Although I've written on this topic before, I wanted to record a podcast for those of you who are on the go, listening in your car, or maybe even on your way to the training space where you'll be recording your next video for submission in the Online Classroom for feedback!
So, listen on, and learn about the 4 KEY ELEMENTS TO GETTING GREAT FEEDBACK ON YOUR VIDEOS!
Getting great video feedback starts with submission of a great video! The following tips will help your long distance instructor give you the best feedback possible, whether that instructor is me, another instructor in my online classroom, or an instructor in another online classroom. Let’s get started!
It may seem strange that you’d need to dress appropriately for something you’re just heading out to do in your back yard, but the clothes that you wear can affect the quality of the feedback your instructor can give you. If you want your instructor to be able to comment on your movements around the course with your dog, make sure that your movements can be seen. Wear bright colors that contrast with the background; for example, if you’re working on a dirt surface, you don’t want to be wearing brown pants, or your instructor won’t be able to see your legs! If you’re working on grass, avoid wearing green. And ALWAYS avoid wearing black, since it makes your body very difficult to observe on the screen.
In my videos, I make the effort to wear bright colors such as red, or blue. It’s not just because I’m patriotic! I also try to wear clothing that has stripes or other features on it. For example, in many of my videos, I’m wearing a pair of athletic pants that have white stripes down the leg. These white stripes make it easier to see the angle of my legs as I move. And, I tend to wear tops that are either brightly colored and/or have stripes on them as well, so you can see my shoulders and arms better.
I try to wear clothing that is not lumpy or loose. Not only is it difficult for me to run in loose lumpy clothing, but it makes it difficult for an observer to even tell if they’re looking at my front or my back end! Even if I might not feel entirely comfortable in snug fitting clothing, I know that to an observer watching my videos, snug clothing is going to make it easier to see my body, and how it’s moving.
You might not have complete control over the lighting in your videos, but you can at least avoid some of the more common pitfalls that make videos difficult to view with respect to lighting.
One of the biggest problems with trying to give feedback on videos is that it can be difficult to determine the spacing between the obstacles in your set up. Filming from a good angle can greatly determine the quality of the feedback you receive.
Here are some examples of different camera angles. Which ones do you think allow you to tell what the sequence is?
This camera angle is too low – you can’t even see all the obstacles! It’s not a great angle for getting great feedback!
This camera angle is a little higher, and you can see all the obstacles, but it’s difficult to get any sense of perspective for the obstacles (their relationship to one another in space). Again, it’s better, but not a great angle.
This camera angle is a little higher, AND at an angle to the exercise. It’s easier to get a feel for how far away obstacles are from the camera and each other, here.
This camera angle is from nearly directly above. It’s a great angle for seeing your movement through the course, and for seeing the spatial relationship of all the obstacles. However, it may be difficult for your instructor to see the finer details of your handling.
The last two images above are the best angles to choose from, if you can, because they offer the best view of the sequence. In my videos, these are the angles I try to shoot from.
Again, if possible, shoot from a similar vantage point to that of any demo videos your instructor has provided, so that your instructor can compare your handling to that of their own.
So you’ve shot your footage. You were wearing the right clothes, you had great lighting, your camera was set at a great angle, and now, you need to edit your footage for submission to your instructor. Here are some tips to help you with editing.
All these editing guidelines will produce a video that may seem boring to watch – but remember, you’re not making this video to be clever, or to produce an emotion from the viewer, or to highlight you and your dog to the world. This video is for feedback from your instructor! Be greedy, and get the best quality feedback you can from your instructor, by keeping editing distractions to a minimum. And, if you want to make a more interesting video, with music or fun edits, go for it! Make a second version for the general public, and save your feedback version for your instructor.
Hopefully, these guidelines will help you get the best feedback possible on videos you submit in the course of an online learning experience. Again, these guidelines might not produce the fanciest or flashiest video, but they WILL help you produce a video that will be more likely to get you the great feedback you’re looking for, which will in turn help you improve your handling and training, and get the most bang for your online learning buck!
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