Speed filming: creating short sharable videos using Facebook Live (Workshop)

Helen Clough & Andrew Smith – The Open University

Active workshop

Different teams at the Open University (OU) have experimented with the use of Facebook Live for student engagement.

Library Services at the OU used Facebook Live (FBL) online events to teach library skills, engage with distance learners and help to build communities. In May 2017 we delivered a series of 5 minute long Facebook Live videos on ‘fake news’ in the lead up to the UK general election. This was seen as a quick way to create timely video assets to reuse. We scheduled in time directly after the broadcast to add captions using Amara. In a change from our normal practice, no interaction was sought with viewers during the live broadcast but the engagement came later via views and shares on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the Library website, including comments such as “Want more fake news *thumbs up*”.

The OU Cisco Networking Academy team, used FBL to reach a large community of teachers and students. Discovering that FBL could reach teachers and students wherever they are, unlike many other traditional screencast tools. Using a combination of smartphone and open broadcast studio software. The team, created a weekly series of educational broadcasts. Supporting teacher education, as well as student engagement.

Attendees will be asked to bring along their own mobile devices with the Facebook app installed. However, we will also bring some extra equipment such as tripods, a gimbal, a lapel mic, a Bluetooth headset and handheld microphone.

Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Explain workshop timings.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of Facebook Live and quick mention of other platforms.
  • Multiple pages will have been set-up beforehand so that each group has their own page. We will show a pre-prepared video (created using Facebook Live!) demonstrating how to ‘Go Live’ from a Facebook page.
  • Explain available equipment and suitable use e.g. handheld microphone for interviews; tripod and lapel mic for pieces to camera; gimbal for doing a roving tour. Attendees will be asked to split into groups based on the equipment they would like to try. Ideally this will be a maximum of 4 people per group (1 or 2 in front of the camera, 1 keeping time, 1 filming).

Groups agree on topic and approach (15 minutes)

  • What are you aims and objectives?, e.g. introduce yourself and your work environment to distance learners so they can put a human face on the institution; introduce a topic and explain how to access further information; interview a subject expert; show an experiment; go on a tour or fieldtrip.
  • Outline a script and check timings (aim for 2-3 minutes; no longer than 5)

Rehearsal and filming (10 minutes)
Only do one take – you’re live remember! It’s okay to be unpolished.

Feedback (15 minutes)
Groups to feedback on what they did, on how they found the experience and how they might take it forward. Groups will have the option to show the video or not.

Wrap-up (5 minutes)
Demonstrate how to download mp4 of video for uploading elsewhere and briefly show Amara for adding captions.


Library services; Facebook Live; distance learning; building communities; student engagement; creating videos; student engagement; teacher engagement

Relation to the theme

  • engaging, stimulating and challenging learners
  • reaching and engaging different groups of learners
  • innovative ways of meeting learning outcomes and enabling learning gain
  • enhancing employability outcomes
  • building staff and student digital capability and confidence
  • scaling up excellence for broader impact