The digi-leap project Nordic Studies Online has been mostly focusing on video production for our pilot modules, which we will try out within our courses at the University of Helsinki and Gdansk University throughout the fall semester. I summarized our video production experience and tips as below:
- Training: We first scheduled the Unitube studio training in Alexandria with Mikael Kivelä, who also gave us some advice about technical equipment, which we wanted to buy. Thank you, Mikael, this was incredibly helpful!
- Equipment: As we want to make videos also outside, we bought some basic equipment (mobile phone stabilizer, wireless microphone) to have a good audio quality in our videos.
- Writing scripts: It is important to write a script before filming. Usually, we have a draft ready a few weeks before the filming, so the other team members can still give some comments and we can make final changes before the filming starts.
- Filming: We are making short introduction videos (3-4 minutes) for our MOOC modules. Even though these videos are short, it is still a lot of text to remember, so during the filming we focus on smaller segments and then we edit them together. As I am responsible for the technical support during the filming, I noticed that our lecturers feel more comfortable in front of camera while filming outside rather than in a studio. For this reason, I always book enough time in the Unitube studio, so we can go through the segments several times. Please, be aware that the Unitube has been quite busy lately, as many teachers need to prepare their online lectures. I suggest booking the studio well in advance!
- Post-production: Make sure that you have enough time for editing, adding visual effects and subtitles. We are discussing to hire a graphic designer, who would make our logo, which we could add in our videos’ intros and outros.
The Nordic Studies Online is an international team of scholars from the University of Helsinki, Gdansk University and Aarhus University. Our colleagues in Aarhus can produce their videos with the support of the nordics.info (Aarhus University) platform. In Helsinki, we continue our video production as planned and discussed above. However, the covid-19 pandemic impacted our video production plans with our Gdansk colleagues, who were supposed to make videos with the support of the Helsinki crew in Helsinki and in Gdansk, using the project equipment and Unitube studio. As travelling has been restricted, we were not able to support our Gdansk team members as we wanted to. In the end, we compromised – our Gdansk colleague Maja who is responsible for the Media module, wrote a script and then filmed her video using the Screencast-O-Matic. We will use this video for our fall try-out of the pilot modules; however, we will later remake this video in a studio for our actual MOOC course.