Videos can provide a rich way of engaging learners and bringing the voice of the educator, and the other people, places and things involved in the course in a highly presentable format.
How to add a video step
Video steps can be added by selecting the activity in Course Creator and first selecting '+ Add a Step' then selecting Video from the dropdown list.
Please note the technical requirements listed in Course Creator and upload your video. You can then add a title and text to the step.
All videos on FutureLearn require a transcript and subtitles. See our guidance on creating subtitles.
Guidance for videos
Videos on the FutureLearn platform should be 5 minutes or less and certainly never more than 10 minutes. Videos are not the same as lectures, and the attention span of the learner sat in front of a computer or phone will usually be much shorter than a student sat physically in a lecture theatre.
Finding the right balance of videos to use on your course is a skill - video-heavy courses can be successful but too much passive content can limit learner interaction. Meanwhile other courses may have very little video and be equally as successful. Videos can be costly to produce which has have an impact on course production.
If you are unsure of how much video to include, we recommend you first outline them in a high-level course outline to seek feedback from colleagues in your team as well as from your Partnership Manager.
Please send a short sample video with branding and graphics added as far in advance as possible which allows us to check the video against our branding guidelines and technical guidelines.
We recommended that you encode your course videos using the settings below:
File format/container: .mp4 / .mov / .m4v
Frame size/resolution: 1920 x 1080 (full HD) is preferred. 1280 x 720 pixel is acceptable as a minimum.
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Frame rate: 25 or 30fps
Bit rate: minimum 2 Mbps constant bit rate (2,048 kbps)
Audio: AAC 44khz stereo @ min 128kbps
Maximum file size
Please note that the maximum file size for video uploads is 5GB.
Our video service (Vzaar) will re-encode the video which you upload into a variety of formats to make it suitable from play out on all browsers and devices.
From your source file, Vzaar will attempt to create the following encodes:
– SD @ 768 kbps, 648 px wide
– HD @ 2,048 kbps 1280 px wide
– iOS optimised versions for iPhone/iPad
Important – if the bit rate of the source video file you upload is too low, Vzaar will not be able to produce an HD option. For this reason, we recommend that you export your videos at a bit rate of at least 2,048 kbps. Some partners have reported issues with this when exporting screencasts from recent versions of Camtasia, where control over the bit rate of your video is limited.
We provide a range of video graphics for you to use when editing videos. These are optional for all videos except for the trailer on the course description page if you choose to have one.
Please read the guidelines for more technical information when using these assets found in the link below:
The FutureLearn graphics package includes an Adobe Premiere project and also as individual quicktime files (with alpha transparency) for use in other software. The package contains the following folders:
- 00 Guidelines and example: Guideline documentation for use of assets and a video example showing what is contained within the Adobe Premiere project – see below.
- 01 Adobe Premiere Project: Download this whole folder if you are using Adobe Premiere and wish to open the project with assets already in place.
- 02 Animated FL logo: Quicktime (.mov) video of the new FutureLearn logo animation.
- 03 Title card: Quicktime (.mov) video of the course trailer title animation. The Adobe Premiere project has text positioned in the correct place for this title card, but if you choose to use other software you will need to position your copy yourself.
- 04 Lower third straps: Quicktime (.mov) videos with alpha transparency. There are two versions provided with different animation styles.
- 05 Transitions: Quicktime (.mov) videos with alpha transparency for using to transition between scenes. There are four styles of transition. Each one is provided in four colour variations – yellow, pink, blue and white.
- 06 Static graphics: Static interstitials and titles are provided as editable Keynote, Powerpoint or Adobe Illustrator files.
- 07 Europa font: FutureLearn’s brand font which should be installed and used to add copy to your title card and straps.
The use of FutureLearn branding assets is required only on course trailers. We recommend their use on other course elements, including course videos and slide decks. However, if all course materials already exist in a consistent branded format (e.g. partner branding only), this is acceptable as well.
FutureLearn brand assets have been designed to be accessible to learners. Where other brand assets are used in the course, these must be fully accessible, i.e. displayed in a font, size and colour contrast that is clearly legible on a mobile device as well as a tablet or computer. See our Accessibility and inclusion policy for full requirements.
The video below shows what is contained on the Adobe Premiere project. It contains examples of the following:
- Video introduction and start boards – Futurelearn start board, transition into partner start board, transition into course title animation and then into video footage.
- Lower third straps – Two variations for lower thirds.
- Transitions – A selection of animated transitions for moving between scenes.
- End board sequence example – Transition into partner end board followed by partnership boards (‘In association with’, ‘Recognised by’).
Static interstitials and title slides are available to download as a Keynote or an Adobe Illustrator file (where each of the slides in the guidelines is on a separate layer).