Making video content more engaging using VideoScribe

As part of the pivot to online teaching (see separate story) Kaitlin Wade and Penny Whiting created short videos on particular topics as a complement to face-to-face teaching. Students engaged with the concepts through the Videos, which were also covered in classes. To make these more engaging and effective, they used VideoScribe – software designed to create whiteboard presentations as animations. Kaitlin and Penny designed the videos to combine relevant audio and video information. This dual channel approach may help students process information more successfully than a single mode of transmission*.

*Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia learning (2nd ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Tools used: VideoScribe

Full story

Kaitlin and Penny used VideoScribe in moving the MSc programmes they deliver online. During the first lockdown they taught synchronously using Blackboard Collaborate. When planning for September 2020, they wanted to make the best use of the modes of teaching available to them. The approach included something close to flipping the classroom – providing videos and other content as preparation for synchronous engagement. Kaitlin and Penny used VideoScribe (paid software) to produce animated videos. You can see several examples below.

Photo of Penny Whiting
Penny Whiting
Photo of Kaitlin Wade
Kaitlin Wade


Kaitlin and Penny enjoyed producing the videos. Student feedback was very positive. While the videos take time to produce, they can be used again in future years.


  • The tricky part is fitting the animations to the audio. You can either record the audio, and then create the animations to fit, or create animations and then add audio. Kaitlin found the latter to be quicker.
  • The VideoScribe videos can be combined with other activities, such as quizzes to test understanding.
  • The videos can be made to a length appropriate to the topic, but shorter videos often work best.
  • You can add music to your video, but make sure the spoken voice remains clear.