OHDSI Home | Forums | Wiki | Github

Short video tutorials?

I think there could be great value in creating a collection of short video tutorials for the many OHDSI tools and tasks. There are some very long OHDSI tutorial videos out there somewhere (can’t find them on our site), but it would help to have bite-size tutorials (approx. 5 minutes per video), so people can learn about specific topics at a time.

As an example, I’ve created this tutorial on how to install the software needed to run the OHDSI R packages on Windows. I also have plans to create videos for (a) installing OHDSI R packages and (b) creating a database connection in R.

My questions to the community:

  1. Do people agree that this is worth the effort?
  2. Any comments, suggestions on the example video? What would make it better?
  3. For which other topics should we create such videos?
  4. Are there any volunteers in the community that want to help create these videos?
  5. Where should we collect these videos? On our Wiki (with links to YouTube)?

(The video looks good.)

Hi @schuemie . I agree with your idea. Long ago I created this tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ3JTSCEFI0&t=3s which is <2 minutes long with the idea that there could be short videos with how to use ATLAS focusing on specific topics. I would be happy to work with you on creating more videos. @Frank was interested in this idea also.

I certainly agree as well. I just joined a few days ago, but I’m still
quite new to everything and the tutorials would help me as well as other
newbies get started!


Hi Meera,

I’ve just added our OHDSI tutorial and presentation videos to our join the journey page here:
There are links to tutorials and OHDSI presentations under the heading Step two: Learn more about OHDSI


Hi @schuemie,
This is really great idea.

Not all of users can understand principles and features of some the OHDSI tools (for ex: General questions on Atlas)

In my experience such series of short tutorials will be quite useful -at this moment new user should have a lot of patience and coffee to reach his needs searching across documentation and looking through hours of videos.
Your video seems perfect! :blush:

I suppose that sequence of themes should be approximately like this:

  • Vocabulary and OMOP CDM shortcuts (focus on definitions of domains)
  • ATLAS: Concept Set definitions (regarding previous theme- new users often mix different domains in the concept set)
  • ATLAS: Cohort building (explaining start/end date, qualifying criteria etc.)
  • Population level estimation method (idea of propensity score is exotic for newbies)
  • Patient level Prediction
  • ATLAS: Estimation
    -…(continue/edit the list)
1 Like

First, before I forget some info on how I created the video:

I lowered the resolution of my desktop, so the fonts would be easier to read in the video. I used 1024x768, but in hindsight I should have gone for a wide-screen format like 1280x720 to get rid of the black side bars in YouTube. (@Jill_Hardin: I think your video is great but it is hard to read the letters in ATLAS.)

I used the open source OBS Studio to capture the video. Note that by default it records at 60 frames per seconds (it is intended to record games). I set it to 30 fps.

I used Windows Movie Maker to edit the video and add narration. Unfortunately this software is discontinued, but happened to be readily available in my corporate environment. If anybody knows a good alternative please let me know.

I used Powerpoint to create the slides, saved them as image to insert them in the video. I’ll upload the slide deck to the Wiki (the forums won’t allow it to be uploaded here).

I’ve taken the liberty of creating a video tutorials page in the OHDSI Wiki.

(I’m a bit unsure about the organization of the page. Already I had trouble placing the various existing tutorials. Input would be appreciated.)

I encourage everyone in the community to think about video tutorials, and start creating them if you can!

@schuemie Thanks for the details on how to create a great professional video; in hindsight my previous attempt needs serious revision :smile:. I would be interested if there are suggestions from the community regarding what topics would be most useful to create videos for and then I would like to work on this with others. Thanks!

Great initiative. This would have helped me a lot when starting working with Atlas.
To this get started, I would suggest to make a detailed scenario/story for each topic in a shared Google Document. e.g. for creating a concept set: what kind of concept set, which concept to include, domains to filter for, select descendants yes/no, explanation of concept set tabs.
Would love to contribute in order to get this off the ground.

Btw, for Mac users, I found that using Quicktime screen recording works really well. It doesn’t let you do a lot of editing, but you can record voice-over directly while recording.

1 Like

Hi @schuemie et al. I also agree this is a nice idea. The 6 minute video on installing the required software for the OHDSI R packages is clear, easy to follow, and importantly, short.

If the community thinks there’s a need, I’d like to volunteer to make an estimation methods video on introductory usage of the SCCS package. In order to keep it short, such a video would assume the user has 1) successfully installed the required software, 2) installed the OHDSI R packages required to use SCCS. The video could include a brief background, a walk through a simple model, and a walk through a model with an extension or two (e.g. pre-exposure window, other drug exposures, etc.)

+1 for bite size videos,

If we look to Khan academy for inspiration, they are all about 2 to 5 mins, but just super well organized so people get the flow of learning. Here is a great example.

Would definitely do a few basic ones one on Search Vocabulary, Create Concept Set, Create Index Event, Create Qualifying Events, Generate Cohort.

Hi @jweave17. I’m currently working on a video explaining how to install the OHDSI R packages, so you can assume people know how to install the SCCS package. Having one (or more) short videos on the SCCS would be great!

I’m wondering whether we’d need one video just to explain basic SCCS concepts, and another one to show how you could perform an SCCS analysis with the package. Or should we just assume people know the SCCS?

Thanks for doing this. Great videos. I think keeping them on wiki is good idea. It will be great if you could also provide the video links right on the landing page of ohdsi.org

I just added a video on installing the OHDSI R packages. I now use a resolution of 1280x720, which looks nicer in YouTube.

@jweave17: note that next on my list is a video on connecting to databases in R, specifically on how to create connectionDetails objects needed in many of our packages. So you won’t have to address that in your video(s).

I’ll make one for SCCS concepts and one for a simple SCCS implementation. Target mid next week.

Concept mapping and vocabulary explanation videos would be wonderful. YouTube is a great medium for viewing. Using Achilles, too.
I appreciate videos that are 5 - 10 minutes long because they give the presenter the ability to go a little slower through the explanation. As a viewer, videos less than 2 minutes leave a lot of questions.

I support this idea. We have a video vignette for the PLP package for a while which has been watched a lot but it would be nice to split this in a couple of smaller videos or record them again with the latest version of the package.

Will put this on our todo list…


For now, I’ve added your existing video vignette to the list of video tutorials.