Create Online Courses Fast and Easy with Free Adobe Spark Software | Duncan Koerber | Skillshare

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Create Online Courses Fast and Easy with Free Adobe Spark Software

teacher avatar Duncan Koerber, University Professor

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (1h 19m)
    • 1. Overview of the Course

    • 2. Introduction to the Software

    • 3. What Kind of Course is Spark Good For?

    • 4. There's No Need to Prepare Too Much

    • 5. Signing Up For a Free Account

    • 6. A Look at the My Projects and Video Pages

    • 7. How to Create Slides with Icons, Images, and Text

    • 8. 2 Important Tips for Effective Slides

    • 9. Applying the Right Themes to Your Course Videos

    • 10. Watch out for these Spark Quirks

    • 11. PreparingandDownloadingtheVideo Skillshare

    • 12. Spark's Inspiration Videos for Ideas

    • 13. Pro Tip: Editing The Sound Later

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About This Class

Creating an online course usually takes a lot of time. Preparing an outline and writing down point-form notes alone can take many months. And then you’ve got to sit down and record take after take of you talking until you stop making mistakes

Would you like to cut that prep time in half or more and make money on your courses sooner?

You can with new free, web-based video software, Adobe Spark.

I’ve created successful online courses with varying methods. In the end, I prefer using Adobe Spark. It’s the most efficient way to create online courses for Skillshare. 

In this course, I’ll show you why and how. 

You’ll learn to:

  • Find your way around the Adobe Spark interface
  • Create soundbites and link them together into a full video
  • Add free icons and images right from inside Spark to slide layouts
  • Apply appropriate design themes to videos
  • Use Spark for Promotional Videos

The course starts with a look at what kinds of courses Adobe Spark is good for. The course then fully explains every feature in the video creation page. I also outline some best practices for using the software efficiently.

If you’re new to online course creation, the lesson on recording technology and software will get you started on putting together your recording studio. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Duncan Koerber

University Professor


Dr. Duncan Koerber has taught writing and communications courses for the past 10 years at six Canadian universities to thousands of students.

Currently a full-time assistant professor at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, Duncan Koerber worked for nearly 10 years in reporting and editing roles for the London Free Press, the Mississauga News, and the University of Toronto Medium. He has freelanced for magazines and newspapers, including the Toronto Star.

Oxford University Press recently published his writing textbook, Clear, Precise, Direct: Strategies for Writing (2015). Available on Amazon, the book considers the seven most common errors (interfering factors) in writing and how to improve them (enhancing factors). His second book, Crisis Communication... See full profile

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1. Overview of the Course: You probably watched a lot of online courses, but have you ever thought of creating your own? Do you have a talents or something you can teach other people? The course Business is a huge business these days. And it can be really rewarding financially to get into the course teaching business. But it's not easy to create a course. And that's why I'm going to show you in this course how to use a piece of software called Adobe Spark. You need an easier, fast way to create an online course. The other ways of creating PowerPoint slides or Prezi slides can be more time-consuming. And if you have a side job, you have a four full-time job. It's very difficult for you to find the time to create those slides and record them using some other software to record your screen. But Adobe Spark is what I found to be the fastest and easiest way to create online videos that can be used in teaching courses. So in this course, I'm going to show you how to use Adobe Spark. How to apply all of its features and techniques to create an online course quickly, easily. I encourage you to watch all the videos and also do the project, try it out, give it a test before you start working on a real course that you're going to upload to skill share. And I've created a number of Adobe Spark courses very quickly within a weekend, for example, because everything is built-in to the software, everything I need the images, the icons, the sound, effects and stuff like that is all in there for me. I can insert videos and it just so clean looking as well. So check out this course and then try Adobe Spark for your own course creations. 2. Introduction to the Software: In this video, I'm gonna talk about why I love Adobe Spark software for creating online courses. I've created seven successful, highly rated online courses, but I've used a number of different methods as I've come to realize what I like to do and how I like to do it. My first course was actually on writing a cover letter. So to write a cover letter for a job. And since it was just starting out, I really didn't know what I was doing. So I turned to the web and got some recommendations. Some people said you should use PowerPoint and some sort of screen casting software. As a university professor, I've had a lot of experience with PowerPoint, and I actually gave up on PowerPoint in about 2010. I think it's boring. I think it's ugly. I think it facilitates people putting lots of text on your slides. And lots of text is ugly and hard to read. What did they find around 2010? While I was at an academic conference and everybody was using PowerPoint except one person. Her slides were really interesting. They were attractive. And it turned out she was using a piece of software called Prezi. And I started using that in my teaching at the university. And I've used it now for those six years. Naturally, when I started on my course creation journey, I turn to Prezi. But to record a course from your screen, you also need a kind of screen casting software. David spina, whose are really great instructor, mentioned that he uses a piece of software called screen casts automatic. It's only $15 a year and you capture the video on your screen and you can speak to the slides with your microphone. So I bought a microphone called the IRIG HD with little stand and a windscreen. But the challenge I found the Prezi and Screencast Nomadic method was that I needed to have the slides perfect first because I would be speaking to those slides. So obviously there's a lot of course prep work. And that took me many months. I was doing a little bit here, a little bit. They're planning out the whole course from start to finish having tons of notes. And then finally getting my presi slides into order. The next challenge was Screencast Nomadic was that I had to speak for, for 510 minutes at a time without making any mistakes because I didn't have any editing software. And even if I tried to edit the video, edit the problems out of it, edit out the alms and ours. All that kind of stuff. It probably would have screwed up the motion of my slides shifting and that kinda thing. So naturally I had to do many, many of these lectures because I would always screw up around the second or third minute. So for a ten minute one lesson video, I might redo it, retake it 345 times before I was happy with it. The other problem was speaking to the slides is sometimes you forget what you're going to talk about later. And then you end up seeing a pointer too, way too early. So I get two or three, slides down the line and realize, oh no, I had already said this stuff before. I forgot that I actually had a slide on that. I was just saying it when the other slides prompted my memory. Now I haven't given up on the Prezi method. I have used it in subsequent courses because I liked the movements of the slides. In Prezi. I also like having a lot of work space on the screen if I did that. But I developed another method, another approach, a kind of reversal of things. Instead of doing the slides first and then doing kind of a live take, recording myself saying those words. And of course potentially screwing up and having to redo it. I then did the slides last. So how does this work? While I downloaded a piece of software, it's free, it's called Audacity. And then I took my point form notes and I just talked. So I just recorded the soundtrack, the audio file, the vocal file of me just talking on the subject matter for each lesson. One sound file per video. And the great thing about Audacity is you can cut out the ums and ahs. Or if you screw up at some point, you can just say it again, delete the old part of that. At the end, you can remove your heavy breathing as I often have when I'm doing these things. You can also run some different effects on your voice. If your microphone is not bad grade or your microphone accentuates some bad parts of your sound. So if here are really in the mix, in the EQ, you can fix that with equalization. It can bring the levels up. You can do a lot of other things just to make you sound more professional. But the challenge with this approach to recording the sound file first is that then you have to think about the slide texts. So with this second method, I would then go back and listen to my sound fall but completely edited fixed up sound file. And I would take little notes on a notepad for the slide. Also, I would note the timing of key moments in my sound file. So I would know when a slide should change, maybe at one minute, 30 seconds or two minutes, 45 seconds, I should switch the slide. And only then once I've got some texts written down of what I said for the slides plus the timings. Would I go to Prezi and I would start creating the slides. And after I've created those slides, I had another process. And that was I would load up the presses onto my screen full screen. And I would use a screen casting software like Screencast Nomadic or now I've turned to ScreenFlow on the Mac. And with a little timer, I would play back the sound file. With the recording underway. I could switch the slides exactly at the moment that they need to be switched. Now I was listening to the sound file at that moment. So that would help me Trigger things, but I like to have the timings perfect. So I had that little timer at the ready. Then once I had my video file and my sound file, I would load those into another piece of software like iMovie. And that would allow me to link up that video and sound file and then just outputted as one single video file. And that would be done. This second process may sound more complicated, but it was actually a timesaver compared to doing the recordings live. Because I could make mistakes and just fix them up and never have to re-record the whole video. But I still searched for something better, something more automated. And that is Adobe Spark. Let me show you the benefits of using Adobe Spark for your online course creation. 3. What Kind of Course is Spark Good For?: Adobe Spark software is good for some courses, but not all. Let me go through what kinds of courses Adobe Spark is good for. First, the ideas cores. With an idea's course, you are not demonstrating something on the screen. As with a typical software course. With an idea's course, you do not necessarily have to have lots of text on your slides. And for Ideas Courses, you often want to have some very nice images, icons, photos, and Adobe Spark makes it easy to find those. Adobe Spark is also really good for English and language lesson courses because it does have useful textboxes. It has different layouts. You can employ. Just at the click of a button. If you're teaching a course on personal development or growth and you don't want to be on the screen. I also think Adobe Spark is really useful. Adobe Spark is still a slide-based piece of software. So any course topic or you are planning to use PowerPoint slides, I think, would work well on Adobe Spark. But if your PowerPoint slides have extensive texts and graphics, you may find the layouts inside Adobe Spark to be simple. But this may actually be a problem with your slides, not with the Adobe Spark software. Most people who teach presentation skills and presentation design argue that you shouldn't have a lot of slides. You shouldn't have a really complex design on the screen. And the nice thing with Adobe Spark is that it forces you to simplify your thoughts and ideas. What is Adobe Spark not good for? If your course has a lot of talking head videos, then you can't use Adobe Spark because there's no way of embedding any videos in the slides. And of course, if you're doing some sort of web demonstration or software demonstration, then you'll just use traditional screen casting. But even if you are doing these kinds of lectures, talking head, software demonstration, you may find Adobe Spark useful for an intro video where you do have some ideas or text on slides. And you may find it useful for your promo video. I've used this software for all of my promo videos because it has some really nice layouts, some nice themes with an interesting movement of slides and text. And it also has music. So you can run all different kinds of music tracks underneath your promise. And most importantly, I find Adobe Spark extremely easy to use. It's made me so much more efficient and creating my courses. And I think most people find these more interesting to look at than most promo videos using traditional slide-based software. So consider what you are trying to do, the purpose of it. And if that matches some of the things that I've said today in this lecture, then give it a shot. It's a free piece of software. You don't have to pay for it. You can mess around with it and see if it works for you. 4. There's No Need to Prepare Too Much: One of the toughest hurdles to cross in creating an online course is preparation. Coming up with overall topics. Trying to structure the course. Developing notes, maybe point form notes or even full script. This all can take many, many months and you may give up in the process. What I like about Adobe Spark is you can get away with not doing a lot of preparation. Or even that every idea is fully developed. This doesn't mean I don't want to you to research what you're gonna do or just completely wing it. But it's a very forgiving piece of software. And that means that you do not have to have a perfectly written script where every word is indicated. As I show on this course, Adobe prefers the Newspeak in sound bites. And I show how I build a course in little brick by brick increments. I don't have to sit here and talk live for ten minutes or five minutes with the pressure of not wanting to make a mistake. What I do is actually just come up with a bare bones, skeleton of notes about what I want to talk about for each lecture video. And then I just say a sentence. And then I think of another sentence. And then I think of another son. And I record each by itself. Sometimes I look back and I play a previous slide and they say, What do I want to say next? Now this does require some sense of improvisation, the ability to think of things on the fly. But I think once you get used to it, it just makes a world of difference. In the time required to prepare. You're coming up with ideas and recording them as you think of them. This is the ultimate inefficiency. And the slides look professional, the icons of professional, the themes look professional. But with something like PowerPoint, you can get some really behead looking slides. So there's no reason that you can't, particularly on topics you know a lot about. Just sit down with a beer outline and talk about your subject in these little bites to make it flow a little better. This creation process, what I do is actually do the whole soundtrack first. And then I go back and enter the, either the icons or the text or the photos within the slide boxes. And then I give it one full listen all the way through. And if I'm happy, it's ready to prepare and download that video. 5. Signing Up For a Free Account: One of the great advantages of Adobe Spark is that it's free. So if you go to their page, Spark dot, you'll see up here in the right side of the screen. It says start now for free. And you can log in with your Facebook account, your Google account, or as we're going to do today, sign up for free. If you do already have an Adobe ID, you may already have an account with them. You can use to access Adobe Spark. For example, years ago I had signed up for Adobe Acrobat. And so I already had an Adobe ID severity have that you can login right here. But let's say you've never used the software before. Just click on here to sign up for free. I mean, I don't like the login with my Facebook and Google because I don't want them getting access to my data and accounts. So I go to sign up for free. And then you're going to put it in this information. And I'm in Canada, and I'm not gonna tell you when I was born, let's say was porn. I don't know. Let's say 1990. And do I want to stay informed with their products now, I've read the terms of agreement, terms of use. So I sign up here and we come to this main page. So this is where you're going to begin everything. So that was the sign-up process is very straight forward, very easy to do. And so I think you can get started within, as they say seconds. So get your account set up, get it started. And you can start messing around with what we're gonna do. And that is the video side of things over here. I haven't tried these other two options and maybe those are useful for posts and pages by gated. Get over here, trailed the video side of things, mess around with it. It's pretty straightforward to use. 6. A Look at the My Projects and Video Pages: Now I want to show the basic features of Adobe Spark around the page that I'm going to load up. But when you come in and you don't have any projects, and this is the project page, the main page of the homepage. You will see this is the feature home of your projects. So to start a new project, so a new video, in our case, you just see this big plus button. They like to use these plus buttons throughout the layout of this software. And when you click plus, you get this, what would you like to create page? From here you can do either a post or a page or a video. I've never used these two. But of course I've made over a 100 videos, animated videos. And as they say, These are great for lessons, pitches, presentations, greetings in more. So you just click on that plus again. And this will create the first slide. And you can just put a name for it. Let's call it introduction video. Click Next, and out pops some templates. So they give you a bunch of options. If you've never used this before, you can try these layout templates. I typically don't use these, but maybe at some point you want to experiment with some of these. I like a blank. So I click on start from scratch at the bottom here. And I'll create a blank spark file. So once you've loaded that up, this is basically your workspace for making your video. The top left is just kind of a homepage thing where you can go through. You can find inspiration, for example, from what other people are doing. You can go back to your homepage or my projects. You can create these elements right here and there's support and so on. But really let's begin with this middle point. So this is your first slide. So this is it, this is the first slide here. This slide is also shown down here with a little one. And you can see below the slides. So you get an overview of all your slides at the bottom. And you get the one you've clicked on. Number one up here currently it's blank, of course. So within this box you have another one of these little plus signs. When you click on that, you get three options. So in this you can put an icon and they have all of these free icons. You put a photo and they have Creative Commons free photos. Or you can put text. Down below. We have the recording button in red with a little microphone. Blank, blacked out. Here is the playback button for this specific slide. And then over here is the length of the sound file in the video. So that's how long the video, or how long the slide is going to stay on the screen. Down on the left here you have another arrow. This is for playing the whole video. If we had a bunch of slides along here, then we could watch the whole video, the produced video. And then this sign here, this plus sign again, is to create another slide. So if I click on that, I can create the second slide. You see it comes up on the bottom, the third slide, the fourth slide and so on. I'll come back to these features in turn. Up here you can preview the whole video. You can share it with people. You can download it as a MP4 file. And then on the top right or some are three key elements. One is themes. So themes are going to be the color and the flow of the video. So how does each slide flow into the next? And you can see there's a little preview of how some of this works. So not every, every theme actually moves the slides in the same way. Some of them, for example, bring this slide up, others bring this slide down. Others move the slide left and right. So you can experiment with these and see which one you like the best. Some of these, I mean, to me either they look like kid stuff, this one called chalk, looks like kid stuff. So I would never use that on a professional video. But there are some very professional ones in here that I've used in my courses. So experiment with those and see which flow you like, which colors you like. And then up here we have music. So I don't use music on any lectures. And you don't want to use music on lectures because it's kind of annoying to hear this going through. But I have said in this course that this service is so useful for promo videos to promote your courses. And that's when you want to use music. So you can sample any of these types of music. They categorize them by happy, playful, relaxed, rousing, thematic, thoughtful, uplifting, warm. And if you click the little arrow next to the sound, you can sample it. So that was called leap frog. Let's go down. There's ukulele stroll. Under relax, we have warm pi. There is an arousing, you're bringing change. Under thematic. You have horror movie. I don't think you're going to use horror movie for your promo video. You really have to think about what effect you're trying to achieve, what emotions you're trying to express in your promo video and pick the appropriate music for that. I think there's about four or five of these that are really good for uplifting promo videos. But again, I wouldn't use this on lectures, so I'm going to turn it off. And then finally in the top right you have layouts. So within each slide you can choose up to five different layouts. So right now I've got one thing. So I can only put one thing in this slide. So I can put an icon, a photo, or text. If I want to do two things, I click on two things. And again, I can do an icon photo and text or an icon photo and text thing plus captions, you can put text at the bottom. And then again, you can do an icon photo or text in that box above it. Maybe you want to have a full screen photos or complete photo in that whole box. And this can be interesting sometimes because depending on the layout or depending on the theme you choose, it can come in in different ways. If you've ever watched any of those old documentaries where they take a photo and they zoom in on it or the zoom I owed on it. You can do that too. With this big photo all over the screen. Then there's thing plus full photos. You can have the photo in the background and then this text on top of that and see how I've, I've switched these throughout. I simply use one thing but occasionally to mix it up a little bit, I like to choose some other layouts that can also mix up the flow of what you're doing. So that is basically your main page and all you need to know about that. So let's go through the specific features. 7. How to Create Slides with Icons, Images, and Text: In this video, I'm going to talk about how easy it is to add content to your Adobe Spark slides. So here's that main page again that I showed you in a previous video. And here on the middle of the screen we have the first slide. You know, it's the first because you have a number down here. In this summary box of the slides. You've got a number there. This is the first slide. So I've already shown you all of the elements on this page in a previous video. So let's zoom in on this. I usually record my message, my vocal first, and then I turn around and add the content of the slide. So to record your voice, obviously, you have to have your microphone in, make sure that's in. Sometimes I've actually recorded mistakenly from my computer microphone when I meant to use my professional microphone. So just make sure that you've got that plugged in and chosen. So to record, you simply have to press your button here and you see the numbers that start to pop up. So right now it's recording everything I'm saying to you. And it's showing me the length of time. When I hit ten seconds. It said keep it short. That's because, and that's a good recommendation. It's because Adobe Spark believes that no slides should be longer than ten seconds. And I totally agree with this. You want slides to be transitioning pretty quickly throughout your whole video. You don't want to have a twenty eight, twenty nine, thirty second slide, as you can see as I'm, as I'm talking here. And then when you let go of the button, there, you finish recording so you must hold it down as long as you are talking. Now, some people would find that inconvenient. They would think, why can't I just press the record button? But I think what they're trying to do Adobe Spark is to remind you to keep it short and as long as your finger is holding that button down, then you're reminded the UR recording. So I've got an 37 second recording, as it says right there, this is very bad. You never want to slide. That is that lawn. Again, don't go longer than ten seconds. Many of my slides are three seconds, five seconds of sound. And that gets a nice change of slide because every time that is finished, that little sound clip, it takes us to the next slide. Now over here we have this arrow that allows us to play back the slides. So let me press this. And you see the numbers that start to pop up. So right now it's recording everything I'm saying to you and it's showing me the length of time. So you heard me say what I said before. So you saw this little squiggly that shows that you have some sound recorded. And as it plays, you see the white line in through the squiggly. And you see the numbers that start to pop up. So right now it's recording everything I'm saying to you. And it's showing me the length of time. When I hit ten seconds, it said, you can play that all the way through. Of course, as I said, that's a long slide. So now I want to show you how to add content to that slide, but I want to record something different. So let me say something else into the recording here. Very short. And then I'll show you how you can add content to that. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. So I recorded that little clip. It's six seconds, that's really good. That's a good short clip. And now I want to add some content to it so I listen to it again. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. So now you've got to think, what do I put in this box? I've got this big box here. And all I was talking about was a bad boss, good boss, that kinda thing. Well, you have to get creative. You could do text. So you can say wasn't the worst boss. And we can play that back. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. So Ci decided of all that six seconds of what I said, I have decided that I would use those last few words as my text. You don't want to put the whole statement. You don't wanna put everything you say in six seconds on the slide, because of course people are hearing it. So you just want to pick out key words, you know, phrases, that kinda thing. Now sometimes though you don't even want to use text. I mean, if I'm saying it if I'm saying wasn't the worst boss, why should I repeat it with text? Why don't I look for an image? And this is an amazing thing with Adobe Spark, is they have all these free images and icons that you can use that look very professional. They're free and you just click here. So instead of the text clicking on that, I click on icon. So well, what image by looking for? Well, of course, I was talking about a boss. So those are your keywords. Just type in boss. And then on the right side and the Find an icon screen, adobe gives you all these free icons that you may want to use. What looks like a boss. I mean, that's, that's the decision you have to make. Let's see this one. Well, that's a king. I don't think I'm going to use the one. This one could be a boss that looks like a boss, right? Or this one. Or we can click on this one. You can go on and honestly they're just endless as you scroll down. People that you might think are suitable as boss. So that's a possibility. I love icons. They're like little cartoons. They show up on the screen while I'm talking. He was not a very good boss. Did you see how that scrolled in there from the top? He was not a very good boss, so it provides some movement there as well. Now you can also do a photo. So again, it already had my search term boss in that box at the top. And these are free Creative Commons photos, so they are licensed to be used in any purpose, whatever you wanna do. Now these are not often though not always. As useful as the icons. Is that a boss? It's not bad. I guess they're showing boss is obviously not what we're looking for are these are, I think, boss guitar pedals. And this, this is not affective obviously. So it can be a little bit harder with the images. Sometimes to find one that looks like a boss. That's why I often use the icons. So let me delete that and go back to ICANN and boss. I find the icons more regularly match what you're saying. Which one do I like? I'll go with this one. So let's say this is boss. So there you go. You've created one slide. And now the course creation process is simply to add another slide and another slide. And the reason I like Adobe Spark in particular is that I don't really need to perfect my script. I don't have to speak perfectly for ten minutes at a time. Instead, I speak in little clips. 6 second clip here, a 10 second click there. And it's slowly but surely builds up the lecture. So let me show you so that my first slide again, he was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. So now I want to create the next few seconds of my lecture video. I just click this plus symbol, creates a new slide you see down at the bottom we have the first slide In summary. And then we have this number here for two, that's the second side. What else could I record? Let's say a record this. Many people fear their bosses. And let's just play that back. I wanna make sure recorded properly. Many people fear their bosses. So that's four seconds and I like that clip. And now I'm going to, I'm not gonna do text. Why would I want to write? Fear their bosses? I mean, I'm already saying that. Instead I'm gonna go to icons. And what can I say? I already have a picture of a boss and the first slide, but maybe I'm thinking of employees. So I type in the right side of the screen over here in find an icon. Employee and look for a suitable employee picture and let me try employee 0s. Okay, there we go. I mean, that's a nice little icon, very professional icon for employees. And now I can click over on this left arrow and watch all the video at once. So this is going to be about ten seconds. So let's play this back. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. Many people fear their bosses. So there we go. We have ten seconds, we have some nice icons, some nice movement between the slides. And then I'll add a third slide here. And that again, I can add different things. Why don't we try different layout though? Because I've already done one or two slides of the same layout, which is one thing. Let's take full-screen photo. And I can talk about, let me say I'm going to talk about was talking about fear. The workplace can be a fearful place for many people. Recorded another five seconds. The workplace can be a fearful place for many people. And now I want to put a, I've, I've chosen the layout of a full-screen photo. And I go to find photos. I was surgery for boss before, let's say workplace. Okay, so you start to get some more relevant images here. This one's kind of blurry. I don't like that is not bad, but I want to get a photo that's more of the full workplace. Just keep scrolling and scrolling. Here's a nice workplace, but it may not be the best one. But let's go for this for now so that we have a full screen photo. If you click on it, you can do zoom in, zoom out, zoom in, zoom out. I don't mind that it overlaps the box, that's fine. So now I've chosen a different layout to vary things and you really want to vary your slide layouts. You only have five options down the right side, but you want to vary them to create some change for the viewer. So let's watch this whole video now. I've got three slides listed along the bottom. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. Many people fear their bosses. The workplace can be a fearful place for many people. That you see in the video there, how it actually took this photo and it made some movement out of that photo. The workplace can be a fearful place for many people. The photo gets progressively bigger. The workplace can be a fearful place for many people. So now I've got three videos. I'm, if I play the whole thing, you'll see on the right side of the screen, it'll tell me how long the actual video is. He was not a very good you see down here on the right side, it's 19 seconds. That includes a little credits bit at the end of the video and includes this Adobe Spark credits bit. I sometimes remove this on my videos. So really we're looking at it's about 15 seconds. You can see. Let's add one more slide. Many people leave the workplace because of the fear for their boss. They want to start a new theory. I've got an 8 second sound file. Many people leave the workplace because of the fear for their boss. They want to start anew. So then I can think which one of these layouts might work for that. Let's try thing plus caption. Maybe in the text I want to say start a new, which is what I said in the recording. And then I knew keyword would not leave. They said workers like to leave because of the situation in the workplace. They have this icon that's really relevant to what I said. And I'm going to choose that one. So let's play the video again. We should be up to about 20 something seconds. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. Many people fear their bosses. The workplace can be a fearful place for many people. Many people leave the workplace because of the fear for their boss. They want to start a new. So there we built up now about 2022 seconds of a video. So we could go on and on doing this. I've showed you some of the layouts. I've showed you the icons, the photos, that kind of a thing. And this is basically the building process of a course video. You just keep building it. The reason I like this as well is that you can re-record your 8 second clip or your 10 second clip and make sure the other really good energy that you've spoken properly. And then you never have to worry about it again. You never you never have to go back and rerecord it. And you keep building and building and building the bricks of a house until you have that house, or in this case, the Course video built. So that is basics of putting together a slide. It's, it's extremely, extremely simple and straightforward. And you can experiment with which icons you want to use, which photos and build up over time. A 2510 minute video. And you keep your videos less than ten minutes. You don't wanna go longer than ten minutes on these spark videos or because they can kind of become monotonous if they're too long. So keep them between 25 minutes. 8. 2 Important Tips for Effective Slides: Now I want to take this sample course that I've created, and this isn't a very good course. I'm just making this up off the top of my head as I go along. But I wanna give you a couple of tips just for making the flow of the slides a little bit better. And one is not to speak in full sentences all the time. So, so far on my four slides, I've spoken in full sentences. But if I add another slide, and I want to make this one thing, Leo, I could say something like, the best workplaces have these three characteristics. So let's play that back. The best workplaces have these three characteristics. So now I haven't finished the sentence because I have to list those three characteristics, but I can put in some text. So say three characteristics. So that's the text on that slide and then I create another slide. You can see down here we're up to number six. And what would those three characteristics be? I mean, I'm just I'm not even sure what I'm going to say here, but we could do something like welcoming atmosphere. That could be the first one. So then I say in the recording, welcoming atmosphere. Play that back. Welcoming atmosphere. Let's create another slide. This will be number two. I mean, what else would I say here? I'm just making this up. Let's say collab or environment. And then I record that collaborative environment. Collaborative environment. I didn't like that. Take let me try it again. Collaborative environment. Collaborative environment. And then the third elements. What can we say? We could say something like good benefits. Of course, you would have worked out what these notes are here, what the point forms are before you do this, but I'm just making this up as I go along. So I record this. Good benefits, play it back. Good benefits. And there we go. So what I've done here is I've added one sentence. I've created actually four slides. And we're talking about 14 seconds. I think I'm close to that. And watch what happens with the flow here as we go along. And now I don't want to play the whole video. One of the things you can do actually is go down to this summary of the slides at the bottom. And for many one slide you can click in the right corner and you can delete, it can duplicate, or you can play from here. So let me just play from here so I don't have to play the whole video and look at how speaking in half sentences. Or fragments across a number of slides creates a little bit more flow. Many people leave the workplace because of the fear for their boss. They want to start a new. The best workplaces have these three characteristics. Welcoming, atmosphere, collaborative environment, good benefits. So you saw the nice flow of the slides as they came on the screen. And that makes things, gives thing some variation for your viewers. Another tip is to avoid having too much text for too long a period. So I know I've said to break it up into small bits. But sometimes we can go 20 slides without having any icons. Now I haven't done something extreme like that. But maybe after this run of slides with text, I would like to have a slide that has some icons are some images in it. Let's try adding some icons. They reflect, for example, good benefits. So I create a new slide. Well, what is a good benefit? We could say health care. So I'm looking for an icon on the top right that has to do with health care. Usually let me look for doctor. So sometimes you have to be your own thesaurus, you have to come up with some other keywords. Yeah, we got some good images here of a doctor. So this would be health care. So I just record that. Health care, for example. Health care for example. What's another good benefit at the workplace? And be vacation days. Okay, so there's no result in the top right here for vacation days, but if I type just vacation and a few other ones that represent a vacation. But I like this one on people's sunning themselves on the beach. So you can go on and on and do things like that. But the point here is simply the, these, these little icons can break up what I just was talking about. So let's just start the video again from here. Good benefits, health care for example. So we've got those two. I need to record. Vacations. Vacations, good benefits, health care for example, vacations. And on and on. And then you would have another text slide, for example, to add on to this. So those are two tips. Just a freshman on your flow of slides and the nature of your recordings. 9. Applying the Right Themes to Your Course Videos: Let's now zoom in on the themes tab. So if you go to the top right of your screen, you see the themes tab up here along with music and layout. And I've clicked on this. And these are all the color schemes and also the relationships between the slides. So if you just roll your mouse over them, you can see the movement. You can see how they bring the same slides in. Sometimes these certain theme will bring a slide in from the left, sometimes bring it down, sometimes it'll bring it sort of inward. And it's up to you to go through once you've done your slide for your video, to figure out which one of these works best for you. Some considerations to consider here with these, these themes are your target audience. So who's gonna be watching this is going to be kids, is going to be adults. Doesn't need to be more professional. Or can it be, can acute C as this grunge sample is here? I've determined there were only a few that are completely professional. I think. Blueprint at the top here is quite professional. Film is not bad. See you have moves the slides up and down. Flight is interesting. See here brings the slides inward. Ginger is pretty solid. I really like impact. Also know the font is different in each of these. So depending on the Fine you want, you may choose that opportunity. I've used a couple times for promo videos. Sat, and this one is very classy. If you've got a classy topic, hey, you want to talk about. Signal is nice for the font. And also people are often interested in the yellow color that attracts there. I few of these are not bad, but I mean, I'm not gonna do a course video in this vivid with that rainbow background. Maybe this Wander one would be interesting. So go through those, check those out, see which one matches the attitude you want to portray, the audience that you're gonna be directing this to, and then you simply click on them. And the great thing about Adobe Spark is it will format your whole slide deck according to that theme. So why don't I choose, let us choose signal. I really like this one. So there along the bottom you see it's reformatted all the slides in terms of the font, in terms of the color. And also you'll see a difference in the way slides relate to each other. So let me play this as a quick sample. Watch the movements between the slides. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. Okay, that's the first one. Let's play it all together to see how this relates. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. Many people fear their bosses. The workplace can be a fearful place for many people. Many people leave of the workplace because of the fear for their boss. They want to start a new. The best workplaces have these three characteristics. Welcoming, atmosphere, collaborative environment, good benefits. I think you get the point, that's how that one works. But if we change it to, for example, lights, this to me, looks like a nightclub somewhere. And then we play that back. Watch the difference between the slides, how the content comes on the screen. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. Many people fear their bosses. The workplace can be a fearful place for many people. Many people leave the workplace because of the fear for their boss. They want to start a new. The best workplaces have these three characteristics. Welcoming, atmosphere, collaborative environment, good benefits, health care for example. So you can see it's very different. Now I don't think this theme matches what I'm talking about. This theme is something else, something for another topic. So that wouldn't work. This one probably more like it. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. Many people fear their bosses. So that gives you an idea of the change in the font. The, here we have very different font and the flow of the slides. So that's something to consider as you go through these and you try to decide which one to go with. As I said before, I wouldn't go with, for example, grunge. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. Many people fear into me. I don't like that kind of style, so that wouldn't fit what I'm trying to say. So that's it for themes pretty straight forward. Pick the one that works best for the content you are showing. And you can change these at any time just by clicking. And sometimes if you have a longer course, one tip I gave you is you've got a lot of videos. You may want to vary some of these. That doesn't mean using all of them in your course. But maybe pick two or pick three. And very them. So maybe every third video is flavor or something like that. And then the rest are geometric. Or whatever you decide, repeat the pattern by varied a bit because it could be kind of annoying for the viewer to come across a 100 of these in exactly the same theme in a course. I recently published a course of 55 videos. They are very short, two to three minutes. And I just did Ginger. I did impact. And I did signal. So I did ginger impacts signal, ginger impacts signal on and on throughout those videos to provide some variation. 10. Watch out for these Spark Quirks: Adobe Spark is a web-based piece of software. So you don't have to install anything on your computer. You don't have to pay for it, as I said before. But also it needs an internet connection. So you have to make sure that you've got a continuous internet connection or else you just can't work on your sparks. Also, there are sometimes issues with savings. So if your internet connection is slow, you will, as you change a slide, see up in the corner here and next to that word video, you'll see a little thing saying saving dot, dot, dot. And if you have a slow Internet connection, it could save for awhile. So it's good practice when you're using Adobe Spark to make sure that your internet connection is strong, I would suggest going to speed test and running a quick test to make sure everything's okay. Because if you are having a very slow Internet connection, it can bog you down here. So here I've got a very good Internet connection, very good speed right now in terms of downloading. And so you want to, I won't have any problem saving, but there are times occasionally when my Internet's been really slow for some reason and I get that saving that word saving up here. Let me see if I can change something. Maybe I'll change a slide and you'll see it. If I take the H off here watching the top left, See it's, it's saving there for a second. And put that back. So it will save your changes as you make them. So that's great. You don't have to keep saving the file. You don't have to worry about losing things. But sometimes if that's saving does not go away and it just hangs there, then what you recently changed. So maybe this slide here that is not saved, the changes are not saved. And if you actually go away from your spark, maybe you go back to my projects. The computer will warn you, the web browser will warn you do not leave this because you haven't saved your changes occassionally, they never save. So just keep an eye out for that. You'll be warned about that. And also, when you record some sound, just play it back after. Before you download the file, you obviously you want to play back the whole video. But sometimes it's good to play back the individual slide right after you record it. Maybe your dissertation is about working through a method determining its usefulness. That might be the y. So that was just a slide from my dissertation course. And sometimes when you play it back, the sound may have little pops because your internet connection when bad, right? When you recorded it. Sometimes the sound quality is poor and I think it might have something to do with the sending of the sound file over the internet. And just something didn't work as it was sending it to the server. And those are two little bugs that I've told Adobe Spark about that they're working on fixing. So just keep that in mind that you wanna make sure it's high. Maybe your dissertation is about work. Play that back. Sometimes also when you play back the full video either through preview at the top or down here in the slide summary section. May not load times. I've seen a circle just turning and turning. And again, I've told the Adobe Spark about this bug. And it may have something to do with the internet I think, or the browser that I'm using. So if you do have any problems with that, or occasionally a slide just doesn't keep the sound recording. So you come back and you find the slide has the little squiggly down here. So that's an indication that there's a recording and it says six seconds, but then when you play the slide, it's blank. There's no sound there. And so occasionally these sound files will drop out by, you would know that right away. So if you check it right away and it's fine, you don't have to worry, it's saved and it's fine. So those are just a few things to just keep an eye on as you are making your videos so that you don't lose anything or have any problems. 11. PreparingandDownloadingtheVideo Skillshare: Once you've completed your slide deck, you need to get all of this material out of Adobe Spark into a file that you can send to somebody or post online. Up here we have the share button and that's how you're going to get it out of Adobe Spark. So click on share. You get the SharePoint page of the title. You can pick a category. And this part, this right side of this box, allows you to create a link and share that with anybody. They can go to the website, they can find it. They can view your video. But I know if you're doing online courses, you want to have the actual MP4 video to upload, to skill share. So simply you click over here on download. And then it'll come up with this screen with some interesting quotations here. And at the top it says Preparing your video for download. And you see right here very thin red bar that is slowly, slowly advancing across. And so I think what, what's happening in the background is, is producing your video. It's bringing all the slides together. I believe it also modifies the voice a little bit with some normalization. So that means bringing all the levels up to a reasonable level so that it doesn't sound too quiet. I think I've seen that effect on my videos when I load them into audacity. So it's doing this production here. And then when it's finished preparing that, it'll give you the MP4 file if you need it in another format, you're going to have to find a converter online to convert that to another format. There are a number of a piece of software for this, for skill share where I have a lot of experience. Mp4 is perfectly fine and that's what you'll upload to the website. So we're almost there, here. There you go. And then down in the bottom of my screen, here you see it's downloaded the video. So why don't I open that up? I'm using a Mac. And here it comes in a nice file format, single file that I can use anywhere. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. Many people fear their bosses. Okay, so there's the video. So you just go and you upload that to your course site. And if you want to change anything, you can always come back. These things are saved in the My Projects section of the site. So here I have one project listed in this account introduction video. So you can always go back and you can change things if you find any errors and your spelling, which is very common, although it does have a little spellcheck, sometimes you'll see a lower word if you spelled it wrong, you'll see some little red, little red line. You can go back and fix that and produce it again, prepare that for download, and then re uploaded to your course site. 12. Spark's Inspiration Videos for Ideas: Sometimes it's hard to realize what's possible with a new piece of software. And Adobe Spark provides you at the top here with an inspiration gallery. So I've selected amongst these possibilities, education, and I want to see what sparks had been done on education. Now some of these, you'll see our pages. I don't want those, I just want to videos, so I click on Videos. And I go down here and I'm just going to click on one of these to see what's possible. When type meets image, there is automatically a dialogue between them, which can pull the message into many different directions. Today, we're going to look at the four critical relationships of type and image. Burning. The differences of these relationships is essential in the graphic design process and will eventually help you in concept in your designs. We are going to cover separation, fusion, fragmentation, and inversion. First is separation. So she's done a nice job here of mixing. So slide layouts, whether it's full picture, whether it's one thing. And that one was a pretty good example of what can be done with this, this kind of software. Let's see what this one is. Today we are experiencing a revolution in the way we work and live. The growing information economy provides new opportunities for employment. But many people do not have access to the resources or support they need to participate in the new economy. But one Saturday in February, a group of young adults in East Baltimore participated in the first boot workshop. Together, we learned about digital fabrication technique is a very good short slides here again, keep it short. So we have a lot of shifts between slides. Pretty good voiceover, some variation. Here's a full picture. So keep that in mind as an option for inspiring you to come up with something new and fresh. There can be a tendency, and this is the only problem with something like Adobe Spark, that all the videos come out of looking the same rights. Because if everybody's using this, if everybody's using the same themes of the same music, it can standardize a lot of these videos and that's often a criticism of this kind of software. But you can break out of that if you are creative. And these things show you how you might do that. 13. Pro Tip: Editing The Sound Later: You can have the greatest contents in the world in your courses. But if it doesn't sound great than people just aren't going to buy your courses or follow them all the way through. Sound quality is of the utmost importance. So it's important to have, first of all, a really good Mike. I have the IRIG HD Mike, the plugs right into my USB port. It was about a $120 Canadian. Some people use the Blue Yeti model and I've heard a lot of good things about that. But whatever you do, do not use your bill ten computer microphone, either professional microphone to be of the highest quality. On Adobe Spark. It takes SR sound files, puts it on the servers, and then when you prepare the video and downloaded, it produces that sound. I believe they add some sort of normalization of levels effect. Although here I have loaded into my editing, my sound editing software, what I just recorded for you in the course demonstration. And it looks kind of low. So essentially in this Audacity software and this is free, you can use it on Mac or PC. You can load in the MP4 file that you download it. And it'll show you only the sound file. It won't show you the video file. I don't have a configured for the video. There is a way of doing it, but I haven't figured out how to do it. But this is all I need because I just want to upgrade the sound, a touch. And this is an advanced technique. And so what you do if you've got your density software, you load up your sound file. These are the waves of sound, for example, if I highlight this and play it, but he wasn't the worst boss. So you remember that from the core sample video that I improvised earlier, I've got this full sound here. Now, I want this to be louder so I wanna make sure that people can hear me properly. But these waves look a little low, so if they're not near the top of the box here. So what I can do is do control a or highlight all. And I can go to Effect. And there's a thing called normalization. I think Spark is doing this, but it could be more so you just have, the only option here is to put minus1 dBs. And you click OK and watch, see how the size of the sound volume levels went up, normalizes that volume. Another thing I like to do, and they do a lot of this on radio and commercials, is to choose Effect compressor. And this will smooth out some of the ups and downs volume. Sometimes I was speaking louder on some slides at some points than on others. And I want to kind of make that more even that makes it easier to listen to. And these are just the standard numbers here. But you can pause your video if you want to type these into yours. But I believe these are the standard numbers that are built into our Udacity's compressor function. Click OK and watch the waves. You know, they kind of, you know, they got a little clipped off their little smaller. And then I also do some equalization. Now this equalization either enhances the high note severe voice or you can enhance the middle ground of your voice. You can enhance the base of your tone using equalization. And this you have to experiment with. Normally it's just a flat line when you load up equalization. On Audacity, it's a flat line, so nothing's being altered. But if you go down here to select curve, you can now do a lot of things to your voice. You can change it into a telephone sound for exemplify, click telephone. That's the graphic depiction of what it's gonna do in terms of changing my voice. And then it sounds like this. It was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. But I don't want it to sound like a telephone on my, my course videos. What I wanna do is enhance my voice to make it sound a little deeper, a little, you know, little stronger. And so my microphone, I've determined over time, tends to accentuate the high end of my voice, the sounds, the siblings as it's called. And I don't like that so often I've created and use this what I call siblings cut. So I'm cutting the frequencies in this range, which are typically where this is. And I click OK and that'll cut out that harsh. And also I'd like to bring the base of my voice up a bit. They have a thing called bass boost here. And see, oh, it's lifting graphically here, it's lifting the low and of your voice. I do find this is a bit too much. So I've created my own little, I call it the little bass boost. And I apply that. And my voice is a little deeper now on the recording. And then I finish it off with a little bit more normalization to get those levels higher. And there you go, that looks pretty good. And then you play it back. He was not a very good boss, but he wasn't the worst boss. Many people fear their bosses. Okay, so I like the sound of that. You can also see if you are saying or too much and you can go in, for example, zoom in on the waves. These are just words I knew. And this is another word here. What is this d here that that's me breathing. So sometimes I like to simply go up to here, highlight the gap, choose silence generator, and then that breathing is gone. Or I knew. If you say I'm an icon, you can highlight it if it was here. And then you could just press delete and it would be gone. Just be careful you don't want to shorten your sound file because it has to match up with the video file as well. So if you're shortening it, you're cutting out words. You might cut out, as it says here, about almost two seconds out of your, out of your sound. So if you bring that back to the video file, it won't match up. So you don't really want to cut anything. You just wanna reduce things, CIC something here. That's me breathing at all, really like that. So I'll go silence. Boss. They wanted yeah, so that's a little finishing touch. A lot of people don't really care about this. So they wouldn't go through this, but it kind of bothers me ever background and radio. And then let me bring this back, squish it back together. And then from here you just go File, Export Audio. And I like to export it in.wav formats because that's the format I like to bring the files together. And then I would save that somewhere else in a file folder as named audio files. And then what I do, I'm on a Mac, so I have built into my computer what's called iMovie. And iMovie allows me to make little films. And it's beyond the scope of this course to teach you iMovie, and I'm sure many of you on PC, I'll be using something else. But basically what I do, and I'm looking here at a previous course that I made with Adobe Spark. I bring in the video file, which you see here. That's the MP4. And I remove the original audio that was on it. And then I bring in the audacity formatted and edited sound file. And then I simply go share, I'm busy exporting this as a file, and that produces my final video. Now one caution with the video files of There'll be Spark is that when they are exported and you download them there in 720 P resolution. So 720 p is kind of getting dated now it's not a highest resolution. And I don't know why Adobe Spark doesn't export these as 1080 P, which is the highest quality we have right now on the course websites. And so sometimes what you have to do is actually find and make another video in iMovie that has, you know, ten ADP version of it. And then put it right here and then put the Course video in 72 ATP and it'll export as 1080. Now if you see here, see how it has size ten, ADP, 720, and so on. So you pick the highest quality, the HD version, ten ADP resolution. And then you export that from whatever video software using. And that is the best quality we can do at this point in course design. So that is how I edit the sound and make it a little bit better quality. If you need help with this, please talk to me within the course.