We spoke with Aftab Hussain, who leads the Information & Learning Technology (ILT) and Learning Resources Centre (LRC) team at Bolton College. He and his team told us how they use Synthesia to create online learning videos to help students take the next step in their education.
Aftab's team consists of only 7 people, but it serves more than 10,000 learners. Video is a standard format the team uses to create online learning materials for Bolton College students.
To record videos, the team usually visited teachers and training managers. However, there were a number of limitations to this process:
- Untrained cast: Many people who were filmed were uncomfortable in front of the camera, resulting in numerous takes before the footage could be used.
- Lengthy production: The creation of one short video would take at least a week, taking into account post-editing and possible changes.
- Lack of flexibility: It would be difficult to update the videos once it was shot, requiring additional time and resources to recreate them.
When you put a camera in front of the presenter, he or she gets nervous and can't remember the lines. That takes time to be re-filmed. Not to mention what happens when people leave the organisation. It's just a tedious process. - Aftab Hussain, ILT & LRC Manager at Bolton College
Aftab looked for ways to speed up the video capture process.
With Synthesia, the team was able to streamline video production and create content at scale.
Once it receives a script from a teaching expert it simply inserts it into Synthesia’s script box. After adding animations, text or screen recordings they choose an avatar and press "generate video" to complete the process.
Watch this video the team created to promote positive attendance 👇
Here are 3 things that Aftab and his team value the most:
- Flexibility: once created, a video can be easily updated at any time, without having to start from the beginning.
- Ease of use: The platform is easy to use and includes all the necessary video editing features to create high-quality training videos.
- No editing expertise needed: Synthesia is quick to learn and easy to use. No need for any advanced video editing skills.
A nice side effect: Onboarding with the tool was quick and easy. In no time, the team deployed the first videos.
If you're a busy teacher and don't have the time or skills to work with many different video creation tools, Synthesia is for you. It combines everything into a single platform. - Aftab Hussain, ILT & LRC Team Manager at Bolton College
A year after implementing Synthesia, Bolton College has seen significant improvements in its video production process:
- Time savings: To record a 10 minute video, the team reduced production time from 3 days, down to 30 minutes. That is equivalent to up to 80% in time savings.
- Scaling content: Aftab and his team were able to add 400+ videos to Bolton College's online training library – within a year.
And not only the team is a big advocate of Synthesia, but also Bolton College’s Principal and CEO recognises its value:
Within the further education sector in the UK, Bolton College is a leader in the use of AI tools to support its students and teachers. Synthesia furthers our strategic vision to embed AI enabled services to support our students as they journey to higher education, and into employment.- Bill Webster, Principal & CEO