Creating Evergreen Videos

Filed in Miscellaneous by on April 7, 2021 0 Comments

We all want our course videos to be “evergreen”.

What does evergreen mean? It means to the extent possible, the video should stand the test of time. It should maximize its relevance.

So how do we design “evergreen” course videos?

One way is to contextualize your video. And you’re not going to contextualize it temporally. You’re going to contextualize it topically.

Why? Because a surefire way to make your video less relevant is to date it. A common way to “date” a video is to include an opening slide that cements it in time and place.

If your first slide contains a date or a lecture number, it might appear old or out of sync. The image below shows a Canvas page, in which a video has been embedded. The thumbnail sketch for the video shows a date and lecture number.


This title slide might have worked great the first time the instructor used the video. But two years later, when the instructor teaches again and wants to use the video, it’s out of sync. The date is not accurate. And if the instructor has changed the sequence of the topics, “Introduction to Waveforms” might no longer be lecture one.

This puts the instructor in the position of having to edit their video. The goal becomes to eliminate the inaccurate footage, which is usually just a few seconds at the beginning. If you’re in this position, you can learn more about how to trim/chop footage here.

If, however, when you’re creating your video you contextualize it by topic, you can avoid editing your video. The video becomes a modular element in your overall course design.


Bottom line: To preserve your video’s relevance, avoid including temporal references and lecture numbers and instead focus on content.

Setting the temporal and sequential context can be done more efficiently elsewhere. For example, in the above illustrations I’ve put the video in a page. A page is a great place to put a video. You can include intro text above the video that preps the viewer on what to expect and why it’s important. You can save a lecture date or number for a module name.

Text in a module name, item or page can be easily edited. Video, on the other hand, is more tricky. While it is possible to edit videos and insert footage that updates the video, it’s a lot easier to edit the text on a page or module name.

We hope that this post has been helpful! Email with any feedback/questions.

About the Author ()

Sophie Jagannathan is an Instructional Technology Specialist at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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