Behind the Scenes of a DL Video

by Aaron Bannasch

While you can use a variety of tools to produce an instructional video, a video with high production value still takes some careful planning and expert use of advanced production equipment. A recent video production in Abbott Hall required an alternative setting to the DL Studio, and since one of our conference rooms was recently upgraded with echo dampening acoustic panels it made for the perfect location to set up a temporary studio environment.

The value of video for establishing instructor presence and to increase student learning by balancing cognitive load through delivery of information across forms of media is well documented. In addition to those reasons, making a video is fun! Not only for the participating subjects, but the production crew as well. Learning to adapt a physical space to meet the needs of a given project or objective is much like adapting a virtual space to meet the needs or objectives of a distance learning course. Whether this means converting a conference room to a temporary studio space or using multiple camera angles in the DL Studio to capture a demonstration of a physical activity, the task of problem solving is both challenging and rewarding.

In order to record a video using the studio equipment outside of the studio, I rearranged items in a conference room to create a visually balanced image showing two subjects and a large TV monitor. I placed studio lighting in strategic locations to give the room a bright, sunny feel that was flattering to the subjects and also helped bring out the Northwestern purple paint on the wall. During editing, the images displayed behind the subjects on the TV screen will be spliced into the video so viewers can see the images close up, and the videos will be fully captioned for accessibility. The subjects were able to see themselves in the large teleprompter so they could feel confident in their expressions and gestures and also be aware of how they were conveying visual information to students. The lightweight, low-power consumption equipment used in the studio makes it easy to transport to another room in Abbott Hall when needed, without the need for any major infrastructure customization. 

Enjoy a quick tour video of the DL Studio below and stay tuned for more examples of custom video productions recorded in the DL Studio and at other visually interesting locations in the Abbott Hall offices and beyond!