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Video Editorial Guidelines

Getting Started

It is important to understand the subject matter you are producing content for so learners of any experience level can grasp the material. The better you know the content, the easier it is to introduce new material and keep learners engaged. By using clear examples, simple word choice, and digestible sentences, you can create a better learner experience.

In video lessons, you’ll speak to learners as "Codecademy". We want to empower, educate, and guide our learners through our content so they can use what they learn in the real world. You should have an enthusiastic, energetic, and kind tone—some fun is encouraged! Think of Codecademy's voice as a brainy, empathetic friend.

Technical Details

  • Please record using QuickTime Player recording software for Mac OS or Windows OS. You can find a video tutorial on how to record your screen with a voice-over.
  • Please export all recordings with the 1080p aspect ratio (also known as 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels) UI for selecting 1080p

Tone

The voice of your video content should use the royal we.

Unless you are addressing the learner in a specific task, you should never use the second person or the first person singular. For example, in an assessment or a project step, you may say, “You should create…“ in reference to what the learner specifically needs to do. You should use “we” throughout the rest of the video and article instruction. For example, “Now we want to check that the variable has been....” or “If we wanted to define…”.

The tone of the video should be:

  1. Encouraging, but not patronizing
  2. Confident, but not brash
  3. Smart, but not stiff
  4. Fun, but not silly
  5. Informal, but not sloppy
  6. Expert, but not bossy
  7. Optimistic, but not hollow

At Codecademy, we strive for inclusivity and accessibility in our content! We trust you to use your best judgment during content production, however, some inclusivity pitfalls are less obvious. The content should:

  • Be culturally sensitive
  • Avoid addressing narrow demographics
  • Avoid niche or cultural references (e.g. memes, country-specific idioms)
  • Avoid negative language (e.g. "that was lame", "that's crazy", or references to mental illnesses or any disabilities)

Pedagogy

When writing content, consider using analogies or metaphors to help explain challenging concepts. The key to a great analogy is to clarify, rather than confuse, the learner. Check out the running dishwasher analogy in the JavaScript Promises lesson for an example. While this isn't a perfect analogy, it connects a confusing, intangible concept to something relatable to many of our learners could understand.

Never refer to code the learner hasn’t seen very recently. This is important. Your example code may feel vivid to you, but that does not mean it's as easy for a learner to recall.

This content will be taken by learners with different technical backgrounds and frames of reference. If you feel strongly that some content covered in a video will be essential to some learners but irrelevant to others, consider whether it’s possible to cut the video up into smaller, well-labeled, chunks.

Recording Guidelines

  1. Wear headphones or a lapel microphone to reduce background noise during recording.
  2. Your recording should sound well-prepared and confident. Avoid filler sounds like “umms” and “uhhs”. Also avoid recording background noises, hums, or echo sounds.
  3. Avoid making mistakes while recording. If you misspeak or mistype, please reshoot rather than record yourself debugging.
    • Note: Consider breaking the script down into small sections that you record individually. It can also be helpful to record the audio and visual components separately.
  4. Use clear diction and avoid slurring your words.
  5. Speak with a consistent volume throughout the recording.

Examples