Getting Started Guide
There are three steps to creating a course on CompanyBright:
Planning Your Course
Courses on CompanyBright are delivered primarily through video. A video can be live action, a “talking head”, or a screencast with voice narration showing what’s happening on your computer (such as a PowerPoint presentation). You can also use audio and text to deliver a course, or combine different formats.
The key to a successful course is planning. First summarize your course by defining the course goal, intended audience, and instructional level.
You will then create an outline. CompanyBright courses are divided into lessons. Each course should start with an introduction and end with a conclusion lesson.
Your students will find the course easier to use if you break it up into logical, sequential segments. Rather than have an hour long lesson for example, break it up into six ten minute or twelve five minute segments. Each lesson should be titled and described so that a student can seek out or skip information as suits their needs.
Each lesson should be in a format that best suits the material being taught. For example a lesson on leadership would likely be a live video, while instruction on software would probably be a screencast. Depending on the nature of your course, you can also add activities, worksheets and assessments (quizzes) to any lesson.
A typical course outline may look like:
- Introduction- 2-4 minute video welcoming students to the course letting them know what they will learn and how they will benefit. This is the place to show your personality and enthusiasm for your subject.
- Lesson 1- Start by briefly letting the learner know what they will learn, launch into the meat of the subject, and conclude with a reference to relevant future lessons. (2-12 minutes total).
- Handout- Learning objectives, course overview, information covered in the multimedia lesson.
- Lesson Quiz- Quizzes aren't required, but make your course more valuable by providing accountability.
- Other Lessons- Course length is determined by subject matter, 1 to 8 hours.
- Conclusion/wrap up- 2-5 min; thank learner for completing the course; review goals and learning objectives; guide learner to final quiz or certification if appropriate. If you have related courses that would be of interest, mention them.
Creating Your Course
The content you use on CompanyBright can be either new or modified from existing sources. Most of your course should be delivered through video. When shooting your video, keep in mind:
- Lighting – Make sure the subject is well lit.
- Audio – Sound will make or break your video. Make sure your audio is clear and audible. Camera mounted microphones are inadequate, so get a good mic.
- Video - Use 720p or HD and a clean background. Aim for 5-20 minutes in length depending on your content.
- Type - Keep files to 1.0 GB or smaller . For file formats use.mp4, .mov, .wmv, .flv. 16:9 is the preferred aspect ratio.
If your video is to be a screencast, there are a number of software packages to help you:
- Camtasia Studio ($299) PC or Mac- *Most popular
- Screenflow ($99) MAC only – Popular with Mac users.
- CamStudio (free) PC only - Open source, includes Webcam integration
- Camtasia for Mac ($99) Mac only - very easy to use
- iShowU ($20-69) Mac only
- Microsoft Expression (Free) PC only
- Screenr (Free or Premium) Mac or PC
- Jing (Free) Mac or PC
Record your introduction lesson first. Introduce yourself and your qualifications. Summarize the course, its objectives and audience. Once the video and audio are looking and sounding right, then record the rest of your course.
Uploading Your Course
You will first create a course. Give it a descriptive title and compelling description.
From within the course creation page you can create individual lessons with tiles, descriptions, video and other files. Videos may be either uploaded to CompanyBright or linked to on YouTube or Vimeo.
Promoting Your Course
Once you’ve uploaded your course, it’s time to tell people about it. Start by letting your friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email what you’ve done. Then write blog posts. Write one for CompanyBright and we’ll put it on our site and promote it in our social media streams. Seek out successful bloggers who target the same type of audience your course is trying to reach and offer to write a guest post.