A Day in the Life: Onsite filming for more engaging eLearning

In Team Blog by Eoin O'Neill

An article by
Rachel McMahon
Learning Designer
Online Course Author
Video Game Enthusiast
Rachel McMahon, In-person and Online Learning Designer for Cobblestone Learning

A current project with Oide – a support service for teachers and school leaders, funded by the Department of Education – took me out of the office for a few days and off to Enniskerry on a filming shoot. The project – a course to support newly appointed school principals in their new role – includes a series of video interviews with established principals from schools around Ireland.

Working with Oide video interviews

These interviews will be a key component of the modules, where the experts offer guidance, support and encouragement to their newly appointed colleagues. At Cobblestone, we’ve found that practitioner insight videos like these really enhance a project, making it more personable, memorable and meaningful for the learner, and so it was exciting to develop this element with our SMEs.

Filming onsite in a primary school

Day 1 filming onsite

So, after preparing the shotlist and gathering our equipment, we set off on Day 1 of our 3-day filming plan. Along with Helio Leon, our videographer, we explored Powerscourt National School, in the heart of Enniskerry. With its verdant vistas recently doubling as the set for the film Disenchanted, the town is likely getting accustomed to having film crews around!

Capturing real and relatable footage

Working our way down the school corridors and classrooms, and through our memories of our own school days, we captured real and relatable b-roll to supplement the expert videos. As the children were on their mid-term break, the school was quiet and serene, but everywhere there was evidence of learning and play. School rules directing pupils to be kind adorned halls and classroom walls, festooned also with children’s artwork. Such artefacts were well-captured by our videographer, to add texture and context to the videos later.

Finishing up

Finally, when we’d filmed the key locations at the school, it was time to pack up and head back to Dublin. After a great start, Day 2 at our next location in Clontarf was next, where our interviews would continue.

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If you have questions about anything you’ve just read or want to pick Rachel’s brain a bit more, feel free to reach out to him via his email: rachel@cobblestonelearning.com

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Rachel speaking at ConnectED 2023 about the use of video interviews and onsite filming in eLearning courses