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Script: Writing your text

The purpose of writing a script is to create a visually engaging storyline for the video. Depending on the extent of the video production, your text can be quite simple or written-out in detail. Filming in a studio or on location with a videomaker usually means you need to translate your story into a detailed three-column script. Your written text can then be used for the autocue.

The text for your script consists of three parts. When writing your text, consider the following:


  • Start with a strong main question or hook that your students find interesting.
  • You can start with a misconception, followed by ‘let’s find out if this is true’. 
  • You can ask yourself the question that your video is providing an answer for.
  • Answer in the opening text what you are going to explain in the video. Tell your students why it is relevant what you are talking about.


  • Write down what the answer is to the main question of the video and explain key concepts.
  • Discuss one key concept per segment.
  • Make explicit connections between different parts of the explanation. Rephrase shortly what you just did, followed by the new question to be answered.


  • Summarise what the viewer has seen/heard.
  • If applicable: return to the statement/question from the beginning of the video.
  • Relate the content of the video to other learning material (or coming video’s).

Create your own script with this template.

Keep it simple
Concentrate on simple concepts, which can be grasped immediately and will be easier to pronounce when recording.

Use active language
Write in the present tense and use words your target audience is familiar with. Want to know if your text is easy to read? Try reading it out loud.  Do you stumble over particular words? Or is it hard to reach the end of the sentence without needing to pause for a breath? Then your text is too complex.

Addressing the audience
Addressing your students directly, will greatly improve the completion rate of the video. You can do this by using such words as ‘we’ and ‘together’, instead of ‘I’ and ‘they’. For instance: “Are there any examples you could think of? One example could be…”

Length of the script
Research shows that the ideal length of an online educational video is around 6 minutes. To calculate the time of the video before recording use a word/time calculator online: http://www.speechinminutes.com.

Ask for Feedback!
We recommend that you should always ask for a second (or third) pair of eyes to review your video scripts. You can ask an instructional designer and/or videomaker when you are working with a team. But you can also ask another content expert, an end user or a native speaker.

Guo, P. J., Kim, J., & Rubin, R. (2014). How Video Production Affects Student Engagement: An Empirical Study of MOOC videos. In L@S ’14: Proceedings of the First (2014) ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale (41-50), NY: ACM?

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