Tech Fest 2012-Evolving video Instruction development
Western Illinois University Libraries Instruction Unit
As a supplement to existing library
guides and tutorials, the instruction unit
at Western Illinois Libraries developed
A fun, engaging video series which informs learners
about basic library tools, services, and concepts.
The process consists of:
• Concept design
A critical part of the learning process is the ability to
stimulate the learner’s attention and arouse interest in the
content. This can be done in a number of ways, including:
sound, graphics, and content tied to: games, fantasy, and
other aspects of human interest (Smith and Ragan, 2005).
For many net generation students technology is not
just a tool, but an extension of the self. They
participate as actors in a social network. They mix,
mash, create, and share content in a pastiche of
formats that can be used anywhere on a range of
After gaining better understanding of our audience, we realized our challenge as
instructional designers was to create a series of videos that explained the basics of
library services and research concepts that met the sensibilities of our twenty-first
The video series is built from information objects that incorporate live
digital captures, instructional and narrative dialogue, and two-
dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) animation.
Each member of our design team provides skills that play a unique part
in the overall design process, including:
• writing instruction and storylines
• capturing and editing video and screencasts
• developing digital models and effects.
Work Space (the beginning)
Like instructional designers at many schools,
our team has high aims and a shoestring
budget. To develop high quality content under
these conditions requires resourcefulness and
• DIY Approach
• Work space that was suitable as a dedicated
audio-visual production room.
• Technology grant: computers, audio/video
equipment, and software
• Initial lighting (brought in low cost
workshop and home lighting units)
• used free Internet resources to inform
production value and techniques.
• Free software add-ons, video clips, and
video effect tutorials
• make-up tutorials to teach us how to turn
students into zombies.
Each video has a distinct instructional element and learning objective
related to library and information science or services.
Planning & Design
They contain a strong and recognizable
cultural element that the audience can
We begin the planning process with
team discussion about the initial idea
and how it fits the instructional need.
Collectively, we take notes about the
main idea and specific elements
involved within the video.
We focus on using effective narrative, presentation style, & mood. We have found
through user comments that the implementation of “gags” or specific elements of
humor has made the videos more appealing. After a theme is outlined, the team will
brainstorm about ways to infuse these “gags” based on each theme
Some of the animation is done with three-dimensional (3D) modeling
software and others are just animations using a series of still images.
• Adobe After Effects
• Adobe Photoshop
• Adobe Illustrator
• Camtasia for screen recording
We are able to manipulate still images using layers in Photoshop. Once
the layers have been established, the file can be imported into and
brought to life in After Effects by animating the individual layers.
Because the process is labor intensive, 3D Modeling is typically used only when
absolutely necessary. For instance, modeling has been used in our videos when we
need to create an environment we don’t have access in our library or surrounding
area. Another case is when we need an object that doesn’t exist in the real world,
such as a time machine. Once the 3D model is complete, it is composited into the
video, as part of the overall design scheme.
High-definition video camera
• Previous camera compliments of CITR
• Recently purchased Nikon D3100
2-high-end laptops (which lets us digitize content to achieve a professional look and
All video segments are captured in high definition at the 1920x1440 pixel ratio.
export our videos in H.264 format using the “YouTube Widescreen HD” setting,
• Included in the post production process are measures to ensure that our videos
are color corrected, synced, and color graded to create consist tone.
Equally important are processes designed to ensure audio quality. We usually spend the
last two days during each video project to focus strictly on audio elements of the videos.
• mix all narration and dialogue
• locate royalty free sound clips.
• mix in background music that will fit in with the overall mood or theme of the
• American Library Association Information Literacy
• Library Information Technology forums.
• Educational Technology Forum of Illinois
Education continues to move towards point-of-need web instruction to
meet the demands of an increasingly mobile learner audience.
The move to a viral video instruction format holds promise as means to
meet the demand.
Social media sites and Do-It-Yourself development methods have eased the
transition by providing a method for designing, distributing, and
connecting users to content in a versatile format that crosses platforms and
meets increasingly frugal constraints. But like the meme, the method and
mentality of online instruction is impacted by the cultural aspects of
teaching, technology, and signs of the time that carry it forward.