Practice and rehearsal are another oft-forgotten part of the preparation and production process. There is no such thing as a “one-take wizard,” especially for those who are faced with being a one-person production studio! Give yourself time to learn the hardware and software tools that you will use—you don’t want your video to start or end with your search for a button. Likewise, take the time to practice your delivery and timing. Your video presentation is a performance, and you’ll do well to rehearse the timing and intonation before you begin recording.
Post-production efforts are less onerous with a thoughtfully produced video. If you’ve read from a script, much of the captioning work is already done. Several software tools can quickly create a caption file if provided with a script to go with the video. Add chapter markers or edit the video into smaller chunks to help those with attention difficulties focus on the content.
Before completing a semester’s worth of recordings, create some test video for evaluation. How does it sound and look? Try your hand at captioning and examine the video playback software for compatibility with screen readers. Your ADA office or teaching and learning center may have volunteers who can watch your test video and provide valuable feedback. Getting this input early on can help prevent costly and time-consuming effort later.
Sharing & feedback
Once your accessible video is complete, release it to your learners. Find ways to get feedback on their experience. A survey may help you find opportunities for improvement, and your learning management or video delivery systems may provide analytic data that can be used to fine-tune future video content.
All of your learners will find accessibility features to be useful. Short videos are helpful to students who want to fit schoolwork in between other activities. Larger, sans-serif fonts are good for those who may have forgotten to wear their glasses or may be viewing on a small screen. Audio description not only helps people who cannot physically see the screen, it also explains to all learners why the visual is relevant. Students without hearing difficulties appreciate captions because they are studying in a noisy (or quiet) environment, or perhaps are new to the language spoken in the video.
With preparation and understanding of how accessible video benefits all your learners, making your video accessible can be an enjoyable challenge rather than a burden. Your institution—and your students—will be thankful for your efforts!