now we’ve covered three basic options you can choose from when creating an e-learning video. If you need more information, be sure to check our educational video production guide where we look at all the possible video production options in greater detail 👇

WE PROVIDE E-LEARNING VIDEO PRODUCTION SERVICES FOR EDUCATORS, CORPORATIONS, AND COURSE DESIGNERS

How to Create E-learning Videos: Step-by-step Production Process

The development of each e-learning project normally undergoes three main phases — pre-production, production, and post-production phase. Some processes may go in parallel, and some may be merged, but generally, the e-learning project pipeline will look like this:

1️⃣ Pre-production

This is where all the preparation work happens. The production team analyzes project needs, outlines the profile of the target audience, sets learning objectives, and gathers information from subject matter experts (SMEs). During this stage, the team also outlines the e-learning course structure and defines how the knowledge will be delivered to the learners — what video types and styles will be used, etc. For more information about choosing a video type for online courses read here.

2️⃣ Production

In this stage, the team establishes the visual stylistics of the project — particular rules that will be followed during the development of visual assets — and proceeds to create all the necessary visual elements and objects: graphics, illustrations, animation sequences, 3D models, and so on. If the project involves the creation of live video, it is recorded either by a team (with the help of SMEs) or by the client themselves and then handed to the team for further editing. 

3️⃣ Post-production

In the final phase of the e-learning video creation process, the course producers carry out a quality assurance (QA) session to ensure that the project isn’t missing any assets, core messages, etc. It should be noted that similar QA sessions are carried out during the preceding production steps too.

👉 During the post-production, the client also reviews the final result and requests the team to make edits to the project, if any are required. 

WE PROVIDE E-LEARNING VIDEO PRODUCTION SERVICES FOR EDUCATORS, CORPORATIONS, AND COURSE DESIGNERS

How Much Does It Cost to Produce E-learning Videos: Estimation and Budgets

When assessing the budget needed to build e-learning videos it’s necessary to keep in mind that production costs don’t come as a fixed price tag. They are dependent on several factors, such as subject complexity, type of video, and its projected length, as well as extra requirements that may be set for this project.

  • Subject complexity — the more complex the subject, the more advanced the visual means (i.e. animation) need to be to explain it to the target audience. Plus, the more advanced animation gets, the more time it takes to produce it.
  • Type and length of a video — the production costs directly depend on the type of the e-learning video. The video recorded in a home studio and enhanced with some animation overlays will be much more affordable compared to a course shot in a professional studio and enhanced with 3D animation.
  • Additional requirements — to this category fall all the requirements that may come from the client regarding the course, such as the request to localize a course for several languages, record different voiceovers, and make the course compliant with some region- or niche-specific regulations.

Even though it may be difficult to predict some values regarding the costs of an e-learning video production, we still can list a few reference points that could help you better assess your potential expenses. Here is a breakdown of the prices of animated videos:

E-learning videos for medical companies — $680 per minute of produced video content (full-cycle).

E-learning videos on data privacy design — $700 per minute of produced video content (full-cycle).

Training videos for a consulting company — $715 per minute of produced video content (full-cycle).

Educational мideos for Ozone Manufacturer — $915 per minute of produced video content (full-cycle).

👉 Aside from that, if we’re talking about videos recorded live, these start from $50 per minute for home/on-site studios and $100 per minute for professional studios. For more detailed information on how the animated video budgets are formed, check our article here. 

Consider Blue Carrot Your Trusted Partner

For more than 8 years, Blue Carrot has been producing e-learning content for different companies, organizations, education facilities, and NGOs. Acquired expertise allows our team to effectively tackle any subject, regardless of its complexity. This can be seen in the videos in our portfolio, as well as the following two examples.

🔹 LerNetz

A project that was carried out for LerNetz, an e-learning agency from Switzerland. They reached out to us with a request to develop a training video course for their client — an insurance company that was in the middle of updating its sales strategy. The client wanted to get a series of video lessons that would educate their sales managers on advanced sales tactics and allow them to increase sales of their insurance packages.

Within two months, our team produced six video lessons in full HD. Several production teams and multiple translators were engaged in this project, which allowed us to 1) create the complex project on time, and 2) produce e-learning videos that will be distributed over multiple European regions. The client was extremely happy with the result we delivered. 

🔹 IRI

An e-learning video course produced by Blue Carrot for the International Republican Institute (IRI) comprising 11 video lessons (63 min. of content in total). The project included whiteboard animation (34 min.), animated overlays (24 min.), live footage (5 min.), and 26 unique illustrations.

With this project, our team encountered a few challenges. The first one was a very tight delivery timeline. Thus, to keep up with the schedule, all 11 videos were developed in parallel.

Another challenge was the course subject itself — in order to be able to create e-learning videos on the principles of democratic society development, our team had to learn all the concepts of political science and political theory within a very limited timeframe. We successfully pulled off this task and delivered a product that fully met the expectations of the IRI team.

Final Thoughts

The main objective of any e-learning project is to produce tangible results. It doesn’t matter whether you create an expensive educational video in a professional studio or come up with a homemade video with some basic animation. The goals you set for the project should always come first, serving as a guideline for the development process. And if you’re interested in technical recommendations on how to create videos for e-learning, you can always check the articles posted regularly on our blog. 

If you still have some questions, aren’t sure why to use video in e-learning, or simply want to create e-learning animation videos and are looking for a reputable production agency, contact us! Blue Carrot has the experience producing small, mid-sized, and large (10+ hours of training content) projects.

FAQ 🤔

How long does it take to create a single e-learning video?

It depends on the size of the project, its complexity, and the number of resources you have at your disposal for its completion. Obviously, it will take less time to produce a tutorial video with a screencast compared to a project of the same length that includes advanced 2D animation.

Similar logic can be applied to the available resources. A single hour-long project can be carried out within a week or may take a month — depending on how many professionals are involved in a production process. For more information on how to make e-learning videos, please contact our managers. 

Can I add changes to the initial concept during the project production?

Normally, we discourage our clients from making significant changes in the concept as they will lead to an increase in the initial budget. Video production agencies — including our team — work according to the Waterfall methodology, which means that each subsequent step in the development process is based on the results of the previous one.

This means that if we add any changes to the initial concept it may make all the work done to date irrelevant. At the same time, to ensure that the project stays aligned with the client’s vision and objectives, we offer 1 to 2 revision rounds at each stage of the production process where we can introduce minor edits to the e-learning video. 

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