Effective Content Delivery: Balancing Video, Audio, and Text in Online Courses

May 11, 2023

Audio and video deliver high-impact content

  • Audio is more engaging than text. It's more memorable, too, and that's important for learning because you want to be able to recall information later on. With audio, you can communicate concepts better than with words alone, especially when it comes to explaining processes or definitions.
  • Videos are even better at communicating complex ideas than audio alone because they combine both sound and sight in one package! Videos also allow users who may have difficulty hearing or seeing clearly (elderly people) access course materials easily through captions or subtitles, which makes them ideal for online learning environments where students have different needs based on age or disability status

Text is best for low-complexity information

Text is the right choice when you need to explain basic concepts or definitions, show how things work, or describe processes and procedures.

Text can also be a useful way to provide background information that may be useful later in the course. For example, if you are teaching students about chemical reactions and want them to remember key facts about acids and bases, it would be helpful if they could review this material on their own time outside of class (e.g., before doing homework).

Text is best for processes, concepts, and definitions

Text is the most effective way to communicate low-complexity learning objectives such as processes, concepts and definitions. It's also a good medium for providing definitions and examples of those concepts or processes. Text can also be used effectively to provide step-by-step instructions on how to perform an action or complete a task (e.g., "To create a new file in Microsoft Word..."). Finally, text can be used effectively as background information that supports other types of media including video clips or audio files that contain more detailed information about the topic being discussed in your course material

Video is best for demonstrating processes

If you want your students to understand how something works, or how to do something themselves, video is the best way to do it. It can also be helpful for showing how things are organised and made.

Video isn't always appropriate though! If your course content involves a lot of text or reading comprehension (like an academic textbook), then text-based media will likely be better at helping with those kinds of tasks than video would be.

Video is best for showing how things work or are organised

It's also great for showing how to do something, or how to organise something, or even how to make something.

A good example of this would be if you're teaching students how to crochet, and you want them to see how the yarn moves through the hook. You could show them a video of someone crocheting in real time and explain what they're doing step by step as the video plays back in slow motion so that everyone can see it clearly without having their own hands involved (which might get in the way).

Choose the right format for your online course

While there are no hard rules, it's good to keep in mind that different types of content are best delivered in different ways.

Audio is great for high-impact information, such as lectures and instructions. It can also be used to supplement video or text by providing additional information that supports the main points being covered in the video or text.

Video is best for demonstrating processes and showing how things work or are organised; for instance, an explanation of how to make an omelette would work well with video as opposed to just words on a page!

FAQs on Content Delivery

Delivering effective content in online courses requires a thoughtful balance of video, audio, and text. Our FAQ section provides insights, tips, and strategies for creating engaging and accessible online courses that cater to diverse learning styles. Find answers to common questions and learn how to optimise your content delivery approach to enhance learner engagement and satisfaction.

What is the best video editor for online course creators?

A good video editor will help you make the most of your footage. They can help you edit, add text and graphics, create titles and credits, and upload to YouTube or other platforms.

In this section we'll look at some of the best options for creating online courses in different situations:

  • If you're looking for an all-in-one solution that lets you create videos from scratch, and then edit them, Camtasia is an excellent choice. It offers many different features that let you do everything from editing audio levels to adding animations or transitions between clips (or even between frames within clips). You can also use it as a screen recorder so that students can see exactly what's happening on their screens as they follow along with your lesson plan or lecture notes.*

Camtasia is an excellent all-in-one solution for creating and editing videos, but it does tend to be a bit pricey. If you're looking for something a little more affordable, try ScreenFlow. It offers many of the same features as Camtasia at a lower price point, without sacrificing much. For example, you can use it to record your screen or webcam and then edit those recordings together with other footage such as video clips or photos.*

How can I record great audio for my online courses?

Recording good audio for your online courses is a critical part of creating an effective learning experience. Here's how to do it right:

  • Use a good microphone. If you're planning on recording yourself, then make sure that the microphone you choose has at least one omnidirectional polar pattern (the default setting), which will pick up sound equally from all directions. This way, no matter where the speaker moves within their space or how far away they are from their computer screen, there won't be any significant loss in clarity or quality due to noise caused by reverberation effects from walls or ceilings. You should also look for microphones with low self-noise ratings; this means less noise interference from outside sources like fans and traffic noises coming through during recording sessions so that only what's actually being said comes through clearly on playback later down line when editing takes place after shooting footage has been completed."

How can I record my screen for my online courses?

To record your screen, you'll need to use a screen recording software. There are many free options available, but I recommend Jing because it's easy and intuitive to use. Once you've downloaded the software, follow these steps:

  • Open up your course in Canvas and click on "Start Recording" from your toolbar (or press Ctrl+Shift+R).
  • To stop recording, click on "Stop Recording" from your toolbar (or press Ctrl+Shift+S).

What's the best conferencing tool for my online courses?

Skype is the most popular conferencing tool, with over 300 million users. It's free to use and allows you to make video calls with up to 25 people at once (or even more if you purchase additional licences). Skype also has group chat capabilities and direct messaging, so it's easy for your students to communicate with each other in real time. Plus, there are many different ways that you can integrate Skype into your online course:

If your school already uses Google Apps for Education (GAFE), then this may be the best option for you because all of GAFE's tools are connected together through a single sign-in page. That means students won't have multiple logins for different services, they'll just need their GAFE username and password! There are plenty of features within GAFE too; from video calling to document sharing or even remote desktop control over someone else's computer screen (that could come in handy!).

How can I create effective activities and quizzes for my online course?

In order to provide a well-rounded learning experience, it's important that you include a variety of activities in your online courses. You can use different types of activities for different purposes:

  • Quizzes or tests help students gauge their understanding of the material and make sure they've mastered course content before moving on with the rest of the course.
  • Discussion boards allow students to interact with one another on specific topics raised during class or as part of an assignment; this also gives them an opportunity to ask questions if they're confused about anything. You might set up a separate forum where students can post questions related specifically to certain chapters or concepts within each chapter so that other members won't be distracted by irrelevant inquiries posted elsewhere on site (for example, someone asking how much money he should save up before buying his first house might not want his inquiry mixed in among queries about how many hours per week are needed for homework).


The key to designing an effective online course is to find the right balance of text, audio, and video. You can use these different formats to deliver high-impact content that suits the needs of your learners. For example, if you want them to learn about processes or concepts, then text is best; if they need more hands-on practice with those concepts or processes (like how something works), then video would be better suited for this purpose; finally if they need an opportunity to see things in action before trying them themselves (such as how someone else solves problems), then again video may be most appropriate!

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