Types of assignments

Aims and objectives

This module will:

  • explore different assignment types
  • examine resources and tools to help you produce your assignments.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • use effective strategies to produce assignments in different mediums
  • evaluate and select different tools to create videos, presentations, websites, online portfolios or a model or prototype.  

3. Video

The main requirements to create a good video are:

  • a concise script
  • clear sound
  • proper lighting
  • appealing visual elements.

You will also need equipment for recording, and editing software. Section 4 covers audio recording in more detail.

Equipment for video and audio

Essential or very useful equipment:

  • Video camera or smartphone — newer smartphones can record high quality video
  • Microphone/audio recorder — an external microphone is preferable to the built-in one on your device
  • Tripod — to avoid shaky footage
  • Lights — for videoing indoors.

Your school or faculty may have equipment you can borrow to produce your video assignment.

You will also need storage for your video and audio files. High definition (HD, 1080p or 4K) video requires a lot of storage. The Working with files module has information on how to manage files and storage.

Plan your video

Remember to check your assignment criteria first and think carefully about the intended audience and purpose of your assignment.

Using your mobile phone

Filming with your phone (YouTube, 15m16s) provides key information and many tips for filming a video on your mobile phone, including lighting, audio and editing:

Write a script

Write a script before you start recording so you:

  • know what you want to say, and
  • don’t forget to include important points.

If you improvise you might be too wordy, leave too many pauses and say too many “umms” and “ahhs” as you think about what to say next.

Script essentials:

  • Use a conversational tone
  • Keep your sentences short and simple. Don’t use connecting phrases such as “so then…” or “ as previously mentioned...”
  • Avoid repetition
  • If you are doing a live recording, do a practice recording (or a few) before the real thing. Work on trying to sound natural
  • Try to keep your video as short as possible. Viewers tend to be annoyed by lengthy introductions or interludes that just waste their time. Check the length requirements in your assignment instructions first.

Storyboard

The storyboard is used to plan the visual elements that will go with your script. Your video may include a combination of text, photos, graphics, audio and video.

The storyboard can be a simple document or drawing that maps out your video. You can use it to plan what video shots, text or images to show for each part of your script.

Use this example Google Doc storyboard template.

Example of a simple storyboard
Slide no. and approximate timing Image, concept or idea Script
1.

15 seconds

Show images of different types of ibis

JJ Harrison [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Straw-necked Ibis, Glossy Ibis and Australian White Ibis are native to Australia.


Australians enjoy a love-hate relationship with the ibis, often referring to them as "bin chickens".

2.
20 seconds

 

Video group of ibis in city near bins. Start with a wide shot of group. Then a close up of an ibis with its head going into a bin.
Put source of information in — Friday essay: the rise of the ‘bin chicken’, a totem for modern Australia from the Conversation.


Note: It's important to keep track of any sources and include them in your video.

Brisbane has approximately 5000 ibis.

Sydney's ibis population is estimated at 10000.

Hold onto your lunch extra tightly if you go down there.

3.
15 seconds

 

Ed Dunens [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

When you feel annoyed at an ibis, try to remember that drought and habitat loss have forced them from their inland wetland home to coastal regions.

Other storyboard templates are available for download.

 Script tutorials


Lighting

When light comes from a single, direct source, such as the sun or an overhead light, it produces "hard light". Hard light creates distinct shadows and can be harsh and unflattering. A "soft light", produced by less direct sources of light, creates softer shadows and tends to be more flattering to your subject.

Outdoors, to have a soft light, it is best to video when the sun is not at it's strongest:

  • On a cloudy day
  • An hour before sunset
  • An hour after sunrise.

Indoors it is best to record:

Location

Choose a location that suits the theme of your video.

  • Plan your shot carefully. Your audience is sure to notice something that appears in the background, that you didn't intend to show
  • Consider how noisy or windy it is, if you are recording audio while videoing
  • Record in front of a green screen so that you can choose a different background and avoid a noisy environment. Find out how to record a video with a virtual background using Zoom software.

Video techniques

  1. Video in short takes. Then you can easily redo anything that doesn’t turn out quite right
  2. Video extra at the start and end, for easier editing
  3. Hold your camera horizontally while videoing to avoid having black spaces on the side, when you view it in wider formats
  4. Don't video with strong light behind your subject. Preferably, video in a soft light or have the light behind the camera.
Camera facing towards the light.
No light shining into the camera.

Avoid shaky video footage

If you can’t use a tripod, use a surface to balance your smartphone or video camera e.g. on a stack of books on a desk. If you have to hold your device:

  1. Use two hands
  2. Tuck your elbows in to your sides
  3. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  4. Breath slowly.

Framing

You can compose different types of shots to make your video more interesting, such as wide shots and close-ups. See how to frame different kinds of shots.

When framing a video for an interview don’t have too much space above the subject's head. Don't cut off the top of the head either.

Rule of thirds

The "rule of thirds" is a composition technique for getting well-balanced shots. Imagine the scene broken into a 3 by 3 grid. Frame your shot to place your subject where the lines intersect.

Bad "rule of thirds" framing.
Better "rule of thirds" framing.

Video tutorials

These tutorials have more techniques for creating videos:

Screen recording

For instructional videos you may want to record your computer screen.  Screen capture instructions and tools:

Video editing tools

Tool Free Available on Library computers Limitations Guides Tutorials
iMovie (MacOS and iOS) Yes No Good editing tool but for Mac and iOS users only iMovie support iMovie 10.1.8 Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning, 3h11m)
Photos (Windows 10 and Office 365) Yes Yes Can only create simple videos Create videos in the Photos app Create Movies with Microsoft Photos (YouTube, 1:08)
Adobe Premiere Pro No Yes Complicated interface requires a bit of time to learn Premiere Pro user guide Premiere Pro (LinkedIn Learning pathway) UQ login required
Adobe Premiere Rush Yes, free version available No Simpler to use than Premiere Pro. Free version limited to 3 exports and 2 GB of cloud storage. User guide Adobe Premiere Rush tutorials
Microsoft PowerPoint Free for UQ staff & students Yes     PowerPoint video and audio (LinkedIn Learning course) UQ login required
Powtoon Yes, free online tool No Free plan can do up to 3 mins only. No download of videos but can share and upload to YouTube. 

Getting started with Powtoon

Powtoon Quickstart video tutorials

Get more information on tools for working with video, including Kaltura, Zoom and Adobe Spark.

Submitting your video assignment

You may be required to upload your video file to Kaltura on Learn.UQ (Blackboard) for grading. Get instructions on how to upload to Kaltura

Video hosting sites

After you have created your video, you can upload it to a video platform for others to view it.

Site Free account available Guides Tutorials
YouTube Yes Upload videos to YouTube Create and manage a YouTube channel (LinkedIn Learning, 4h25m) A UQ login is required
Vimeo Yes Uploading to Vimeo Vimeo School

Duration:   Approximately 20 minutes


Graduate attributes

Knowledge and skills you can gain to contribute to your Graduate attributes:

 Effective communication Effective communication

  Independence and creativity


Check your knowledge

Check what you know about this topic:

Take the quiz

Support at UQ

Access UQ services to assist you with personal or study-related issues.