How to Write a Script

Sometimes it is not enough to write an outline for your course, sometimes you need a more detailed document - a script. Here you will find a script example and script writing tips. 

A script is a document which specifies what the viewer (in this case - the student) will see while watching your lecture. With the script you:

  1. Describe the visuals the viewer will see (environment of the lecture, animations, slides).
  2. Write out your speech word for word (what will you say to the students). 

How to Write a Script

Since you are writing the script for yourself, you do not need to follow any usual scriptwriting conventions - just make sure you will understand the meaning when you read the script later. 

However, we recommend you write the script striving for readability, for example using this script example:

LECTURE SCRIPT TEMPLATE

SCENE ONE

This text describes the visuals of the scene - where the lecture is being filmed, whether the instructor is sitting or standing, or maybe the student sees slides, screen share, etc. Then follows the text of your speech.

IN THIS LECTURE WE ARE
GOING TO TALK ABOUT AN
AMAZING NEW FEATURE...

If the visuals change, you interrupt your speech with this kind of text here. For example - The slide changes to a pie chart of the most popular programming languages.

AND THEN YOU CONTINUE
YOUR SPEECH UNTIL THE
NEXT VISUAL CHANGES.

Another script template you may use is writing video information (visuals, images, slides, that is - what the students will see) on the left and audio information (your speech, sound effects if any) on the right.

Video: Audio:
1. Image of the code you will teach in this lecture. 1. "In this lecture, you will learn how to code this particular..."
2. A picture of a cat. 2. "Now, whenever I get tired, I search for cat images on the net. Then, relaxed, I get back to coding." 

The Tools

You can use any word processor (for example Microsoft Word or Google Docs) to write a script for a lecture. However, if you want something more professional, you can use Celtx or Final Draft. You can use these programs to learn how to write a script since they are quite intuitive. They also provide you with script examples to learn from.

When to Use a Script

Writing a script means more time preparing to record the lectures. It’s up to you whether you need the script. However, consider writing the script for the lectures (or for some of the lectures) if:

  • You are dealing with a very complicated topic and you want to explain it as clearly and smoothly as possible
  • You use a particular editing style (for example animations)
  • You want to use humor or storytelling to get your point across 

Finally, learning how to write a script is quite easy and you get another skill you can use as an online instructor.


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