Editing

Creating Evergreen Videos

Filed in Announcements, Editing by on June 15, 2021

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.

An evergreen video is one that you don’t have to perform surgery on every time a small detail changes.

To make your educational videos evergreen, the first thing you need to do is contextualize it by topic, not time.

Why? Because a surefire way to make your video less relevant is to date it.

A typical example follows: a subject matter expert is giving an academic talk to a live audience and, as is typical, their opening slide contains a date. Many presenters are used to that format, so when they record a similar talk for video, their first slide has a date or a lecture on it. 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.

 

Video thumbnail sketch in Canvas LMS

 

The first time the professor shares the video with students, it’s fine. But two years later, when the instructor teaches the same course again, it’s out of sync. And if the instructor has changed the sequence of topics, “Introduction to Waveforms” might not 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. But for many people, even this simple edit is a big lift because learning video editing can be complex. (If you’re in this position, learn more about simple edits here.)

If, however, when you’re creating your video you contextualize it by topic, you can avoid an edit session. The video becomes a modular element in your overall course design. The image below shows how this can be done.

Video thumbnail sketch in LMS - topic only

 

Again, the video is embedded in a page. But this time, the lecture number is featured in the page header.

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.

Bottom line: To preserve your video’s relevance, save the ephemeral details for media that’s easy to edit, like text.

Editing Tools for WPI Video Producers

Filed in Announcements, Editing by on February 27, 2021

I hate to break it to you, but some of your footage is going to end up on the cutting room floor.

There comes a point in every video-creator’s life when they have to cut some footage. Some footage you might say good riddance to, other footage you may just need to update.

Here are links to tools to enable you to accomplish that mission.

Canvas Studio
Echo360
Ensemble

 

Canvas Studio

Did you know Canvas Studio has an editing feature? Here’s the caveat. It has to be used right after recording and BEFORE you upload the video.

After you upload, you won’t have the chance to edit the video unless you download it and bring it into a separate editing program.

 

But if you do catch the opportunity to edit, there are some neat tools to play with. They can be accessed through the TOOLS button on the lower left of the editing interface.

You can play around with these tools and see if they enhance your video. However, if you run into issues, check out the support links in Canvas or email support@instructure.com. And keep in mind – the opportunity to edit is but a brief window in time when you use Canvas Studio.

Echo360

To work with Echo360’s editor, first find the video you want to edit. You can access your Echo360 video library from Canvas.

 

When you hover over the lower right of the video’s thumbnail, you’ll see the option to “Edit Media”.

 

When you click “Edit Media” you’ll first be given a warning. The warning is telling you that any changes you make to this video will manifest anywhere you’ve shared the video, whether it’s via a link or the Canvas LTI. I always say yes to this. If I don’t want to make a change that effects everything, I “Save As”. More on that later. Once we’re in the editing interface, you can see the principals means of making edits, as shown by the arrows below.

On the left we have the scissors. These enable you to cut footage from the inside of your timeline. On the right, we have the “tail” button. You can move it inwards to delete unwanted footage at the end. Likewise, you can move the “top” button inwards to delete unwanted footage at the beginning.

 

 

I wanted to take a moment to call your attention to the buttons on the top right. Restore. Save As. Save. Pretty self-explanatory. But if you wanted to save these edits as a new video, choose Save As. If you want your edits to override what you’ve got, click Save. And if you feel it’s all been a terrible mistake, choose Restore.

 

 

Ensemble

To edit video on Ensemble, first login to the system here. (Remember, choose to login with your WPI credentials, below the form.)

Once you’re logged in, you land at your video library, where the videos are arrayed in rows, with options below the thumbnail and also to the right. Click Edit, as shown by the arrow below.

 

Once you’ve clicked edit, you’ll see more option on the top right. Click Trim and Chop.

 

 

Trim allows you to shave unwanted footage from the beginning and end of the video. Chop allows you to cut out unwanted footage from the middle. Once you’re done, click Save, and a new, edited version of the video will appear in your library.

 

 

For more information about editing your educational videos, email atc-ttl@wpi.edu.