Writing Media Scripts

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Over the years, scriptwriting has become an integral part of our media development process. It increases content quality while reducing production (recording) time.

Script vs Outline

First, let’s define what a script is and the best way to do that is to contrast it against what it is not.


A script is a written document that is word-for-word what you will say during your recording. For video shoots, you will read it from our teleprompter.


An outline is a collection of high level talking points that are referenced and expand upon during recording.

Why We Require Scripts

  • Precision
  • Scripting out your content ahead of time assures that you’ll cover all your talking points without forgetting anything.

  • Concise
  • Unscripted content is generally more verbose than non-scripted content. Scripting will help you get through all your talking points more efficiently which in turn creates more succinct content and also reduces production (recording) time.
  • Evergreen
  • Course media content needs to last 2-5 years with little to no maintenance because course revisions typically only occur every 2-5 years depending on the degree program. Knowing exactly what you’re going to say before you say it gives you the opportunity to review your content to ensure it will last that long.
  • Collaboration
  • We have developed hundreds of hours of media content over the years and read through hundreds of scripts. You’ll be able to tap into this knowledge and experience by providing your scripts to us for review and feedback which ultimately help lead to better media content.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to write scripts for all my media?

No, you do not need to write scripts for all of your media content. It truly depends on the type and content. We typically require scripts for all Meet the Instructor and Course Introduction messages no matter their format (video, presentation, etc). In addition, we generally require scripts for all videos where you are only talking directly to the camera. We encourage but don’t require the use of scripts for all presentations and audio-only messages. Finally, we encourage you to develop notes for lightboard videos and screencasts as these are more difficult to execute when scripted.

How long should my script be?

This is a tough question as answers vary depending on the situation. As a reference point, a full-page of double-spaced normal size font roughly equates to 5 or fewer minutes when spoken out loud. With that in mind, below are our required best practices for content length.

– Meet the Instructor Messages
– Course Introduction Messages
– Unit/Lesson/Module Introduction Messages
– Course Guides
5 minutes or less
Audio Only
– Meet the Instructor Messages
– Course Introduction Messages
– Unit/Lesson/Module Introduction Messages
– Course Guides
5 minutes or less
Mini-lecture Presentations 30 Minutes or less
Screencasts or Screen Recordings 30 Minutes or less
Lightboard Videos 30 Minutes or less
Will scripting make me appear stiff or unnatural?

Absolutely not, and in fact, we believe the opposite to be true. Speaking to a camera or computer is a very different communication experience than speaking to a group of students. Scripting removes the content variable from the production equation and will allow you to focus on your performance. We’ll be there to help coach you on your delivery during recording!

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Writing Tips


We strongly encourage you to look at our Faculty Media Showcase to see previously developed media content.

Read it Out Loud

The written and spoken word flow very differently. Read your script out loud as you write it as it may be easier to read in your head then to say out loud.


Again, we at Extended Campus are here to help! Please ask questions and provide scripts for review and feedback!

Published on October 17, 2019 at 2:02:51 pm CDT. Last modified on October 25, 2019 at 9:22:16 am CDT.