How To Make A Great Instructional Video: Step-by-Step Guide

How To Make A Great Instructional Video: Step-by-Step Guide
By:Erin DeGroot
On:Aug 19, 2021

Instructional videos can be fantastic tools in education, whether as an accompaniment to in-person classes or as a tool for distance learning. However, knowing how to make online educational videos is a separate matter.

If you’re planning on creating videos like these as an educator, it’s important to understand the different kinds of instructional videos you can make, how they can be utilized, and why they’re so effective.

What Are Instructional Videos?

What Are Instructional Videos
What Are Instructional Videos

Instructional videos are not all one and the same. There are many different forms of instructional videos that you may use in a classroom or training environment. Here are some of the most common forms.

Tutorial Videos

A tutorial video is typically between 2 and 10 minutes long. They are sometimes referred to as “how-to” videos, and they simply explain to a viewer how to do something. The video is broken down into steps to make it easy to understand.

Explainer Videos

Explainer videos are typically much shorter and are designed to help people grasp a certain concept or word. Consider this a video format of the “keywords” or “key concepts” section in a textbook, whereby a specific topic or concept is explained in video format.

Training Videos

Training videos tend to be longer. These are commonly used for new employees or team members and teach viewers about important processes relating to their job. They are designed to give people a full understanding of what is expected of them in the workplace and how to work safely and productively.

Presentation Videos

These videos are recordings of presentations given at in-person events. It is a way of capturing a lesson given by a teacher or a trainer for it to later be watched online. The tried-and-tested class format is captured on video to give more people a chance to learn from experts from the comfort of their own homes.


A screencast video is a recording of somebody’s computer screen. It allows people to explain key concepts or topics or demonstrate how to do something with an audio narrative.

Before we move on to how to create an educational video, let’s first look at why they can be so beneficial.

Why Use Videos in Education?

Why Use Videos in Education
Why Use Videos in Education

Videos are a fantastic tool for education. They offer flexibility for teachers and break up long days of in-person learning. They can be watched virtually anywhere, help maintain students’ attention, and be re-used for as long as the content is relevant and accurate.

These videos may be used for in-person classes and as a valuable tool in digital and distance learning.

As you can see above, there are several forms of instructional videos, but there are also two kinds of educational videos that may incorporate those different styles of instructional videos. And as one final step before we move on to how to make online educational videos, let’s take a quick look at those two kinds of educational videos.

Types of Educational Videos

Types of Educational Videos
Types of Educational Videos

At Gillespie Productions, we work with many kinds of educational institutions to develop and record educational videos – and they may be recorded live, or they may be pre-recorded and edited before release.

Pre-Recorded Educational Videos

Pre-recorded videos give you the most freedom to edit and perfect your video. It may take the form of a speech or a recorded lesson, or it may take any one of the forms of instructional videos we have already outlined. These videos can be edited to include graphics, overlaid audio, and much more.

Live Videos

Live videos allow you to deliver a class to people all over the world. It is possible to incorporate slideshows and graphics, screen sharing, and more – depending, of course, on the way the video is recorded.

Live videos may be screen recordings, or they may be recordings of an in-person class given by a teacher or lecturer.

Now, let’s examine how to shoot educational videos.

How to Film an Instructional Video

How to Film an Instructional Video
How to Film an Instructional Video

As we’ve already discussed, there are many different kinds of instructional video – and each video requires different steps to film, produce, and edit. With that in mind, the following instructions should give you a general idea of how to create an effective instructional video – and each step may be amended slightly depending on the kind of video you are creating.

Step 1: Check the Same Videos on YouTube

Search YouTube for videos similar to the one you want to create, and take some ideas from those clips. Choose the videos with more views and more “likes” to ensure you’re working from a good example.

Step 2: Write a Script for Your Video

Knowing how to film instructional videos requires a good understanding of scripts – and when you should and shouldn’t use them. In an educational video, scripts are important to ensure that you cover all intended topics accurately and succinctly.

Step 3: Make a Storyboard for Your Video

Next, you’ll need a storyboard. This is an outline of what your video will cover, broken up into scenes.

Step 4: Prepare Your Speech

If you are giving an in-person class that will be recorded, or if you will be appearing as a presenter on the video, be sure to prepare your speech in advance. This is obviously even more important for live videos.

Step 5: Record Your Voice

How you perform this step will vary depending on whether you are giving a speech or sharing your screen. If you’re giving a speech, it’s important to have a good quality microphone capturing your audio. If you are recording your voice for a voiceover at home, use a similarly good quality microphone at your desk.

Step 6: Record Your Video or Screen

This is an important step if you want to know how to make good educational YouTube videos, as people often enjoy videos that include screen sharing. It allows you to more easily visually demonstrate key concepts or show people how to achieve something using their computer.

If you’re not sharing your screen, you’ll need a high-resolution camera to capture a good-quality image. Poor quality video is distracting and makes educational videos less effective.

Step 7: Be Sure that Your Video Has a Right Length

Don’t make your video so long that people get bored, and don’t make it so short that it doesn’t offer any value. Be sure that your video is just long enough to effectively deliver a message, instruct somebody, or teach somebody.

Step 8: Edit Your Video

Raw footage rarely makes a good educational video. Even a recorded in-person class will benefit from editing, whether that’s in the form of clipping or simply adding visual cues and slides.

Step 9: Add Captions

Captions make it easier for more people to benefit from your video, whether they’re watching with their audio switched off or if your viewers are hearing impaired. This is an element often forgotten when considering how to shoot educational videos.

Step 10: Make a Video Transcript

If you spent time writing a speech for your educational video, then be sure to make that transcript available for your viewers. People learn in different ways, and providing an educational text alongside your educational video could be very valuable to some viewers.

Step 11: Share Your Video

Now you know how to create an educational video, it’s time to start thinking about where you will share your video. There are several online video-sharing social media platforms, including YouTube and Vimeo. You may also wish to upload them onto traditional social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook or upload them directly to your website.

Step 12: Be Sure to Engage Students

Finally, remember that every video should be engaging. During the video production, stop and think if you are making decisions that will ultimately lead to a video that people want to watch. If you believe you are becoming boring or repetitive, take a step back and reassess.

Make Educational Videos
Make Educational Videos

Want to see more examples? Check out this blog post

Need Professional Help to Make Educational Videos Fast? We Can Help

The truth is that creating educational videos isn’t easy. At Gillespie Productions, we produce broadcast-quality videos for educational institutions across Wisconsin, and we’re ready to help you with your next project.

We know how to make short educational videos, long educational videos, recorded videos, and more. For a free consultation and quote, give our team a call today at 920-857-2224 or fill out our online form.