DevLearn Recap: Tips & Tricks to Create Standout Microlearning Videos
DevLearn Recap: Tips & Tricks to Create Standout Microlearning Videos

DevLearn Recap: Tips & Tricks to Create Standout Microlearning Videos

Two weeks ago, LaTarshia and I had the honor of facilitating a featured presentation to roughly 400 attendees at DevLearn. Although the conference was held virtually this year (Thanks, COVID-19!), The Learning Guild did a fantastic job moving everything online and ensuring participants had the same engaging experience they’re used to having in Las Vegas. They always impress, whether the conference is held in person or online!

In case you’re not familiar with DevLearn, it’s a large learning and technology conference that brings together thousands of professionals across a variety of fields to share their knowledge and shape what’s coming next in the learning community. LaTarshia and I were lucky to have been able to attend last year in addition to this year and are looking forward to attending again in the future… hopefully in person!

This year, one of our favorite speaking proposals was accepted: our presentation on Tips and Tricks to Create Standout Microlearning Videos! This presentation covers a lot of our best practices for creating microlearning videos that shine. While facilitating is a blast, my personal favorite part of presenting is following along with the resources shared by the audience during the session! We were fortunate to have an absolutely wonderful audience who were so forthcoming in sharing all they’ve learned while creating videos of their own! It’s something that has amazed me about the learning community since I dove in a couple of years ago – how generous they are with their knowledge!

So, if you missed our presentation, here’s a brief recap of all we covered!

Throughout the session, we took a look at five common styles of microlearning videos:

  1. Animated
  2. Whiteboard animation
  3. Compiled/screen capture
  4. PowerPoint
  5. Traditional video

For each style, we discussed the costs that can be associated with purchasing necessary software and/or equipment, approximate timelines for each medium, potential learning curves for each method, and some of our favorite tricks for making our processes more efficient and our videos more fun and memorable! We also shared some scenarios where one type of video might work better (or worse) than another.

A few details we shared for each type:


  • It takes approximately 20 hours to develop a 60-second video (not including planning, prep, or storyboarding)
  • Average cost of software is $60/month for popular plans
  • Our software of choice is Vyond
  • To save time, consider using no audio and having necessary text on the screen or as closed captions
  • To save money, use assets (graphics, images, icons, etc.) that are built into your software of choice

Whiteboard animation

  • It takes approximately 10 hours to develop a 60-second video (not including planning, prep, or storyboarding)
  • Average cost of software is $55/month for popular plans
  • Our software of choice is Vyond
  • To save money, create your own assets
    • If you enjoy drawing, draw your own graphics in something like Adobe Illustrator, and export them as an SVG file. Import into VideoScribe and they will animate as if they are being drawn!

Compiled/screen capture

  • It takes approximately 12 hours to develop a 60-second video (not including planning, prep, or storyboarding)
  • Average cost of software is $20/month for popular plans
  • Our software of choice is Camtasia
  • To save time, develop all assets before beginning programming the video
    • It’s especially important to keep all files organized (as with all learning projects!)


  • It takes approximately 10 hours to develop a 60-second video (not including planning, prep, or storyboarding)
  • PowerPoint can be purchased for as low as $7/month
  • Write your script in the built-in Notes feature for easy access when recording a voice-over
  • To save time, use PowerPoint’s built-in shapes, drawing tools, icons, charts, etc.

Traditional video

  • It takes approximately 40 hours to develop a 60-second video (not including planning, prep, or storyboarding)
  • If you hire professionals to shoot footage, be prepared to spend thousands of dollars
    • If you opt to build your own in-house studio, initial equipment spend will be costly, but typically one-time
  • This type of video requires significantly more resources than others
    • Camera, audio recorder, tripod, microphone, lighting, back-drop, talent, editing software, etc.
  • Our editing software of choice is Premiere Pro
  • To save time in the post-production phase, learn keyboard commands for your software

I mentioned before that we had a lot of great audience participation during our session. I’d be remiss if I didn’t share some of the tips that were contributed by members of the community:

  • Pro tip with audio editing as a time saver: Use Adobe Premiere Pro's Dialogue Edit feature in the Audio Tab
  • Reusing the Vyond templates can save a lot of time
  • I've used Google Doc's Voice Typing feature to get a quick and dirty transcript of a video
  • is a great mobile app which allows you to use your pen or pencil to annotate, zoom, feedback and/or storyboard content
  • Really important to give yourself grace to have that learning time...Hard sometimes to consider the long-term benefits of expanding your reach with all the timelines we face
  • Upload icons from
  • In Procreate you can output a video of your drawing process, so that might be another option to import for a program that can't draw your uploaded images? I haven't tested it though
  • Love reusable learning, if you think about tagging and adding to a database you can start to think about customizing content to your learner
  • Always export your Camtasia file as a zip to keep it all together (painful lesson learned), especially if you may need to update anything in the future
  • Camtasia Library is fab for reusing elements in different videos & across teams
  • For SMEs that want or need to do basic screencast captures, I recommend they use Snagit - tiny learning curve and easy for them to use. Best bargain for $49 (and lots of image editing effects too). Sometimes then I just grab their captures and clean them up and produce with Camtasia.
  • Soft background music also helps mask some audio pops and hums you can't eliminate
  • I use PPT in conjunction with capture tool and then Premiere Pro for post-production - PPT morph transition and animation toolbar is great for microlearning
  • If you're using Mac - better off using Keynote [instead of PPT] for animated videos (and it's free)
  • I don’t see Adobe Spark listed but it works really well for short video
  • I like Screenflow for Mac too, VERY easy use

After our session, LaTarshia and I received some very nice feedback in the chat feature of the DDX platform, including:

  • I absolutely love this session! Very well-paced, easy to follow, clear & concise. Great job!!!
  • Thank you, this was a great session! You two were very engaging to listen to.
  • Thank you for your energy and tips and tricks - this was wonderful!
  • Great session!! I love how this was presented.
  • Loved your energy and creativity!
  • I just wanted to say how delightful your session was today and thank you for sharing such amazing tips and enthusiasm for the work you do.
  • One of my favorite sessions! So informative - thank you.

Unlike our CPA teammates, LaTarshia and I do not often facilitate live training. It made us feel really good to hear the kind words experienced members of the learning community had to say!

If you’d like to see our slide deck, feel free to send me an email at And if you’re interested in seeing any of the microlearning videos we’ve created, check out our YouTube channel!

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This post is published to spread the love of GAAP and provided for informational purposes only. Although we are CPAs and have made every effort to ensure the factual accuracy of the post as of the date it was published, we are not responsible for your ultimate compliance with accounting or auditing standards and you agree not to hold us responsible for such. In addition, we take no responsibility for updating old posts, but may do so from time to time.

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