Learn a Simple Approach to Creating an Online Video Course

Plan and implement your first online course. Tips & tools to use in making videos for Udemy courses & other platforms.
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  • Lectures 36
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 11/2015 English

Course Description

This course is designed for the entrepreneur, business owner or instructor who is new to creating an online video course. You will find these tips and techniques applicable for creating direct-to-camera videos for a Udemy course or for creating instructional videos for other platforms. Emphasis is placed on using a simple recording setup and creating videos using equipment that you likely already have in your home or office.

Many of these tips and tricks will also serve those who are doing live streaming video with Facebook Live, Blab or Periscope. 

Instructor Vickie Maris, whose Periscope course was featured in the Udemy blog, is an online course designer with over a decade of experience in a Big 10 institution as well as a musical entertainer and farm girl. She begins in this course with getting you to think about whether an online video course is the right medium for connecting with your customers, and will give you some tips about video production that will help you get rolling.

The course is particularly focused towards the person who is daunted by the use of video recording equipment and not sure where to start. Vickie demonstrates, through the way she created videos for the course, how to record quality videos in a simple way that have great potential for quick approval by the Udemy team. 

The section on tips, tools, and techniques is bursting full of helpful hints that will make this journey easier for the first-time online video course creator.

She wraps up the course with time-saving techniques for recording and working with files that will turn you into a lean operation when it comes to course content production!

Join the over 1000 students who have already enrolled in one of Vickie's courses in Udemy!

What are the requirements?

  • Students will want to begin taking inventory of the equipment they have on hand for recording a talking head video. This list will be further developed as an activity in the course. It will be helpful for a student to have a smartphone or simple digital camera that records video in order to get the most out of the tips learned in the lectures and activities in this course. An external mic, that pairs with student's recording device, to improve audio quality of video recordings will also be a desired tool to have for this course. (Examples of mics to go with smartphones: Lavalier mic that plugs into smartphone earphone port or an earbud microphone.)

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Be confident in the creation of talking head videos for an online course using simple equipment.
  • Take inventory of existing video recording equipment and determine what, if any, additional recording tools need to be acquired.
  • Spot areas for creating efficiency in creation of video content for online courses.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course about simple tools and techniques for creating talking head videos for an online course is geared towards entrepreneurs and business owners who don't have experience creating videos for courses or who feel daunted by the process of creating an online, video course. This course is probably not for the person who is comfortable shooting videos with professional-level equipment or who is already experienced in creating talking-head videos for an online course.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Planning Your First Online Video Course

Learn about the instructor's reason for shooting her talking head videos in different scenes - both indoors and out. This talking head video and a of the remains videos accept Lecture 15, are created with an iPhone 6 Plus smartphone and Rode lavalier mic


Instructor Vickie Maris provides an introduction to the course and shares what she would like for you to take away from the experience.


Learn what is coming up in the following lectures in Section 1.


Meet your instructor, Vickie Maris, and learn about her background. You can also become a subscriber to Vickie's podcast, Online Learning Connections, in which she shares tips about online course creation and how to connect with students in an online environment. The podcast is available through iTunes.


Vickie asks each student in the course to create a video introduction and share.

Instructions: At this stage, don't worry about creating a course-quality video. Simply create a short video (less than a minute) to provide your background, interests and why you've selected this course. Post it to your YouTube channel, Vimeo or Wistia account. You can set it to private and provide a link in the discussion forum so only those in the course would have access to the link.


This is a good point to consider whether or not an online course is right for your students or customers. Vickie talks you through the reasons for giving this consideration before you jump in to creating your course.


In this lecture, I encourage you to take online courses as you begin preparing for creating and teaching in online courses.

This is one of the methods I use to stay on top of the technical teaching tools available, and to get ideas from other course designers and instructors. You're off to a great start by being in this course in Udemy. If you'd like to see an interview-style course, you can check some of the "preview" videos in my Udemy course about World War 2 home from history. I included a sample video from that course in this course as well.

There are many other course platforms to consider. It's a great idea to take courses in a variety of learning environments.


You'll learn several different approaches for deciding on a topic for your first online course. If you're stuck and can't seem to get started, this video will give you a few ideas for getting rolling on a topic.


There are several formats for online courses. Let's talk about the options.


I talk about why I like to shoot some of my "talking head" videos outdoors and how to prepare for the ambient sound of that type of environment.


Here is a sample lecture from one of my other courses in Udemy, Aviator's Wife Tells of Life on the Home Front During World War 2. This video demonstrates two concepts for video production, 1) the interview style lecture video; 2) using content experts to add details about a subject.


The timing of when to record your promo video is pretty important. Be sure you watch this video before getting too far in with course content production.


You have very little time to get and keep the attention of your viewers. Learn about the best timing in this video lecture.


In this lecture, I demonstrate that you can continue adding lectures to your online course even while you're away on vacation. A simple recording setup makes for convenient video creation.


Here's an approach for how to get ideas of what content you should include in your course. Or perhaps you'd like to update your course and you're looking for ideas of what lectures to add. Check out this technique for using the search function to discover course topics as well as browsing your course and other course reviews for input from students.


This lecture is to clear up any uncertainty you might have about how to leave a rating and review for a course in Udemy. I also discuss how to edit a review that you've already written. Instructors really value the content in reviews as it helps us improve our courses for you and students who may enroll in the future.

3 questions

Please take these quiz questions as a review of content in Section 1.


I share some concluding thoughts for Section 1 in this lecture. Are you ready for the next section?

Section 2: Tech Tools and Tips for Improving Your Course Video Quality

Here I set the stage for what you'll be learning in this section of the course about tech tips and tools.


I describe my very simple video recording setup that I used for making these lectures.


In this lecture, I make the suggestion to try out a variety of backgrounds or stagings for your video recording area. This can provide variety for your students. And, if you're new to recording videos for a course, this can give you experience with several settings that will enable you to decide which is the best for your type of course and the needs of your students.


Smiling is a simple, free, technique for better engaging the viewers of your videos. Give it a try!


This interesting video shows how the scene changes when lights are removed, then added.


This is a fun demo where I show you the importance of looking into the lens and not the screen if you're using a smartphone or tablet to record.


You can reduce your editing by setting up your recording session in an area where the noise distractions will be non-existent or minimal.


It's important to know how your smartphone mics a scene - either from your front-facing or rear-facing camera/mic - if you're using your smartphone or tablet to record your videos.


If you can’t afford a lavalier mic or other type of external mic, don’t forget your earbud mic that came with your smartphone!


Learn a handy tip about shooting a still photo of your video scene before you press "record" or "broadcast." The photo can help you discover things you might want to adjust with your clothing, hair, jewelry, mic placement, background, lighting, and more. Plus, the still photo can be valuable for use as a promo about your video or broadcast, or it can be used to create a custom thumbnail for your video!


Learn how to do the activity for this section which will help you take stock of the equipment you have and that which you might need to acquire.


This is the wrap-up of the activity and of the section.

Section 3: Making Your Course Production Efficient

I'm excited to have you learn these time-saving tips in this section of the course.


As the number of your online courses grows, you'll be glad you follow this tip for repurposing videos.


Here is a helpful hint about creating very descriptive file names for your electronic files of course content.


If you delete your bad blooper files right after you've created them, it will save you time later since you won't have to review them as you're naming files.

3 questions

Let's review tips and techniques for keeping your production of talking head videos as efficient as possible.


As I include this section and also the course, I encourage you to get started creating your own talking head videos for your online course, website, YouTube channel or other platform.

Section 4: Bonus Content

This video was purposefully recorded in an outdoor setting with too much ambient sound - birds chirping, vehicles passing by - to demonstrate how ambient sound during a teaching video can be distracting.


One of my students asked me a question about why I had recorded the lectures for this course as talking head, or direct to camera, videos, so I provide an explanation in this lecture. I hope you watch this lecture and use the encouragement I provide to get started and create your first (or next) course!

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Instructor Biography

Vickie Maris, MS Ed; instructional designer, speaker, podcaster, author

Award-winning for team leadership and course design in a Big 10 university, Vickie's courses in the college have helped 1000s of people learn new skills, earn certifications and continue a path of lifelong learning. You can join those ranks when you enroll in one of her Udemy courses.

She is an instructional designer, instructor, keynote speaker, and author helping people communicate their message within their teams and among customers - through in-person events and digital media. 

Vickie's latest course, which features tips on livestreaming using the social media platform, Periscope, has been featured in the Udemy blog. Vickie also teaches a course in taking a simple approach to creating your first online video course. 

If you're interested in creating a documentary-style course or in recording your family history, then check out Vickie's course about life during World War 2. She interviews her 93-year-old mom, Lucille, about life married to a B-24 pilot during the 1940s as the war was raging. 

Vickie is a fanatic about creating and teaching with digital content and social media tools. You'll have opportunity to learn from her podcast and blog, as well as through interactions in Udemy course discussion forums, or live video streams on Facebook Live, Periscope, or Blab.

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