I took a class as a high school senior called “Digital Video Design” and rocked it! I mean, I wasn’t that great at it, but I definitely had fun. We got to host a live morning announcements show every morning. For this show, we produced “field” stories where I interviewed students about dances and other “controversies”. Sometimes these videos were instructional, but not often put together with learning objectives or goals.
Nine years later, I have produced my first “effective” instructional video: Creating a gay Friendly Culture
As an assignment for Creative Designs for Instructional Materials, I addressed perspectives in being gay and creating a gay culture by interviewing three gay men. Prior to interviewing, I outlined my goals and created an interview template to guide the video in production and purpose. The target audience for this video were my general social media connections and networks. I chose this audience to keep the video broad reaching and maintain high potential exposure. My hope was that many of my connections would watch and some might share.
I made seven deliberate design decisions in creating this video to apply my instructional design knowledge. I evolved in my experience in intentional design and conscious implementation. Here are the decisions I made:
- Concrete Interview Questions: I asked a clearly directional last question at the end of the interview. This question was “What are three things people can do to create a more gay friendly culture in your community?” This was effective in giving the audience clear call-to-action.
- Credibility through First Hand Points of View: Although I have many LGBT connections, I am heterosexual and could not speak from first hand experience of being gay; therefore, I interviewed men who were gay or queer and had advocated for gay rights continually throughout the past few years. They knew what it was like to be gay and held a higher authority of knowledge than me.
- Uplifting Music Selection: I deliberately chose music that was inspiring to create an emotional cue of inspiration and action. The emotion of the video was happy and proud. The purpose here was to shed light not a shadow on this social issue. I believe it worked well to have a medium tempo, guitar and drum melody behind the interviewees’ comments. In addition, music often enhances engagement in interviews or instructional videos (Tom Kuhlman, Dec. 1, 2009, Rapid E-Learning Blog).
- Video Frame Variety: A variety of angles are typically included in videos to maintain audience interest and take advantage of periodic visual cues. My video footage was a constant capture without framing changes. I made cropping edits in post-production to provide the variety in video frames. In addition, all three of the interviewees had different backgrounds and settings. This provided some of the angle variety needed to maintain interest.
- On-Screen Words (Banners): I used on-screen text to enhance audience understanding of the questions and names of interviewees. The interviews were meant to be as natural as possible, so I did not record myself asking the questions during filming or interrupt to ask the questions with the microphone. I used this on-screen text to provide a reminder of the questions and transition between video segments since I was not included in the footage.
- Interview Question Sequencing: I wrote the questions and delivered them in the order I planned to ask them of the interviewees. The questions switched between uplifting and more depressing in nature. By switching between the two moods, I was sure to have balance between the two. This also provided a bit of learning scaffolding and in some cases may provide a predictive quality for the learner. If the interviews were longer, it would have been more apparent.
- Used Omnidirectional Microphone:
In previous video work, I learned sound can be a large issue in post production. To alleviate some background noise I utilized a clip microphone. Because I was using my iPad for filming, this clip microphone plugged directly into the iPad. This was to eliminate this background noise and ensure the interviewees’ voices were the majority of the sound for the video.
The Video: Creating a Gay Friendly Culture
Stay tuned for a lessons learned on video production. I learned a lot about using an iPad and microphone for video production and will share this insight in a future post.
You can view this project on my corresponding portfolio page: Creative Designs for Instructional Materials.