Short Video Classes?


I was wondering if the topic of making short introductory videos for some of the spaces/tools has been discussed previously. It seems that there are some “tools” in the space that don’t really require “safety” training or don’t require an AD group for access, but do need at least someone to show a new member the ropes the first time so that things are done in an appropriate manner. I haven’t seen a central location for contributed videos, but could have missed it…

Just a couple topics off the top of my head. Thinking 5-10 minutes each, tops.

  • eLab etiquette and workstation use. Using power supply. Using DMM. Using ‘scope.
  • How to use the washer in the metal shop.
  • Basics and pitfalls when using RDWorks. Import/export operations.
  • Walkthrough of the creative arts room, etiquette, etc.



Focus of the video(s) depends on your primary objective. Is it to teach people how to do something, or is it get them certified to use the tool(s)? Those two types of videos might have slightly different foci, but IMO if the video doesn’t address the certification aspect it falls short of its potential.

There are absolutely some tools that would be suitable for a short video instead of mandatory training - they are the tools that aren’t going to kill you if you mess up, and you aren’t going to cause thousands of dollars of damage if you don’t know what you’re doing (somewhere we actually created a matrix of this sort of thing). Sewing Machines would be one example.

There are two challenges:
(1) Getting someone to (write the content) and make the video(s)
(2) Verifying that someone actually watched the video. Do you create a short quiz, and use the quiz completion to admit someone into the AD (i.e., certification) group?

IMO, a video would contain what I call “the hot list” - the critical few things you need to know to prevent operator injury or equipment damage. After that it would go into any optional detail on how to use it.

It would be fabulous if someone (or someone plural) took on at least part of this challenge. I’m sure each committee could identify one or more tools that would be suitable candidates. Anything we can do to remove a barrier to tool access would be appreciated.


We have Moodle to generate a short quiz AND provide a framework to approve a person for tool use. This is used with 3D training.

I LIKE the idea of an introduction to a tool video. Especially for tools that do not require safety training.

We have a steady level of damage to tools that people have not trained on or people assume they know how to use them and proceed until they break it. (See Thor issues.)


I would like to see a website with a 1 minute video from each Committee. Anyone new could browse any Committee they have an interest in. Good internally and/or externally.

It would be nice to have a website with all the “Introduction to a Tool” videos and a 3 question Moodle test to validate you watched the video.


John, there is already a process in place for committees to require certifications and enforce them, so no need to mess with something that is working. I’d say that what I was thinking is less of a certification and more of an introduction/familiarization, a couple pro tips, or refresher (in the case of a subset of a certification course). No real tests or tracking of any kind. Also, tools that are underutilized, intimidating, or are frequently misused could be prioritized.

An example of a subset of a certification course. Let’s say it’s been a year since I took the wood shop 101 class, but haven’t done much in there. As I start a new wood shop project, I notice the dust collector needs to be serviced. Mark taught me how to service the dust collectors in my class, but can’t really remember much about it. A three minute refresher video would help me remember the do’s/dont’s about servicing the dust collector. I suspect more folks would be willing to step up if there would be less risk of “doing it wrong” or “doing something stupid”, which I’m sure we all do from time to time. Maybe a QR code on the dust collector takes you to the video.

I’d be glad to try to get this started. A couple of concerns. First, many things are going to change after the expansion. Some topics are going to have to wait. Also, I would want the buy-in from the committee chair and help from him/her or a delegate for a list of video topics, top ten things to communicate during the video, help shooting it, and vetting the result before posting. Who’s first?


Short videos, even better micro videos (depending on the subject) are ideal for a lot of tools or situations, especially refreshers, simple tools that need a “how do I use it”. If there is a need to have a short quiz to see if you watched it, then I don’t think the subject is suitable for short videos.


Again, it depends on the objective of the video. I’m still stuck on the case where we have equipment that is “training required” and people can’t get to use the equipment because training isn’t offered enough.

I’m going to use the Babylock embroidery machine as an example. There are five items that you need to know to not hurt yourself, not damage the machine, and have a good outcome. I can explain all those five things to someone in about 2 minutes (five if I’m being verbose). The machine is definitely suitable for training via a short video, but if we were to use the video as the “qualification item” I would insist that someone knows the three items that pertain to injury/damage. I’m trying to avoid the case where someone says they watched the video, but either they didn’t or they were too distracted to retain the few key points.


I disagree with my original post now, because that’s a very good example. Thanks!


There’s something similar for the grinders in the metal shop, but it simply restricts the power to the grinder until you pass the test, Not sure how to do something like that on a device that can be plugged in anywhere. While I see your point, adding a mechanism to track who viewed what or what they scored on a test might be too much on the first run of videos.


Of course there is a need for video modules, training, orientation, etc. Perhaps consider a more structured overview approach such as establishing a hierarchy of videos. E.g.

Level 1: introductory, what the technique, tool, process can, do, examples of results, and explanation of what is required to gain access to the revelant tools, contact names, and future
Classes. Explain s if a level 1,2 ,3 training is required.

Level 2: demonstration of must know a ability, with resulting access to use, or restriction pending completion of a level 3 certification.

Level 3: highest level of training as defined by the committee chair to gain access.

Create a matrix by tool, process, defining the level required for those items committies have concerns aboutt. As new tools or processes are aquired by DMS, have the acquiring party vet its training level first


Sounds great, however what you suggest is WAY beyond what I was thinking to start off with. I was simply looking to set up some “Level 1” videos.

Any further would go in the direction of refurbishing the education program, which is not my intent.


Right you are Rich. Perhaps the grand matrix could be created, and those who are anble and willing could start building it as they desire. Perhaps BOD would authorize a snall honorarium as incentive.


I might suggest starting from the already-created matrix:

Taken from this discussion:


Based on the Talk chatter, it looks like Welding Safety (with a short quiz) would be a super candidate for a short video class.


Interestingly enough, I’d bet the students I’ve had through the Metal Shop Hot Processes class might disagree, because most of them asked a ton of questions about Metal Shop in general, an opportunity not afforded in the “watch this video and take the quiz” format…
Otherwise, I’m sure this is being worked on…
(Because the opportunity to ask questions can always happen at some other juncture)


Let’s eat the low-hanging fruit first without reinventing the wheel or badly mixing metaphors.

I suggest that someone (not me) who’s extremely knowledgeable in a particular subject compile a list of essential youtube videos. These videos, once the info is mastered, should give someone a thorough grounding in the tools and techniques needed without too much overkill. Then, when we want to know how to do something (e.g., sewing) we can look to the recommended list without hoping desperately that Youtube will guide us to the right info.