Photo of video camera. Photo by Jakob Owens / Unsplash. Used with permission.

Gil Dekel.

How to assess the quality of videos? Here is a checklist and a guide. Download PDF here.

Before choosing a video:

Identify your target audience

  • Defining audiences will inform what design and teaching approach you wish to see delivered in the video you choose.
  • Consider the level of skills and knowledge that learners already have.


Identify the type of video – a marketing video, promo video, Panopto recording, instructional tutorial?

  • What is the most appropriate type of video to support your course?

When choosing a video:

Are all copyrights cleared?

  • Is there use of images, registered logos, art-works reproductions and music tracks that need copyright clearance?
  • If the video is licensed under Creative Commons, then check the exact CC license (there are a few) and how you need to credit the source



  • Is the content relevant, concise and meaningful?
  • Are the benefits explained at the beginning and reinforces at the end?
  • Have the objectives and main goals of the video been fulfilled? Will learners know more after viewing?
  • Is the video practical (does it indicate what to do and also how to do it?)
  • Are there errors in facts or inaccuracies presented?
  • Are complex terms simplified and explained?
  • Is the video overwhelming, covering too much?
  • Is content organised in small manageable parts (‘chunks’)?


Audience experience

  • Does the video manage expectations well?
  • Is there a sense of completion?
  • Does the video promote thought and discussion and encourage viewers to apply new knowledge?



  • Are viewers directed to pertinent information, or are there excess of words and design elements that are irrelevant and distract from the message.
  • Design elements in each scene flow naturally from the previous scene?
  • Colours supports each other (not clashing with each other)?
  • Perspective: clear sense of distance between elements. Are they too far / too close to each other?
  • Scale/proportion: relative sizes of elements (against each other) lead attention to a focal point?
  • Hierarchy: elements that lead the viewers in order of significance.
  • No advertisements laid over the video.
  • No external links (that are not relevant and which we cannot control).


Frame composition

  • Are images cut off the frame and hard to see?
  • Are there redundant frames that work as decoration, and do not convey meaningful information?
  • Consistent shots, or natural transits from one shot to the other.
  • Frame balance: equilibrium between elements in the frame (symmetrical/asymmetrical/radial).
  • Frame aspect ratio (recommend 16:9, not 4:3).



  • Are frames lit well? Can viewers see the content clearly?
  • Are there unnecessary shaded area resulting from bad lighting?



  • Is there excess use of irrelevant words, gaps, or utterances such as ‘um…’, ‘hmm…’, ‘ahh…’, ‘err…’
  • Does the audio support the visuals and vice versa – or do they ‘compete’ on attention?
  • Is the sound clear, or is there ‘back-noise’, hiss, clicks or other sounds that distracts from the main subject?
  • Are there sync issues, such as someone talking but the voice comes a few seconds after we see them speak?
  • Is the volume level adjusted (not too loud; not too quiet?)


Tone of voice (of speaker/narrator)

    • Clear, objective, credible, with authority (established speaker), and engaging?
    • Speaks directly to viewer (not speaking ‘at’ views)?


By Gil Dekel. 9 July 2016.
Photo of video camera © Jakob Owens/Unsplash. Used with permission.

Creative Commons Licence
Video Quality Assessment – a checklist (and guidelines) by Dr. Gil Dekel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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