While the University does not yet have an approved learning capture solution, there are numerous tools you can use to create a screencast. This guide contains links to practical advice for implementing screencasts.
Top tips for creating T&L video content
Planning a recording - where to start?
Begin your video project by thinking about your approach:
...if the lecture is very long, consider recording 5 minutes (10minute max!) summary and directing students to further reading or other resources/activity.
...aim for a conversational tone rather than descriptive. This is far more engaging for students.
...it is worth considering combining use of video resources with formative (automatically marked) tests or ask students to complete a worksheet and upload to an informal ungraded submission point.
Framing your content / suggested structure for a video
This structure provides a suggested format for discussing video content. You may decide to use some/all/none of the sections in your video, depending on your intentions for the resource.
|1||Introduction||What is the focus of the video? How would you introduce this topic in a face-to-face environment? How would you engage the students? For instance, you might begin with an example, a thought-provoking question or a discussion of how this content relates to their daily lives.|
|2||Learning Outcomes||What are the intended learning outcomes after the student has completed this video? How will you evaluate whether a student has achieved these outcomes?
|3||Readings||What readings are relevant to the video? How and when should students encounter these materials?
|4||Related content||Will students be able to identify content related to the video? For instance, you may provide a combination of direct textual instruction (on recorded slides) and spoken instruction (in your video). How will you signpost students during your video?
|5||Assignments or submission links||How will you gauge understanding of the video content? Assessment discussion may motivate students to rewatch videos.
|6||Recap / Wrap-Up||How can you tie together the video's content and activities to help students achieve the intended learning outcomes?
|7||Closure||Where can the student go to obtain more information? For instance, you might provide external links and additional resources.|
Technical considerations before recording
Simple checks to make before you record:
|Do you have access to a headset? Your laptop, phone and tablet typically have an inbuilt mic and camera, however, better audio is achieved when using a headset.
- Please note: You may need to move the mic closer or further away from your mouth - do a quick audio check by making a short recording and playing it back to yourself!
|Webcam (if you want to record yourself on camera). Position so audience can see your expression, some viewers find it helpful to lip read as you talk. Microsoft PowerPoint recorder or Microsoft Camera app can be used to record a 'talking head' (shoulders and head in shot).|
|Decide which tool you will use to make your recording. For options, see: Personal Capture tool available in Microsoft Office and from third party providers
Ensure you know how to set up your software, the following video gives a tour.
|Clear your screen of applications / private documents not needed for the recording (especially important if sharing your screen). You may wish to turn off email notifications also.|
|Find a quiet space with wired internet (preferred) or WIFI connection. Turn off your phone and put a sign on your office door.|
|Optional: Create slides to accompany your audio – as a minimum you may like to prepare a welcome slide, giving information about the video topic. Microsoft PowerPoint has an inbuilt recording function to capture audio narration over slides.
If your PowerPoint contains a video, upload this separately and direct students when to watch it.
|Check your audio before recording!
If you are too close to the mic or too far away the sound may be affected. Recording in a small room without background noise is advisable. When playing back an audio test, remove headset and play through computer speakers for a more accurate representation of audio quality.
During the recording:
- Aim for a conversational tone rather than descriptive. This is far more engaging for the listener!
- Students are very forgiving about 'mistakes' such as coughs and rephrasing, in fact, such 'mistakes' may give your video a more personable sound.
- A script may lend itself to a more descriptive tone. To achieve a conversational tone, consider using brief prompts; such as post-it notes, a flowchart or a simple bulleted list.
- If you are using a webcam, ensure you occasionally look at the camera to engage with your audience.
- Describe any key content of slides – especially images. Explain the context of the image, this is particularly important for accessibility.
The following video gives tips for presenters during recording:
What to do after recording...
Before posting your video on Blackboard, answer the following questions:
|Is the video clearly labelled? Do you need to add a description? If you have embedded the video, have you included the original file for students to download.|
|Is your video accessible to all of your students – do you need a transcript? Youtube creates an auto-transcript which is editable and downloadable. Alternatively, you may feel the lecture notes and/or a written summary would suffice.|
|If you have recorded a series of short videos, carefully name each file before uploading (so students can easily sort/organise when downloading multiple files!)|
|Have you added additional resources, such as lecture notes, the PowerPoint file and links to further reading? Are these located near to the video? Do you need to publish/acknowledge any copyright information?|
|Do you intend to set up a short automated quiz for students to formatively assess themselves? Make sure this is set up before you release the video resource.|
|Decide how you might ‘release’ videos to students – will you display all content or will you allow students to ‘unlock’ more videos or additional content? Blackboard adaptive release enables you to release material to students as they engage with your material.|