A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Short Videos for Geoscience Courses

Monday 1:30pm-4:00pm TSU - Lawson: 110
Afternoon Mini Workshop


David McConnell, North Carolina State University
A few years ago, we began creating short instructional videos for an introductory geoscience course. While we had little prior experience in making videos, previous research provided us with some principles for effective multimedia design. Our videos follow a standard format and feature conversational narration with a mix of concise text, images, demonstrations, and assessments (see https://www.youtube.com/c/geosciencevideos). Based on our experiences, we will offer some suggestions for instructors who are considering creating their own short videos. We will provide guidance on key steps in the process including identifying learning objectives, writing a script, building a storyboard, and using visuals to illustrate information. We will focus on the use of relatively basic tools for organizing information (PowerPoint), non-professional tools for capturing images (phones, cameras), and introduce participants to software for video editing and production that is relatively straightforward (Camtasia).


By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Identify some basic steps to create a short instructional video
  • Apply those steps to create an outline for a mini-video that includes a script and associated images


1:30 Welcome and introductions

  • EER_2019_video_workshop_slides.pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 2.9MB Jul15 19)
  • Identify participants goals and potential video topics
  • Option: Participants apply workshop info to brainstorm a 3-slide sequence w/script for 1-minute video storyboard

1:45 Why make videos for geoscience courses?

1:55 Cognitive theory of multimedia learning (after Mayer)

  • Dual-channels principle
  • Limited-capacity principle
  • Active-processing principle

2:15 Design goals for multimedia learning materials - Part 1

  • Reduce extraneous processing (5 principles - Coherence, Signaling, Redundancy, Spatial contiguity, Temporal contiguity)
    • Identify appropriate learning objectives
2:30 Design goals for multimedia learning materials - Part 2
  • Manage essential processing (3 principles - Segmenting, Modality, Pre-training)
    • Creating a script and visualizations
      • Break script into scenes/slides and identify suitable images etc
      • Find or create images or video clips
      • Edit script to adjust for accompanying images

2:45 Break

2:55 Design goals for multimedia learning materials - Part 3

  • Encourage effective processing (3 principles - Personalization, Voice, Embodiment)
    • Role of people in your videos

3:10 Basic technology and simple tools to create, shoot, edit and produce videos

3:25 Participants apply workshop info to brainstorm a 3-slide sequence w/script for 1-minute video storyboard

3:50 Workshop evaluation

4:00 Adjourn


List resources for potential images/video from public domain sites (USGS, NASA, etc.)

A 2014 workshop series about making geoscience videos:

Examples of Sites w/Videos:

Examples of Sites w/public domain images and/or videos Video Technology resources