Engaging Instructional Video Ideas For Amazing Online Courses

Aug 7, 2018eLearning tips, instructional design tips, video-based learning0 comments

Thanks to e-learning’s many advantages, there are a growing number of online courses that are compatible with every e-student’s need. In these virtual classes, instructional videos have been one of the most enjoyable methods for both e-tutors and students to take part in. Especially for the latter, as instructional videos allow them to easily (and quickly) access new information on their own prior to returning to class and grab the concepts in person. However, for this kind of videos to become effective, they must be engaging. So, here’re some interesting instructional video ideas to make your online courses so amazing that your students can’t help but engage in.


Engaging Instructional Video Ideas for Amazing Online Courses

Give Real Instructions

Imagine yourself in a real classroom and instruct your spectators as such, even if you’re just having a monologue (mostly) and that you aren’t actually there. So, the advice is to care for your students naturally as you would in a lecture hall. What you should do include:

  • Talk directly to your e-students (look straight to the camera).
  • Remind them of noting down important points of content.
  • Tell them to keep silent and pay attention to a crucial point.
  • Don’t forget to bookmark the video for further studying.

These will help the online course more engaging and steadily maintain the students’ focus – make them feel that the course is real and the teacher is close to them.

Be Present

This idea is pretty similar to the “Give Real Instructions” above. And it is simple: let yourself and your students connect with each other on a personal level, like a real teacher in front of or beside their students in real life.

To do that, you should try to make your appearances in your instructional videos instead of showing your students just the procedures of your course, some texts typed on the screen, or a disembodied voice only (after all, not everybody pleasantly takes orders from a machine).

Also, note that people always make mistakes. So, if the e-tutor makes small mistakes and laughs about them, this tactic can create an air of closeness and trust for the students, too.

Testimonial Info

This isn’t too hard to carry out, either. In fact, it’ll only take 15-20 seconds of your instructional video. Then you may have your e-students’ engagement in return for the rest of the module.

Written testimonials may sound overbearing sometimes. So, by narrating the testimonial info to your students, you’ve connected them with the truth built into your learning material when they hear directly how the course may help them with their studying or their jobs.

Language Choices

“Simple and friendly” is the key. If you want to reach out and grab your learners’ attention throughout the virtual course, opt for uncomplicated and non-scripted, everyday language. This is to create a familiar atmosphere for your learners, make them feel like they’re engaged in a day-to-day conversation rather than a dry lesson. Make them feel at ease, and the learning experience will be more effective and enjoyable for both sides.

Also, speak slowly and clearly. Anyone has an accent that plays a crucial role in the listeners’ general understanding of the language (and by extension, the lesson).

Sense of Humor

Of course, every student, virtual or otherwise, absorbs the lesson contents much better and faster if they get to study in a fun environment. Strong memory cues are created by humor seasoned in a lesson, for this factor visibly increases information retention for learners.

So, why not apply this powerful element to your instructional videos to create a more impressive e-Learning course? Weave some humorous fantasies and imaginations, or insert some light-hearted jokes here and there to your narration. These will help students feel more comfortable, thus raise their enjoyment and engagement in the courses.

Mind the Attention Span

No instructional video creator would want their efforts to go to waste because the students lose focus somewhere in the middle of the online course. Their loss of interest and focus is partly due to their short attention span.

Now that you know the cause, do you know what to do to fix it?

If you want to make the study process easier and more enjoyable, our advice is to break the contents into short sessions or chapters, units, etc. Also, make sure that each session has its own key points (i.e., headings, focuses, notes, activities) to highlight what needs to be remembered.

Looking at short lessons is not only easier to memorize, but it also helps in preventing students from feeling too depressed. Or that they won’t feel stressed out because the course is too long while they still have work to do.

Storytelling Form

Don’t we all love stories ever since we were kids? This is a creative way that has been employed since ancient times to entertain, as well as to spread knowledge to people of all ages and social ranks. This is one of the oldest teaching methods of mankind, and now it will make a valuable addition to your instructional video ideas.

Telling stories will build a vivid image in the audiences’ memories. So surely your e-students can also appreciate and benefit from your storytelling tactic added in your instructional videos. Narrate some anecdotes that have clear storyline, certain surprising or emotional details, and – if you’re good at it, create a mirror character of your students’ interests and desires.

This way, the students’ attention will be effectively captured as they’ll be guided by their favorite character to take action, answer the questions, etc. If you can, combine your storytelling method with some animations. This will make an even more awesome idea to introduce your online course.

Read further:
» Amazing advantages of storytelling method in corporate training


Keep the Brain Active!

The specific approaches are to ask the students questions and get the feedback.

Ask Questions

Difficult concepts need time to be digested. And if there isn’t any teacher beside them to encourage critical thinking, students may zone out. That’s why when the instructor gives his or her students time to mull over a tough matter, he or she should also snap them out of their stupor after a while with questions.

As a result, instead of just sitting passively, now the students are prompted to do engaging tasks like giving answers to the questions, having a group or pair discussion, or prepare a writing work, etc. Asking questions is actually a useful and powerful instructional video idea to capture students of all ages’ attention.

Get Feedback

The above sub-method is to regain learners’ attention and to keep them on their toes, as well as to figure the problems out by/among themselves. And now, getting feedback is another sub-method to make the learners more interacting with you – their lecturer.

After the lesson is finished, remember to encourage your students to comment on your instructional video, either by asking you questions or giving you some constructive criticisms. Or, you can actively check in with your students regarding what instructional video ideas to use to make your videos more interesting


Effective Designs for Instructional Video Ideas


There’s no better method than using animation to present abstract concepts and to stir up the mood among the audiences. Animated videos make the online courses all the more enjoyable and stimulating with their information put in interesting pictures, images, and emotions.

This method can simplify even the most complicated technical notions. And when students enjoy watching something, they definitely more focus on them, thus remember the lesson longer.

Read further:
» Pros and Cons of Animated Educational Videos in eLearning
» Free eBook: Ultimate Guide to Create an Awesome Educational Animation for Online Courses


Graphics have long been known for being one of the most effective and convenient instructional video ideas. That is, only when you employ clear graphics relating to the courses and with enough information showed on the screen.

Otherwise, bad presented graphics (i.e., unclear, irrelevant, too much info, the graphics aren’t in line with the audio clarification) only lead to learners’ distraction. In such case, they’ll either be overload with the info or can’t read/hear, and thus can’t comprehend what the session is about.

Read further:
» 7 Tips for Outstanding Visual Communication in eLearning

Other Elements

This includes the display of the images, light, colors, and background of the instructional videography. All of them must be clear, bright, and of the best quality.

Instructional video developers should also pay attention to the text font display in such a way that it must be clear and next to the graphics on the screen. This will focus the viewers and direct them to where they should look.



So you see, instructional videos possess a greater power of effective teaching than any block of text. If you employ the right method, your videos will contribute greatly to your e-courses.

We sincerely hope that those above tips for engaging instructional video ideas would be useful for you in your process of creating amazing online courses. Thank you for reading!


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