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A big barrier for most online course creators is the start-up cost and the confusion of what you actually need to get started. You have the knowledge and the skillset for the content but what is the first step? A lot of blog posts and articles will tell you that you need the best equipment out there but the truth is the best doesn’t equal the most expensive. Before you think about getting the costly cameras. Let’s start off with the bare/obvious necessities.

Your Computer
This might sound odd for some people but if you want to create an effective and valuable E-learning environment, you will need a good computer that doesn’t lag or create when you’re creating content or even hosting webinars.

Your Location
You want to choose a setting that fits your brand but also has some practical elements such as no background noises and no echo. Pick somewhere that is calm, with no outer distractions where you’ll be able to create and put out your best work.

Lights, Camera, Action!
Lighting is key to making any video look good. A free source of light is natural lighting. This just means to place your camera or computer in front of the window. However, one downside is that the lighting could shift during the day, and you get moments of extreme brightness or darkness. A way to avoid this is to shoot on a steadily overcast day to get the greatest light stability as possible. Ring lights are an alternative solution to natural lighting. They are great at evenly distributing light across your face and eliminating any harsh shows. Ring-lights can be bought relatively cheaply. I like the Irish brand GlamDoll who are a good price range.

While you can use your computer to shoot videos, a camera can give you just that extra edge. There are numerous cameras to choose from and there’s not really a way to say what camera is better or worse but if you’re not familiar with professional cameras like DSLR’s etc, the Canon T5i or the Nikon D3200 is recommended for shooting video. Shooting great quality video can be done on your computer as well but you have to make sure you have a great webcam that is inbuilt into your computer or alternatively you get an external higher-quality webcam like the Logitech C390, Logitech Brio or Razer Kyio.

The next is a microphone. There are numerous computers and even cameras that have microphones built into them but if you want to get a great audio capture, buying an external microphone is the way to go. There are different types of microphones depending on what environment you’re shooting your videos in, for example, if you’re shooting in a closed space where there’s just you and no one else, lapel microphones work best. Others include earbud microphones, rode microphones (clip onto cameras) and yeti microphones. If you want to invest in something beyond the bare necessities, microphones are your best bet.

Internet Access
If you are planning to create live training videos as part of your course then you will need a good internet connection, a video conversation that cuts off all the time where you can only hear the second word can get frustrating fast and can become the reason you lose your motivation.

Canva is a photo editing tool which you can use if photoshop is too advanced or expensive for you. It is free and easy to use. They have hundreds of templates and designs that you can use to create thumbnails, infographics or even just promotional images for your course.

ScreenCast-O-Matic is a great tool for screen recording your computer screen. The free version limits your recording to 15 minutes then adds a watermark but if you want to unlock all their features, it’s only 15 euro a year.

You can see recommended video recording and editing software further down under top tips for recording and editing your video!

Finally, you’ll need an online platform to launch and deliver your course. BrandedCourses.ie is an Irish company and we can help give you a branded platform for your course. We design and deliver an online learning portal for your courses within 14 days. And the added benefit that we are at the end of the phone if you need any help once your course is launched!