Course Number: CERT X460

This instructor-led workshop applies basic video production and storytelling techniques to social media production. The course runs for 6 weeks with 2 - 3 hours of self-paced work and a weekly 90-minute workshop held on Zoom.

Videos have become an incredibly powerful medium for telling stories and capturing people's attention. However, creating a compelling video that effectively communicates your message requires planning, an understanding of the story you want to tell, and a variety of technical skills to seamlessly merge story components with visuals.

In this course, we will explore the art of video storytelling from start to finish. We’ll cover everything from preproduction planning and scriptwriting to postproduction editing and optimization for different platforms. We will also discuss how to combine different components of a story, such as characters, setting, and conflict, with visual and audio elements, to create an immersive and impactful video.

After completing the course, you’ll have foundational knowledge of the video storytelling process—and be able to effectively communicate your message and captivate your audience. So let's get started on this exciting journey of visual storytelling!

Course Dates and Times

The next available course runs Monday, September 9 - Sunday, October 20, 2024.
Learners and instructors will meet as a group to workshop their design project at 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. US Central Time on: 

  • September 11, 18, 25, October 2, 9 & 16,

Course Outcomes

At the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • apply concepts of ethical visual storytelling to social media video production.    
  • adapt traditional visual storytelling methods to the fast-paced world of social media videos.
  • create a 60-second, ethical and effective message-driven social media video. 
  • apply accessibility and organic optimization methods to increase video impact and reach across multiple audience-types.
  • demonstrate knowledge of video production processes, including pre-production, production, and post-production.

Course Format

This six-week course blends elements of asynchronous and synchronous components to provide learners with flexibility in project work, while also having face-to-face time with instructors and fellow learners via Zoom. 

Each week students will:

  • attend one 90-minute Zoom, during which students will participate in discussions and workshop their project with the instructor and peers
  • complete three hours of assignments or project work

Students will be graded based on completion of a final project. Course completers will have a video project to use in their portfolio as well as a certificate of completion.

Week Module Learning Outcomes
1 Intro to Visual Storytelling Describe elements and analyze techniques of video production and messaging; describe tactics of influencers to develop loyal audiences
2 From Idea to Story Combine visual and written storytelling ideas, keeping accessibility protocols in mind; adapt visual stories to social media
3 From Story to Plan Apply logistical elements of production such as time, budgets, shot lists
4 From Plan to Production Develop first story iteration; assess and modify as needed
5 From Production to Post-Production Develop “fine cut” for peer review; offer peers constructive feedback
6 From Post-Production to Optimization and Reflection Optimize titles and summaries with key words; apply accessibility protocols such as closed captioning


Technology Requirements

To participate in this course, learners will need:

  • to download Adobe Rush Starter - you do not need to purchase the full Adobe Access plan. To download the free version scroll down the page to find the Adobe Rush Starter “Download for Free”  link. Do not select “Buy now” or “Start Now” at the top of the page.
    • We recommend you use a personal account to download and access Adobe Rush.
    • While Adobe Rush is available for mobile devices, we recommend using a computer with the minimum system requirements for Adobe Rush.
  • access to a smartphone able to film in 1080 (HD), preferably 4K.
  • enough storage space on the device (preferably a smartphone) to store around 2GB of videos.

If your devices do not meet these requirements or you do not own a smartphone, to capture video (but not to edit) you may instead use:

  • a tablet able to film in 1080 (HD), preferably 4k with storage space for video.
  • A DSLR camera or other digital camera
    • We recommend a camera such as a GoPro HERO8 (MicroSD Card required) which is able to record up to 4K quality, record audio, and capture photos.

Please note: we highly prefer you to use a smartphone if you have access to one. Instructors will only be able to provide support on smartphone device usage for filming.

We recommend using an external hard drive and/or cloud-based backup storage. This is not required but always a good idea when working on video production.


Do I need to attend all Zoom sessions?

You are encouraged to attend all Zoom sessions of the course. During the live Zoom sessions, you will participate in valuable discussions and workshops that will aid in meeting the course learning objectives.

When is the course open?

The course Canvas site will open on the Wednesday before the first day of the course. All the modules will open on the first day of the course.

How do I successfully complete the course?

You will receive a grade of incomplete or complete based on your demonstration of course learning objectives. Learning objectives are demonstrated by completing assessed projects.

The instructor will assess each learning outcome as “not demonstrated,” or “demonstrated.” Completion of a course means that you have demonstrated achievement of all learning outcomes. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and the certificate of completion for the course will be awarded only if you receive a grade of ‘complete’ for the course.

While participation in Zoom sessions and engagement with other non-assessed learning activities do not count towards the final grade, these activities are designed to be an integral part of achieving the course learning outcomes.

If you receive a grade of ‘incomplete’ after turning in an assessed project, you will have the opportunity to resubmit your project once. Please note, receiving a grade of “Incomplete” and/or failure to demonstrate a learning outcome will not result in a refund.

When do I need to turn in assignments?

Assessed projects and other learning activities must be submitted on or before the due date, unless specific extensions are granted by the instructor. Instructors may not grant extensions more than two weeks after the course end date.

What happens if I need to resubmit a project?

If you do not successfully demonstrate course learning outcomes in your first attempt on an assessed project, you will have the opportunity to resubmit your project one time. Resubmissions cannot be submitted more than 2 weeks after the original due date.

How can I request accommodations?

The University of Minnesota views disability as an important aspect of diversity, and is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all learners. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is the campus office that collaborates with learners who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations. 

  • If you have, or think you have, a disability in any area such as, mental health, attention, learning, chronic health, sensory, or physical, please contact the DRC office on your campus (UM Twin Cities - 612.626.1333) to arrange a confidential discussion regarding equitable access and reasonable accommodations. 
  • If you are registered with the DRC and have questions or concerns about your accommodations please contact your (access consultant/disability specialist).
  • If you need ASL Interpretation Services please fill out the request form for your class.

Please submit your request for accommodations at least two weeks in advance to guarantee we can accommodate the request.

Additional information is available on the DRC website or reach out by email: [email protected].

Transfer and Refund Policies

Transfer policy 

You can transfer without additional charge to the next session if you inform CCAPS staff within the first two weeks of class of the need to transfer.

Refund Policy

CCAPS is able to provide partial refunds for the first two weeks of the course. Please see the refund timeline below:

  • Before the first day of the course: 100% refund
  • 1 - 7 days after start of course: 75% refund
  • 8 - 14 days after start of course: 50% refund
  • After 15 days: No refund available

Cancellation Policy

In the event CCAPS has to cancel the course due to low enrollment or unforeseen circumstances, we will offer you a transfer to another section of the course or full refund of the course registration fee.