April 3, 2023

Best Practices for Creating Short Engaging Healthcare Educational Videos

Scott Wright, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor, Instructional Design

In the age of online learning, healthcare educational professionals are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to engage students through digital mediums. One of the most effective tools for conveying healthcare information concisely and memorably is through short educational videos. However, creating engaging videos from your home office space can take time and effort. In this article, we will discuss the best practices for creating short educational videos that are informative and captivating for your audience. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your videos will be a valuable resource for your students and viewers alike. Additionally, we explore the tools required for making high-quality educational videos, like video software, USB microphones, and key lights.


Engaging Students through Short Educational Videos

Engaging students and viewers is essential for effective learning outcomes when creating healthcare educational videos. Recent peer-reviewed journal research has found that incorporating interactive elements into educational videos can significantly increase student engagement and retention. In a study published in Medical Education Online in 2021, researchers found that using interactive features, such as quizzes and polls, in educational videos led to higher levels of engagement and improved learning outcomes. Additionally, research published in the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions in 2018 suggests that humor and other engaging methods, such as animations or simulations, can improve viewer engagement and learning outcomes. Additionally, research published in the Journal of Educational Psychology in 2019 showed that shorter video lengths, combined with concise and relevant content, can improve viewer attention and retention of information.


The Power of Storytelling in Educational Videos

Storytelling elements are another effective technique for creating engaging educational videos. A study involving nursing students in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health from 2021 discussed how incorporating narrative elements into instructional videos can enhance student engagement and understanding of complex medical concepts.

When creating an educational video that utilizes storytelling, following a few basic steps can be helpful. First, identify the key concepts or information you want to convey to the viewer. Then, think about how you can present that information as a story. This could involve creating characters, setting a scene, and establishing a narrative arc. Once your story is in place, integrate the critical information you want to convey into the plot naturally and seamlessly. Finally, use visual and auditory cues, such as music and sound effects, to enhance the story’s emotional impact and help learners connect with the material on a deeper level.


Best Practices for Creating Effective Educational Videos

Creating educational videos that effectively engage and educate viewers is a critical component of modern healthcare education. Recent research emphasizes the importance of developing well-planned and meticulously executed videos. One best practice is to create a detailed script and storyboard to guide the video production process. This can help ensure that the video covers all necessary information and stays focused on the topic. Another best practice is to avoid distractions during the filming and editing process. Distracting visual or auditory elements, such as background music or flashy graphics, can decrease the effectiveness of educational videos. It’s also essential to balance the length of the video with the amount of information presented. A study by Kim et al. (2014) suggests that shorter, more concise videos are generally more effective at engaging and educating viewers. Aim for a video length of 6 to 9 minutes, as a study by Guo et al. (2014) found that this duration leads to the best retention of information.


Essential Tools for Creating High-Quality Educational Videos

One of the best practices for creating such videos is to use user-friendly and intuitive video software. iMovie is a popular video editing software for Mac users that offers a range of features and tools for creating high-quality videos. Loom is a cloud-based video recording and sharing platform known for its easy use and simple interface. Camtasia is another video editing software widely used in the education and training industry, offering advanced editing features and tools for creating interactive and engaging videos. While each software option may have a slight learning curve, they all provide extensive resources and support to help users learn how to use the software effectively.

Creating high-quality educational or training videos requires attention to detail and investment in the right tools, including a good USB microphone. Some of the best USB microphones currently available for home video production include the Blue Yeti, Shure MV5, and Amazon Basics Desktop Mini Condenser Microphone. These microphones offer high-quality sound recording and are user-friendly, making them ideal for those new to video production. According to a study by Ibe and Abamuche (2021), high-quality audio is essential for effective video content in education. The Blue Yeti, for example, offers multiple recording modes and easy-to-use controls, while the Shure MV5 features a compact design and intuitive interface. The Amazon Basics Desktop Mini Condenser Microphone is a budget-friendly option that still offers quality sound recording.

One crucial element of creating compelling videos is lighting. Key lights like the Elgato Keylight Mini, Joby Beamo Ringlight, and Logitech Litra Glow are among the best options for home video production. When choosing lighting for educational videos, it’s essential to consider factors like color temperature and adjustability. Each of these lights has its strengths, with the Elgato Keylight Mini offering remote control and the Joby Beamo Ringlight providing smartphone app control. The Logitech Litra Glow is compact and portable, making it perfect for on-the-go video production.


The Importance of Using Royalty-Free Resources

Using visuals like graphics, photos, and videos can enhance learning and engagement when creating educational or training videos. However, it’s important to use royalty-free resources to avoid copyright infringement. Websites like Pexels.com, Pixabay, Bensound, and Soundstripe offer a wide selection of free and premium royalty-free music, clipart, and videos. When using these resources, it’s essential to check the license agreement and ensure they are appropriate for your intended use. Best practices include using graphics and photos to illustrate key concepts, using background music sparingly and appropriately to enhance the mood or tone of the video, and incorporating videos to demonstrate or illustrate a concept. Each of the royalty-free websites mentioned has its unique features and selection, with Pexels and Pixabay offering a vast selection of free images and videos, Bensound specializing in music, and Soundstripe offering a curated selection of high-quality music with easy licensing options.


Making Your Educational Videos Accessible

It’s essential to make your educational videos accessible to all learners. Closed captions and transcripts are essential for those with hearing impairments or those learning in a noisy environment. YouTube, Vimeo, and other video hosting platforms offer automatic closed captioning, but it’s essential to manually review and correct the captions for accuracy. Other tools like Descript and Rev are also available for captioning and transcription. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure the video player is accessible and user-friendly for those with disabilities.

In conclusion, educational videos can be an effective tool for engaging students and conveying healthcare information. Following the best practices mentioned above, you can create informative and captivating videos for your audience. Remember to make your videos accessible to all learners and use royalty-free resources to avoid copyright infringement. You can create high-quality educational videos that benefit your students and viewers with the right tools and techniques.


Educational Video Spec Sheet. (PDF)
Information related to Video Editing Software, Microphones, Lighting, Royalty Free Media Resources and Closed Captioning Tools.

Bordes, S. J., Walker, D., Modica, L. J., Buckland, J., & Sobering, A. K. (2021). Towards the optimal use of video recordings to support the flipped classroom in medical school basic sciences education. Medical Education Online, 26(1), 1841406. https://doi.org/10.1080/10872981.2020.1841406

Donlan P. (2019). Use of the Online Discussion Board in Health Professions Education: Contributions, Challenges, and Considerations. The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions. Spring 2019;39(2):124-129. DOI: 10.1097/ceh.0000000000000252. PMID: 30998568.

Guo, P. J., Kim, J., & Rubin, R. (2015). How video production affects student engagement: an empirical study of MOOC videos. L@ S ‘14 Proceedings of the first ACM conference on Learning@ Scale Conference. 2014. https://doi.org/10.1145/2556325.2566239

Ibe, E., & Abamuche, J. (2019). Effects of audiovisual technological aids on students’ achievement and interest in secondary school biology in Nigeria. Heliyon, 5(6), e01812. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01812

Kim, J., Guo, P. J., Seaton, D. T., Mitros, P., Gajos, K. Z., & Miller, R. C. (2014). Understanding in-video dropouts and interaction peaks in online lecture videos. ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale. https://doi.org/10.1145/2556325.2566237

Rodríguez-Almagro, J., Prado-Laguna, M. D. C., Hernández-Martínez, A., Monzón-Ferrer, A., Muñoz-Camargo, J. C., & Martín-Lopez, M. (2021). The impact on nursing students of creating audiovisual material through digital storytelling as a teaching method. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(2), 694. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020694