Videos for medical education have moved way beyond videotaped chalkboard lectures. The badly light, noisy audio, and monotone lectures will not be missed. Medical education at every level (medical school, resident, and continuing medical education) is adopting new techniques. Video is critical for interactive-learning and in flipped classrooms. Students are more engaged when video is used, and retain more of what they are taught. Students have come to expect high production values, and this is a challenge for the educators making the videos.

Storyboard Your Education Videos

There are myriad ways video is being used:

  • Teaching concepts
  • Demonstrate procedures
  • Introduce simulation scenarios
  • Patient education
  • Screencast lectures
  • Recording online meetings

Producing High Quality Video

The best of the videos being made today are professional, educational, moving, and creative. We are all inspired by TED and Kahn Academy, and strive to produce videos that are dynamic and can hold an audience’s attention while simultaneously educating them. The are storytelling at its best. This level of professionalism, requires a large investment. Not necessarily of money. Professional quality audio and video recording equipment, editing software, graphics, storage, and distribution, have plummeted in price and are widely available.

What educators often find they lack is the expertise need to use these tools to the level they desire. We have been trained as physicians. Some have sought out additional training in education, but audio-video production is its own profession that has its own vocabulary, grammar, and techniques. Things people spend careers learning and perfecting, just as we do as doctors.

As physician educators we may not have the spare time to invest. If this is the case, seeking out expertise for help is perfectly acceptable. But it is still your responsibility to design the education content. To define the educational objectives, design the instruction and teaching method, and create and refine your content. These are done before any recording or editing is started.

Defining Objectives for Your Lesson

The process should with defining the list of educational objectives for the content. This should be 4-5 items. I find it useful to place them in ascending learning level. For example, objective 1 should be achieved by all learners and objective 5 would be met only by the advanced students. The ACGME has encouraged the use of milestones in residency education, which can serve as a framework for our educational project. Well thought out objectives though, can focus the rest of the work.

I like to image the content creation cycle. It begins with an idea and the educational objectives you have defined. We usually need to research the topic and review the latest literature. Next we create and outline and write the script. This can then storyboarded, which allows us to record, edit, and share the video.

Content Creation Cycle

Content Creation Cycle

There are a large number of forms your teaching session can take. In a previous post we discusseed a number of options for a flipped classroom.

Using Storyboards

If you have decided to incorporate video, it is critical to plan the video. Shooting, editing, recording audio, producing graphics is very time-consuming and expensive, so planning the video helps you define your video. It tells everyone what shots will be required, what graphics are needed.

I have found that the best way to do this is by storyboarding your video, after the objectives have been defined and the content material developed. The idea of storyboarding and techniques were originally created by Walt Disney. A storyboard allows you to plan how you will visually tell your story. This allows the scope the production before picking up the camera.

The important thing about storyboards is that they give you a way to decide how you will split up your script into individual segments, either with or without placeholder images, so that you can then get a clearer overview of your digital story plan. It is the equivalent of creating an outline for paper or blog post.

Creating storyboards may seem like a tedious extra step. However, storyboarding can be a valuable component in the creative process by allowing you to organize images and text in a blueprint fashion. It allows you to visualize how the project will be put together and help illustrate what holes exist since you can see the entire plan laid out in front of you. Storyboarding can also inspire new ideas as well as lets you easily rearrang