Video Creation Tools and Advice

Recently, I had two colleagues email for ideas on how to assign their students video creation tools. They needed it to be a group collaboration for an advertisement for pharmaceutical drugs.

So, I went to work. In my search, I came across many tools (i.e Animoto ) that seemed promising, but either cost money or didn’t seem reliable. After digging for a few hours, I went back to my original tools: iMovie and Adobe Spark.

In the end, most of undergraduate students are likely to be more interested in knowing your learning content, for my example it was pharmaceutical drugs, than becoming video production experts. So, guiding them through getting their video clips and putting them together is ideal for this situation. For this situation, the students need easy-to-use and free tools to make their videos and submit their assignments.

Tools for Creation


Picture by Wesley Fryer at, Used with CC License 2.0

I cannot recommend iMovie enough as a free and easy-to-learn software. If you have access to an Apple device, especially an iPad, it’s extremely easy to learn iMovie. In reality, I haven’t come across a tool that is as easy-to-use and as robust as iMovie.

Price – Free in the App Store on Apple devices

Video Tutorial – VidProMom’s video “How Import GoPro Clips to iMovie and Set up a Project

  • The first 3 minutes she talks about her file organization. From there she gives a tutorial on iMovie.
  • Cheat Sheet from VidProMom on iMovie

iMovie User Support


Photo by mohamed_hassan on, Used with CC0 license

I’ve never used Videoshop, but it seems to be a good alternative to iMovie if you do not have access to an Apple device.

Price – Free for Android users to download from the Google Play store.

Video Tutorial – KingYaadii’s video “HOW TO: EDIT YOUTUBE VIDEOS ON ANDROID PHONE 2016

Videoshop User Support – Unfound

Adobe Spark

This tool allows you to combine photos and videos with voiceover and music in a free app. It’s easy to use and easy to share.

Photo by fancycrave1 on, Used with CC0 license

Price  – Free, although there is a premium version if you need branding and custom design elements for $9.99/mo

Video Tutorial – Neemo Ofurhie’s video “Adobe Spark Tutorial – Make a Classy Video for Free Online

Adobe Spark Guide

Tools for Sharing Videos


Photo by StockSnap on, Used with CC0 license

By far the most reliable and effective way to share videos with students and between students. I recommend YouTube because it is something we can usually embed in Canvas or other LMSs easily. Also, students tend to be familiar with YouTube which decreases their potential learning curve with the technology.

  • If your students are not using Adobe Spark, then YouTube is your best bet for sharing videos. They’ll have to set-up an account with YouTube (or use their Google sign-in) and share the link or embed the video into a Canvas Discussion/Assignment.

For any assignment where students are turning in something via YouTube, I highly recommend having them change the video privacy settings to be unlisted and public. This is so they can share the URL while still allowing anyone (i.e. you and the class) to view while keeping it out of search engine results. The latter is important if this assignment is done every term and keeps future students from drawing ideas or inspiration from past students without your guidance.

YouTube Privacy Settings Manual

I hope this was helpful. Feel free to add your own insights in comments.



Cover image by ElisaRiva on