Microlecture Videos

What is it?

A microlecture is a brief (under five minutes) video recording that explains a single concept or topic.

​Why should I do it?

The microlecture format encourages educators to leverage what we know about the science of learning. Effective microlectures scale content down to the essentials learners need to know and understand to be successful. See our notes about Designing for Learning for more information about helping learners manage cognitive load. 

What tools do I need?

  • webcam/microphone

  • a free recording application

  • free video hosting

What does it look like?

Microlectures videos are usually talking head style, narrated slide presentations, screencasts, or pencasts.

Learn more about talking head videos
Learn more about screencast videos
Learn more about pencast videos

How do I organize it?

Begin by formulating your objective and creating a solid plan, storyboard, or outline for your video. The style of microlecture we endorse uses a Pause Procedure format (see the template). Reflective moments, activities, and formative assessments can be built into your video using a free application.

Microlecture Video Template

Microlecture Video Template: 1. Introduce topic; 2. Begin with objectives; 3. Provide instructions; 4. Present major point; 5. Follow-up with reflective exercise; 6. Present an example; 7. Pause for an interactive activity; 8. Summarize major points; 9. Share references

Tips for Success​

  • Stick to your objective and avoid references to specific chapters, page numbers, dates, or assignments unless you plan to refresh this video every term.

  • Keep these videos brief, around 4 minutes is ideal but do not exceed ten minutes.

  • Embed video content such as microlectures into the learning modules along with text annotations that put the content of the video into the context of the lesson.


Example Microlecture Video (Screencast)



Educause. (2012). 7 things you should know about microlectures [pdf]. Retrieved from



Faculty Innovation Center. (2016). Microlecture [pdf]. Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin. 


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