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Do you need to create an educational video that will be engaging enough to capture the imaginations of busy college students? Success starts with having an excellent script.

5 Tips to Create a Video Script that Will Engage and Educate College Students

9 Nov 2018

Do you need to create an educational video that will be engaging enough to capture the imaginations of busy college students? Success starts with having an excellent script.

College students are very media savvy and are also heavily targeted by marketers all over the world. They’re used to seeing sophisticated messages. If yours doesn’t resonate, they’ll quickly tune it out.

Let’s look at 5 tips for creating an engaging educational video script that’s the perfect fit for college students.

1. Do Your Research

First, consider that not all college students can be painted with the same stereotypical brush. If your target audience is simply college students, you’re thinking too broadly. Zone in.

Will your educational video be viewed by business students? Art students? Are they full-time or part-time? What kind of life concerns and day-to-day learning challenges do they face?

The more you know about your audience, the better your video will target them. Learn as much as you can about them in advance. For example, you could reach out to the university’s student services director and discuss how to better meet the needs of their students.

2. Decide on a Key Takeaway

It’s important to develop a script that has a narrow educational focus. Educational videos work best for memory retention when they focus on 1 to 3 key takeaways - the primary things you want your audience to remember.

Research shows that the average college student can focus intently on a message for a maximum of about 10 to 15 minutes before their attention begins to wane. In fact, their attention will falter even faster if the environment is too distracting or the video is too boring.

Keep this in mind while creating your video script. You’ll have a short time to make your primary points, and those key points should be few in number and easy to remember.

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3. Explore Message Variety

College students are in a period of their lives where they’re eager to learn, but they’re also skeptical about being directly lectured to. Instead, they prefer friendly, helpful messages that show understanding about their place in the world.

Colleges and universities themselves have done extensive research on how to connect with students using educational messages. Here are some tips from a small university that boosted its applicants by 22% simply by creating better video campaigns with more variety.

  • Feature diverse people and tell stories from around the world.

  • Micro-target your messages to precise college groups.

  • Focus on the future, not on the past.

  • Be funny and entertaining, within the bounds of an educational video.

  • Use relatable language that feels authentic for the age group.

  • Be bold and daring, with unique and unexpected perspectives.

4. Expand Beyond the Screen

Let’s take a closer look at that last point in the list above: using unexpected perspectives. Video allows a huge amount of creative flexibility in creating educational messages that show engaging perspectives.  

You could develop a script that incorporates animation and 3D motion graphics. Show a cross-section or give a peek at the interior of tiny spaces that are usually invisible to the human eye. Drone videography has also opened a new way to share a bird’s eye view.

You can also expand your message beyond the screen by inviting students to continue exploring after the class. Provide social media connections and invite them to watch more videos on YouTube later. This makes your message more relatable and shareable.

5. Test Your Script With College Students

Before your script gets too far into pre-production, test it out with college students first. Ask them for honest feedback about the script’s humor, language, and how well it keeps their attention. Incorporate their feedback into revisions.

Also, consider doing a table reading—a live run-through that practices the timing of your video. Don’t be afraid that it will squelch the spontaneity. Great educational videos are well-rehearsed and planned, with professional production quality that adds just the right amount of magic.

If you need an engaging educational video, our team of video experts can bring your ideas to life. Connect with NextThought Studios for a quote, and let’s start brainstorming.

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About the Author

Janelle Bevan, M.A.

Janelle has produced and project-managed a wide array of videos ranging from corporate commercials to long-form documentaries. While completing her Master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma, she served as the graduate assistant to the department chair for the Creative Media. Janelle has worked with many nationally recognized organizations, creating documentaries for the National Association of Broadcasters, designing and editing instructional videos for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as producing the 2015 Broadcast Education Association awards show in Las Vegas. Janelle is a six-time Telly Award winner and won a 2016 Emmy for her documentary featuring a collaboration from three executive producers of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Janelle has since served as NextThought’s Director of Post-Production and Media Management and helped facilitate over 1,000 videos in the last year.

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