Ebook or video lesson: which one is the best format for your online course?

Ebook or video lesson: which one is the best format for your online course?

Choosing the format for your product is a very important step. Learn how to identify the most suitable option for your type of content.

The online course market is very broad in terms of media formats and forms of content delivery. But if you already have a subject or theme in mind and you are starting the process of creating your product, you may be in doubt between two widely used formats: ebook or video lesson.

Ebook and video lesson are the most disseminated formats for online courses because they are easy to access and allow easy assimilation of the content to be studied.

In order to identify the best format for your content, here are a few features of each, their advantages, the best ways of using them and points of attention.

Ebook

Ebooks have mostly written content, which can be in PDF or Epub format.

PDF is a well-known extension used online and by several programs and even smartphones have PDF-compatible readers.

Epub uses the same logic as PDF, but it has the major advantage of adapting to different devices and contains text organization and layout that facilitate reading according to screen size, which is called responsive. If you want to read content on your smartphone, it will adapt to the size of the device; if you want to switch to a tablet, the same content will adapt to your device’s screen.

An ebook, in addition to written content, may also contain images, charts, and flowcharts that enrich the subject and illustrate and exemplify information.

Learn about other advantages of this digital-content format:

Advantages of ebooks:

  •                    If you think that you express yourself better in written form rather than orally, eBooks can be an excellent choice. Thus, you can transmit all knowledge to your audience more effectively and clearly, and convey your ideas more confidently and confidently.
  •                    After downloading the file, buyers will no longer need to use the internet to view the content.
  •                    Production is simpler, just use a text editing tool such as Word and Google Docs, and devote time to writing.
  •                    You don’t have to appear on videos, which is an advantage if you do not feel comfortable in front of cameras.
  •                    It takes up less storage space on reading devices.
  • This type of product is accessible for the hearing impaired.

Best forms of use

When you develop an eBook, you need to develop the content clearly and efficiently, which means that your information should be 100% understandable by your audience in the reading format.

You must make sure that the entire text is correct according to English grammar norms (or the language that will be used) to guarantee the reliability and seriousness of the content.

It is important that it be written in a fluid and dynamic manner to prevent the text from being monotonous and uninteresting. Therefore, images and other additions are very important to increment an eBook. Using examples also gives the reader a mental picture and a better understanding of the subject matter.

Dividing your text into topics or subtopics also helps organize the text and facilitates understanding.

Points of attention

Written texts can be easily used or even plagiarized by others without proper referencing. So be sure to comply with copyright regulations to have your rights protected by the legislation in your country.

Products in this format may not attract certain audiences who resist reading or have difficulty with text interpretation. In this case, you must identify your persona carefully before developing your material.

Written content is often considered to be simpler than audiovisual content, so people might be willing to pay less for it.

It is important that you implement clear and engaging language to hold attention and ensure your audience’s comprehension.

Video lessons

Online courses in video lesson format, as the name says, are courses made up of videos through which the content will be transmitted and taught.

These videos can be hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, or even streamed from your online course platform, for example.

Advantages

  •         Audiovisual resources, which require greater production and development, value the product in a way that buyers might be willing to pay more for them.
  •         By using your image and talking directly to your students, you can establish a closer relationship with them, conveying trust and accessibility.
  •         Video content is absorbed in an easier and more accessible manner.
  •         Through images and demonstrations, products that teach procedures or techniques can be better understood by students.
  •         Possibility of using other complementary resources, such as screencast, soundtracks and effects that make the class more inviting and didactic.

Best forms of use

Videos should display clear images with good resolution. Search for the best cameras to record your material in a professional manner.

In addition to images, the audio must have clear volume and always be free of noise to ensure that everyone can understand it. Diction is also very important to facilitate the understanding of the content.

Videos should be shorter, averaging 10 minutes in length so that the viewer doesn’t lose focus and can watch the entire video.

Videos should be as “small” as possible so that a slower internet connection doesn’t prevent the playback of your content. Use the .mp4 file extension and a 720-pixel resolution to save your files.

If you don’t feel comfortable talking in front of the cameras, you can hire an expert in your subject or ask for the help from someone who is comfortable in this area.

Points of attention

Certain people might not be able to view the videos due to internet malfunctions. Make it clear that in order to access the classes, they will need to have a stable internet connection.

Inevitably, the production of the material will be a bit more complex. If you are not familiar with video equipment, hire a professional or invite a friend who knows how to capture images and audio and who edits video.

You can always learn this new skill; but in this case, the completion of your material will be a bit more time-consuming.

In order to reach people with hearing impairment, it is necessary to use subtitles or sign language translation.

So, ebook or video lesson?

Both formats are excellent for online courses, but before choosing the best to create your material, you’ll need to analyze your type of content and the audience you wish to target in order to choose the one that suits you best.

To do so, once you’ve defined the subject of your material, the second step will understand your ideal audience, the persona, as we mentioned earlier and only then think about creating your material’s format.

Once this is done, follow the next steps with the materials below, which we will make available for your online course:

>> Guide to creating the perfect eBook

>> How to create appealing video lessons (and sell them online!)                    

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