Instructional Video


Instructional videos can be used to introduce new skills, knowledge or behavior to be learned or reinforced. There are countless styles of instructional videos, but determining the form that best suits the needs of your audience will help you to organize your content and give you better direction when constructing your video content. Know who you’re trying to reach and plan your approach before you develop your script to avoid producing a video that’s out-of-touch with your intended audience.

Here is an example of a compelling Instructional Video:


Getting Started

YOUR PURPOSE:  Before starting your instructional video, make sure you have an understanding of your target audience and your purpose behind creating the tutorial:

  • WHO are you looking to educate and inform?
  • WHAT are you looking to educate and inform about?
  • WHY are you looking to educate and inform?


YOUR FORMAT:  There are many different types of instructional video formats you can use, but depending on what you are looking to communicate, you’ll probably find that one type is more suitable for your needs over another.  The most important thing is choosing a format that will  keep your audience engaged; here are some ideas that have been proven effective in that:

  • Talking Head: Videos that intersperse a live person with slides are more engaging than slides alone. Something like this.
  • Drawing/Animated Notes: Khan-style tablet drawing tutorials are more engaging than PowerPoint slides or screencasts. Something like this, or this.
  • Animation: Eye-catching graphics play an important role in making videos both accessible and entertaining. There are different kinds of animation you could use, here are a few examples:
    • Pictures or GIFs: something like this.
    • Clay: something like this.
    • Toys/Action-Figures: something like this.
    • Paper Cut-Out: something like this, or this.
  • Real-World Setting: Videos that go outside of a classroom or studio setting enable the audience to see a particular topic in action. Something like this.


YOUR PROCESS: When you’re ready to get started, the following steps can guide you through the process of creating an instructional video:

Plan Your Video

  • Consider your audience & choose a format that will engage them.
  • Determine learning goals: What are the key takeaways for your viewers?
  • Write your script:  Keep in mind, bite-sized videos are better & more engaging.  The most compelling videos are short and to the point, like this one.
  • Select a date & location for your practice run and video shoot.

Helpful Hints

  • Pique Curiosity: If the introduction of a video piques curiosity, the viewer will be more likely to follow through with the entire presentation. This is why many educational YouTube channels craft their titles and opening segments to draw the audience in. Like this, and this.
  • Host Personality: The success of educational videos owes a lot to the charisma of their hosts. Regardless of how interesting the subject is on its own, the ability of the speaker to make both the subject and themselves more interesting makes a big difference in how viewers respond.
  • Information: Present corresponding words and pictures together rather than separately. Audiences better understand an explanation when corresponding words and pictures are presented at the same time than when they are separated in time.
  • Sound: Use auditory narration rather than as visual on-screen text. Text and animation simultaneously can overload visual processing.
  • Length: Use few rather than many extraneous words and pictures. People learn better from coherent summaries that highlight relevant words and pictures.

Ensure the Quality

  • Review the video with necessary team members, and then edit accordingly. Consider adding closed captions to your video; in addition to assisting disabled viewers, this also optimizes your video for Google search results.
  • Use accurate data
  • Credit your sources


Resources For Creating Instructional Videos



Google Slides


Haiku Deck


Slide Presenter

Adobe Spark

Shadow Puppet

30 Hands

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