Learn a Simple Approach to Creating an Online Video Course
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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.
4.5 (6 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
379 students enrolled
Created by Vickie Maris
Last updated 9/2017
Current price: $12 Original price: $30 Discount: 60% off
4 days left at this price!
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  • 1 hour on-demand video
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What Will I Learn?
  • Be confident in the creation of DIY (do it yourself) direct-to-camera or "talking head" videos for a course or video channel 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 or video channels.
View Curriculum
  • 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.)

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!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for the person who would like to add direct-to-camera or "talking head" videos to a course or video channel, and who would like to make them in a DIY approach. The videos in the course are shot using an iPhone and tripod to demo the use of a simple setup for making videos. 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.
Compare to Other Video Creation Courses
Curriculum For This Course
33 Lectures
Planning Your First Online Video Course
14 Lectures 32:48

This is my introduction to the course and my explanation of the various scenes you will see throughout the videos. These videos are DIY (do it yourself) and demonstrate a simple setup and a quick way to get started in creating a video series. 

Preview 02:00

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

Section Overview

Let me introduce myself. I am Vickie Maris. I'm happy to share about my background in this video and why I love helping you create digital content - in particular, online courses. For additional learning, I invite you to subscribe to my podcast, Online Course Connections. I interview experts in digital content creation and share tips about designing online courses while keeping the learning outcome and students in mind.

Preview 01:11

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, your own website, or to your favorite platform. Provide a link in the discussion forum so that I can visit, and so that others in the class can see your video and get to know you. You can set the video to private if you don't want to share it beyond the course.

[Activity] Introduce Yourself

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-front 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.

Preview 02:34

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.

Choosing a Topic For Your First Online Course

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

Choosing a Video Format

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.

Preview 01:29

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.

[Bonus] Watch a Sample Interview-Format Lecture Video

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.

When to Record Your Promo Video

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

Grab Attention Right Away

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.

What Content Should I Cover?

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.

How to Leave a Rating and Review | Benefits of Providing Feedback

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

Section 1 Quiz
3 questions

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

That's a Wrap for Section 1
Tech Tools and Tips for Improving Your Course Video Quality
12 Lectures 25:43

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

Preview 00:42

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

Preview 02:45

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.

Try a Variety of Setups and Backgrounds

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

Smiling to Engage Students

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

Difference in Lighting

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.

Preview 02:43

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

Reducing Noise Distractions While Recording

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.

Understand Your Smartphone Mics

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

Inexpensive Alternative to a Lavalier Mic

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!

Take a Still Photo First

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.

[Activity] Review Inventory of Tools, Then Create Your Own Inventory

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

Wrap-Up | Activity and Section
Making Your Course Production Efficient
5 Lectures 06:46

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

Preview 00:26

As the number of videos in your inventory grows and your audience expands, you'll be glad you follow this tip for repurposing videos.

Repurposing Videos

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

Labeling Your Video Files

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.

Quick Tip About Deleting Blooper Files

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

Lean Production of Talking Head Videos
3 questions

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.

Preview 01:07
Bonus Content
2 Lectures 06:18

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.

Bonus Lecture: Example of Video Recorded With Too Much Ambient Sound

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!

Bonus Lecture: Why I Recorded Talking Head (or Direct to Camera) Videos
About the Instructor
Vickie Maris
4.7 Average rating
15 Reviews
1,015 Students
3 Courses
MS Ed; instructional designer, speaker, podcaster, author

Award-winning for team leadership and course design in a Big 10 university, Vickie's online courses 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 a digital content strategist, keynote speaker, podcaster and author who focuses her efforts in helping people design and implement meaningful learning experience that help customers solve problems. 

One of Vickie's courses, which features tips for live broadcasting on 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 using direct-to-camera videos. 

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 then 93-year-old mom, Lucille, about life married to Vickie's dad, Jim, and their stories of life during the war. 

Vickie is a fanatic about making learning interesting and about keeping course content simple. You can learn more from her when you subscribe to her podcasts, Online Course Connections and Heartsong Fit, and read her blog. She is also interactive in her courses here in Udemy in the discussion forums, so don't hesitate to ask questions. If you prefer live broadcasts, please connect with her in Facebook at vjmaris or on Periscope at vickiemaris.