Writing a script can be an effective way to create concise, focused educational videos. By following a script, redundant and extraneous information can be weeded out, and you can be sure to not forget any lecture points. Scripts can reduce the stress of “being on-camera” and minimize “uh” and “um”. Furthermore, writing a script makes it much easier to incorporate effective teaching techniques such as clearly summarizing key ideas and signaling section divisions in the lecture.
Writing a script does require an investment of time and can be a daunting task. One approach is to make an audio recording of the lecture and use Panopto's ASR (automatic speech recognition feature) to create a draft script which can be then edited.
If writing a script is too time-consuming, or if reading from a script feels too artificial, at least prepare a lecture outline to refer to during recording. Outlines can help to keep things on track and avoid tangents. You may already have lecture notes included in their Powerpoint presentation, which can be accessed during recording in Presenter view.
The ideal maximum length for educational videos is 6-9 minutes. As videos go longer, student engagement decreases, this is especially important as current research indicates the widespread use of smartphones and social media reduces cognitive capacity and attention spans.
One method of shortening videos is to carefully prepare a script or outline that minimizes redundant and extraneous information. Often, however, lectures cannot be shortened without sacrificing lecture material. In such cases, it is best to find natural break points in the material to divide the lecture into chunks of about 6-9 minutes. Each chunk can be separately recorded, uploaded, and placed in a sequence in MyCourses or in Panopto playlist.