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Montage of stick man images showing different video editing steps

Summary and references 

Making an effective video for learning does not need to be complicated. In fact, reducing complexity is best, and this is a recurring theme throughout the series; ‘keeping it simple’ follows the cognitive load principle, helping to make your educational video as accessible as possible, while also helping students to better assimilate or take on relevant learning material. It is hoped that this design approach will minimise time spent on distracting supplementary material and help maintain the focus on content that is key to learning. 

Stick man with information going into head

Our aim in this series was not to put constraints on the already time pressured academic but to provide evidence based practical advice to help you create effective learning materials, regardless of limited resources and experience. 

When embarking on your next video project, consider some of the key takeaways and ask yourself: 

  • What is the purpose of this recording? 
  • What level is the student at? 
  • Audio matters – use a mic and as quite an environment as possible 
  • Is this the type of video that would benefit from storyboard planning?
  • Breakdown your content
  •  Could a script help you stay on track? 
  • Is this going to make the recording accessible? 
  • Face the light, look at the lens and be at eye level 
  • Do we need this elaborate; diagram, anecdote, cutaway, video… 
  • A video is better than no video 

Making this series has been a thought-provoking experience for us. Not only does it bring to question the whole approach of creating educational videos, but it also highlights our role in imparting advice to the academic community. If you have some other key areas you would like us to consider, which could be included in a revised series in the future, then please let us know by commenting below. 

References and further reading 

Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia learning (2nd ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. 

The Segmenting Principle technique – Blog post by By Andrew DeBell – “How to use Mayer’s 12 Principles of Multimedia [Examples Included]”
Cognitive Load Theory – Blog post by Galen Davis and Marie Norman – “Principles of Multimedia Learning”
Learning Scientists, Retrieval Practice and Processing from THE LEARNING SCIENTISTS – Creative Commons
Concrete Examples
Mayer’s 12 principles of multimedia learning – Blog post by By Andrew DeBell “How to use Mayer’s 12 Principles of Multimedia [Examples Included]”
Effects of Seductive Details on Learning and Memory – A Reflection From the blog post & talk from  Dr Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel from the University of Glasgow (formerly from UoD
Signposting– From previous ABC Learning X
Acquisition– From previous ABC Learning X
sequence and layoutFrom previous design& layout Learning X
Paper Creating and using instructional videos in university teaching: Answers to common questions – By Dominik Lukes: 

Links to editing and recording resources
YouTube links:


Cognitive Load Theory: Structuring Learning Materials for Maximum Retention

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