Recording Tools available to university staff

Due to the necessary changes in approach to Autumn Term Teaching, you may be required to create screencast content for remote delivery.

Depending on the type of screencast you wish to record, you may need to choose an appropriate recorder

This article includes reference to tools which are available via the University’s Microsoft Office subscription, or provided by third parties.

MS Office tools are free and already available to you – see Office Software on the IT website. Please ensure that you have the latest Office 365 version of the software installed, as this incorporates enhanced functionality.

Some third party solutions may require payment or may cease to be free in the future. Some of the tools suggested may also require you to download software. These should be used at your own risk. If you are using a university device, you should contact IT before downloading any software.

If you are uploading media to Stream manually, be aware that large files can take a long time to upload. We recommend uploading large files using a wired connection, as opposed to WiFi. 

Stream can accept most file formats, but has some exceptions.

Please also note that we can only provide guidance on how best to use these tools for teaching and learning; technical support for Office products can be requested from IT, while technical support for third party software is available from the provider. Third party software is downloaded at your own risk.

Teams is a free application available to all university staff that has options to record your screen and camera, using the Meet Now feature. Recordings made in Teams upload automatically to Stream.

 

Follow our detailed guide on how to record with Teams.

PowerPoint is a free application available to all university staff that has options to record your screen and presentations. We recommend upgrading to Office 365 to get the most out of PowerPoint.

Follow our detailed guide on how to record with PowerPoint.

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

QuickTime is a free tool which comes pre-installed on Macs. It allows you to record your screen with audio and can be a useful tool for overcoming loss of functionality in Microsoft apps when using a Mac.

There are two options for making a macOS screen recording:

  1. Shift-command-5 (if using MacOs Mojave or later).
  2. QuickTime Player (the default system video player on macOS which also doubles as a screen recorder).

 

Important:

If running Quicktime legacy versions the .mov file encoding cannot be:

  • imported to some editors such as Camtasia 
  • uploaded to some streaming platforms such as Youtube or MS Stream
  • opened in some players such as VLC

Download the latest version of QuickTime.

QuickTime Player can also be used to record;

  • stand-alone audio from a microphone
  • camera input, which can be displayed anywhere on your screen, resized, duplicated and 'floated' above other applications. This is particularly useful when recording: 
    • a custom sized/positioned video feed i.e. PowerPoint with an enlarged camera feed or an application/document in which the camera feed requires repositioning
    • multiple video feeds i.e. two presenters in different locations, different angles of a demonstration or a presenter shot and a separate view of annotation/demonstration as they speak.
    • other Apple devices i.e. iPhone or iPad screen (see below 'screen recording from other Apple devices'). 

Screen recording from other Apple devices

If you need to record iPad, iPod touch or iPhone screen there are two options:

  1. Mirror device on your mac; if you're using OS X Yosemite or later, you can record the screen of any iOS device with a Lightning port and iOS 8 or later.
  2. Record directly from device;

Stream is a free, browser-based video hosting solution, with its own limited screen recorder that is available to all university staff.

Follow our detailed guidance Stream.

Microsoft provide step-by-step guides for using Stream to record on their support site. 

Most laptops and phones have a built-in camera and your computer may have a camera app for using with an external webcam. These solutions offer cheap, hassle-free methods of recording basic video.

To record something simple, such as a welcome video for your Blackboard course, you may wish to use the device you have most readily available.

If you have a webcam on your laptop/desktop, then you can record basic videos of yourself or others using: 

  • the Camera application built in to Windows 10.
  • Quicktime built in to macOS

You could also record yourself using the camera app on your phone. Be aware that the produced file may need converting before it can be uploaded to Stream.

If your subject area involves drawing diagrams or writing equations, you can use a goose necked phone holder (<£10) to angle your phone to record drawing or writing at your desk on a piece of paper.

Some phones have basic editing abilities available as standard and free apps can also be downloaded to perform more complicated edits. You can also ‘trim’ videos (editing the start/end position) in Stream or perform more advanced edits using the Photos app in Windows 10.

Camtasia is only appropriate for users who wish to make more advanced recordings with greater editing capabilities . For the majority of cases, we would recommend using one of the other, free tools available. If you believe you need to purchase Camtasia, but are unsure, please contact the TEL team by raising a ticket through DTS to discuss your project.

Techsmith provide step-by-step guides for using Camtasia on their support site.

Camtasia has been approved by IT to use institutionally and an individual licence can be purchased with permission from your Head of Department.

When uploading video files to Stream, please ensure that you are using the most appropriate file format, and that your files are not excessively large. You may need to reduce the size of larger files before they can be uploaded.

 

Screencast-o-matic and Screencast.com both offer free tools for recording your desktop. These will both require you to download software.

Screencast-o-matic

Screencast-o-matic allows you to record your screen and download or host videos for free. It also offers a video editor, which is not free, however it does offer a 30-day trial for this editor. Screencast-o-matic uses a browser-based recorder, which requires you to download and install a ‘Launcher’ on to your device.

  • 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, you will have the option to add or remove audio and to add Closed Captions.
  • 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

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.

  • 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, where an embed code can be generated and the description/title can be edited. Note: The free version has limited storage and playback (2GB storage and 2GB bandwidth per month.) You can download your recordings to store and upload them elsewhere (e.g. Blackboard) but this counts towards the monthly bandwidth allowance.
  • You need to create an account to use Screencast.com and the recorder.