Video Presentation: Recording Yourself And Your Screen

If you need to record a presentation for an assessment, this article will give you some quick tips for recording video and submitting to Blackboard.
If you will only be recording Powerpoint slides plus audio, please see Presentations: Recording Powerpoint slides plus audio

Uploading large files to a Blackboard assignment can take a long time, and there is no progress bar to reassure you that the upload is underway.

The only visual prompt is a blue border around the submit button:

blue boarder around the submit but showing upload in progress

Click the Submit button only once – do not close window or navigate to another page until you see confirmation message or an error message.

Leave yourself plenty of time before the deadline. If you’re unsure, ask for help.

For more information see Blackboard assignments: uploading video files

You may be allowed to use your university OneDrive to share a link for submission, or upload the file to Stream and then share it with the marker.
Always check with your lecturer to ensure your mode of submission is appropriate.

To make the most of this article, we recommend downloading Office 365 – it’s free as part of your University enrolment.

Basic Video Recording

If you just need to record a video of yourself talking and nothing else (no screens etc), then you can do this with any device that has a camera and microphone.

What you’ll need:

  • A Webcam
  • A Microphone (your webcam may have one built in)

Record using a laptop or desktop, instead of recording using your phone, if possible. Phones can produce different types of video file format that Blackboard cannot accept.

MP4 is the recommend file format for uploading video to Blackboard.

👉 Tips when making video files for assessment

Recording Your Screen

To record a presentation, or record content on your screen, there are a few different options. It’s important you find one that works well for you and is easy to use on your device.

PowerPoint

PowerPoint has an in-built recorder to let you record your presentation with narration, your presentation with narration and a camera input (Office 365), or just your screen. You have access to Office 365 for free with your university enrolment.

What you’ll need:

  • Microsoft Office (PowerPoint)
  • A Microphone (your webcam may have one built in)
  • A Webcam (optional)

If you want to record a presentation with slides, you can do this in PowerPoint.

This Microsoft Office support article covers the method for Office 365, earlier versions of Windows, Mac OS and PowerPoint online. This option can be found on the ‘Slide Show’ tab under ‘Record Slide Show’. PowerPoint presentations cut audio whilst changing slides, so take a brief pause before moving to the next slide.

The PowerPoint Ribbon open on the Slide Show tab, with Record Slide Show highlighted

If you want to record something which isn’t in PowerPoint, You can record a section of your screen, by clicking on the ‘Insert’ tab and selecting ‘Screen Recording’.

The PowerPoint Ribbon open on the Insert tab, with Screen Recording highlighted

Be aware that there is no in-built editor for cutting out sections, but you can re-record individual slides if you need to.

Presentations created using either of these methods can be

Please note that saving a Powerpoint file as a video can greatly increase the file size. Unless instructed otherwise by your lecturer, we recommend that you choose the Standard quality setting when exporting to video.

Our recommended video format for uploading to Blackboard is mp4.

Another way to reduce file size is to compress images in the presentation. See our guide Reducing file size for online submission or this Microsoft support page: Reduce the file size of a picture in Microsoft Office.

Recording in Microsoft Teams

You can set up and record a Teams meeting – see Microsoft Teams: Making a recording.

The recording will be saved in Stream. You will need to download the file from Stream in order to submit it to Blackboard.

Recording in Microsoft Stream

You can make recordings of up to 15 minutes in Stream – see the Microsoft article Create a screen recording

If you need to record on your phone, you can use the Microsoft Stream mobile app.

Index of guides on creating, editing and sharing videos in Stream

Screen recording for Mac

Mac users can download Office 365 for Mac as part of their university membership. Alternatively, Mac has its own screen recording tools available.

With macOS Mojave, press Shift-Command (⌘)-5 on your keyboard to see all the controls you need to record video and capture still images of your screen. Use these onscreen controls to select whether to record the entire screenrecord a selected portion or capture a still image of your screen. If you haven’t upgraded to Mojave, you can record the screen with QuickTime Player.

Export at a lower resolution to export to mp4.

Screencast-o-matic and Screencast.com

If you prefer not to use Office products, you can always try out these free tools; Screencast-o-matic and Screencast.com. These tools will output to mp4 and can be easily shared online and in Blackboard.

Always exercise caution when installing third party software.

What you’ll need:

  • A Webcam
  • A Microphone (your webcam may have one built in)
  • The appropriate software (TechSmith Capture, Launcher, etc)

Screencast-o-matic allows you to record your screen with a browser-based recorder, which requires you to download and install a ‘Launcher’ on to your device.

What can it do:

  • The recorder offers you options to record Screen, Webcam, or both at the same time. You can also choose whether or not to record audio.
  • Once your recording is complete, you’ll have the option to save as a local video file, upload to screencast-o-matic.com, or upload to YouTube.

Screencast.com includes a Recorder application (called TechSmith Capture), a basic video recorder, which allows you to record your screen and webcam, along with audio input. You’ll need to create an account to use Screencast.com and the recorder.

What can it do:

  • The recorder offers you options to record Screen, Webcam, or both at the same time. You can also choose whether or not to record audio.
  • Once recorded, the video will upload to Screencast.com. You can then download it from there. Note: The free version has limited storage and playback (2GB storage and 2GB bandwidth per month.)

Our recommended format for uploading to Blackboard is mp4.

If you are working on a group presentation, you might find Blackboard Collaborate useful to collaborate with other students in your group. However, only staff have the ability to make recordings in Blackboard Collaborate.