The manifesto is published under a CC-BY-SA Licence. For comments, edits, inputs, critics please go to the Version.


This manifesto is an overview of the opinions and feedback shared by the experts involved. It is the result of a creative ThinkTank and cannot be attributed to the opinion of a specific expert, organisation, or University.

The Manifesto presents fifteen key statements on videos in higher education. The statements were motivated by the fact, that videos play a larger role in higher education today than ever before. Yet there are still no convincing standards established. This manifesto neither aims to present a finalized answer to the challenges of video in higher education or state an infinite truth. It’s was rather written in an effort to raise the awareness on the topic for continuing and fruitful discussions. Therefore, its goal is to reflect the current landscape of university productions and advance scientific educational video development in the future.

1. Have Fun, Videos can be sexy

If you don’t enjoy the creativity of the production process, how can you expect your viewers to enjoy watching your videos?

2. Why and when Video

Video is not always the right medium. Ask if video is a suitable medium for the content, purpose and learning goal; Consider its length and style, and make use of the inherent richness of the characteristics of the medium.

3. Characteristics of Videos as Moving Images

Video as a time-based medium offers certain specific characteristics: use the power of images to visualize the invisible; recombine images and sounds in a unique way; visualize your arguments; the rhythm of montage defines the dynamics. Audiovisual rhetorics meets scientific education.

4. Classroom vs. / and Video

The learning experience of a lecture in a classroom and an educational video are fundamentally different — for the lecturer as well as for the students. Learning can take various paths. Video consumption is an autonomous process that should not replace social learning settings.

5. Learners and Goals are situated

Learning is always contextualized. The reception of videos is dependent on the individual sociocultural background of the recipient, which unfolds differently in different contexts. Think about the involvement of the learners.

6. Learning Experiences as Storytelling

Stories create a more immersive learning experience. Spend more time on creating a narrative storyboard and script based on the content, examples or argumentations. There are few good videos without a (at least decent) storyboard.

7. Video Production Values shape the Quality of Learning Experiences

The quality of a video is determined and constrained by storytelling, editing, performance, sound, cinematography, framing, props / scenery, and technical equipment, to name a few.

8. Both sides of the Camera

On one side: Filmmakers can support or hinder the performance of a lecturer.
The individual production setup strongly influences the performance of a Talking Head. 
On the other side: It all comes down to the educator’s performance skills. Speaking faster does not make your video more dynamic. Practice is a must.

9. Collaborative Process Design and Co-Authorship

Filmmaking is never a one-man-show.
If you do not want to collaborate, write a book.

10. Transparency of Video Production

Formalizing the distinct stages of decisionmaking is key to defining necessary skills and allocating available resources. A lack of organisation does not make your video more creative. And with less budget the video does not get more creative either. But with a better organisation, the full creative potential of video might be realized with a smaller budget.

11. Production is done … Now start over again

We’re just kidding. Ask yourself a few questions: is the educator happy, is your audience happy… is the cat safe? If reception wasn’t ideal, don’t worry — making learning videos is also a learning process and that means practicing, practicing, practicing and gaining experience, it means learning and finally getting better and better at it.

12. Riding on the Shoulders of Film Giants

No one is born a master. There is a long-established history in scientific educational filmmaking, dating back to the very beginning of moving images. Read, watch and learn – and contribute to the further development.

13. Theory meets Practice

Knowing all the rules and theories about education and filmmaking will not immediately make you a great educational filmmaker. There is no onesize- fits-all approach to videos in higher education. Practice; play; cooperate.

14. Worlds collide!

Filmmakers; educators; learning experience designers; nerds; technicians… Embrace the unique perspectives of those involved in the production processes. They might even shape your own thought processes.

15. Future Knowledge Legacy

Not all videos last forever but — but some do.
Videos — including yours — are historical artefacts of and for the university archives to conserve. Can you live with that?


Manifesto Videos in Higher Education
Download the pdf version here
Adobe Acrobat Document 4.8 MB