9.1. Step 1. Create the Video

Your videos can contain whatever content you want to include in the course. The following resources can help you to create good video content that is based on extensive experimental research in student learning.

9.1.1. Guidelines for Video Files

When you create video files, keep the following guidelines in mind.

  • Videos should be as short as possible. Learners are more likely to finish watching videos that are no more than 5-10 minutes long.
  • Each video file that you upload must be less than 5GB in size.
  • Each video should follow established file naming conventions and video compression specifications.
  • The edX video player supports videos in .mp4, .mpeg, .webm, and .ogg format. However, to help make sure all standard browsers can play your video, edX strongly recommends that you use the .mp4 format.

Additionally, for information about ensuring that your videos are available to learners who use the edX mobile apps, see Configuring Video Modules for Mobile. File Naming Conventions

Each video file must have a unique name. We strongly recommend that organizations define a naming convention for video files, and apply that convention to videos for all courses to facilitate identifying and tracking video files.

At a minimum, your naming convention should include these elements.

  • A course identifier.
  • The year of the initial course run.
  • A revision or version number.

For example, you might use the following naming convention.

{course number}_{year}_{section}_{subsection}_{unit}_{version}.{type}

This convention might yield the following file name.



Include only alphanumeric characters and underscores in video file names. Do not use periods except for the period before the file name extension (for example, .mp4). Video Compression Specifications

After you create a video, you upload the video to a hosting site so that the video is available for viewing. In a later step, you create a video component, and then you add a link to the video that you uploaded.

You might upload your videos to YouTube, or you may use a different site such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) Simple Storage Service (S3). Different sites have different compression specifications. The following video compression specifications are strongly recommended, but not required.

Output Publish to YouTube Publish downloadable file to AWS S3
Codec H.264 .mp4 H.264 .mp4
Resolution & Frame Rate (see note) 1920x1080, progressive, 29.97 fps 1280x720, progressive, 29.97 fps
Aspect 1.0 1.0
Bit Rate VBR, 2 pass VBR, 2 pass
Target VBR 5 mbps 1 mbps
Max VBR 7.5 mbps 1.5 mbps
Audio AAC 44.1 / 192 kbps AAC 44.1 / 192 kbps


Typically, you export at the same frame rate that was used when you created the media file. For example, if you create the file in a country that uses the PAL system, you export at 25 fps instead of the NTSC standard of 29.97 fps.