How can I make a video to share with my students?
There are lots of options available. To get started you need to be clear about what type of video you want to produce. For example, is it:
- Talking head - just you speaking to camera informing the students about something;
- Screencast - you with accompanying slides (say from PowerPoint) or a recording of something on your computer (eg walking through how to use a particular piece of software);
- Capture - a recording of a ‘live’ event, such as a lecture, whilst it happens;
- to include ‘green screen’ effects (as in weather forecasts, where you/presenter appear in front of an image or background video);
- made up of multiple segments added together (e.g. rather than a single ‘take’);
- something that you want to share publicly and openly, or something that should only be accessible by students on your module/course?
The best solution will vary depending on which of these (or which combination) you are looking for, so planning is definitely the first stage!
Solutions for Making your video
Let us suppose that you just want either to record you speaking straight to camera, or include some slides. You can do this on your computer (whether laptop or desktop) quite easily, especially if you are happy enough with the quality of your webcam and built-in microphone. The following suggestions are useful for recording your screen or a presentation.
|Quicktime on Mac
||...then it is very easy indeed! Mac OSX comes with Quicktime Player built-in and although most people might only use this for watching videos, it can actually also make videos and screencasts. For simple recordings, you might only need to use Quicktime itself. Find out how to make a Quictime Recording.
||PowerPoint itself can produce video files of a presentation with an audio narration. Depending on the particular version of PowerPoint which you are using, you can go to the Slide Show menu, select 'Record Show' and then work through the slides one by one whilst recording an audio narration. Find out how to make a recording in Powerpoint.
The Kaltura Capture Recorder is available to all staff and students in NUI Galway and can be accessed via Blackboard, or Kaltura’s MediaSpace. This tool is simple to use, can capture video from webcams as well as full screens, windows, etc, and runs on both PCs and Macs. It is a network-based tool so it will expect to be uploading the finished recording to Kaltura rather than saving on your local device. Find out how to make a recording in Kaltura Capture.
If there are issues with network connectivity then that may cause problems. Also, we know that the tool is not suited to older laptops.
Nonetheless, Kaltura provides many additional features (including automated transcription of voice to text).
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
Blackboard Collaborate is a tool which allows multiple people at different locations to meet in a ‘virtual room’; essentially a video-conferencing tool that is built into Blackboard (but also available separately too). We mention it here, because you can also record sessions in Collaborate and it will record any slides or desktop materials which are being presented/shared in the session (with the audio) and these can be accessed in the relevant Blackboard module. Find out how about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra recordings.
Other videoconference tools also support recordings (e.g. Zoom, Vidyo)
||You can use record your meetings in Teams to capture audio, video, and screen sharing activity. The recording happens in the cloud, and is saved to Microsoft Stream, so you can share it securely.
Find out more about Microsoft Teams
If you want to do a short recording (up to 15 minutes max) you can do it very easily using MS stream. It captures the full screen, allows you to have picture-in-picture video, or captures an application or browser tab. It is easy to use and will work on any computer.
Find out more about Microsoft Stream
Techsmith Screencasting tools
(Individual purchase required)
If you plan on making the production of screencasts a regular thing then it’s probably worth considering paying for a copy of Camtasia. This is quite a powerful package and has lots of editing options, including setting questions etc. Camtasia also has ‘green screen’ capabilities. It runs on Mac as well as Windows. Snagit is a cheaper, more basic option from the same company.
|Windows 10 inbuilt screen recorder||...then there are a number of different ways you can do this. Windows 10 has an inbuilt screen-recorder, but it’s hidden away amongst the Xbox/gaming tools (used to record gameplay). It is quite limited in terms of options, but it’s still free! You can learn about it here. Otherwise, there are many online tools that you can either use for free or pay a small licence for. These are of varying capability.
|For mobile devices (phones, tablets)||
There are multiple apps (including basic ones which will have been supplied with your device) for simple video capture.
Note that Kaltura also has a mobile App (KMS Go) that is very easy to use and to upload directly to your Kaltura My Media.
|Audacity (Audio only)
|| Simply having an audio commentary or recording in conjunction with some slides or documents, may suffice. There are many ways of doing audio recordings, including via your phone, and of loading these onto Kaltura/Blackboard (as ‘podcasts’).
The free audio processing tool, Audacity, is very useful for this. A good quality microphone can make a huge difference.
Mini-Studio at NUI Galway
We also have a ‘mini-studio’ in NUI Galway, which is available to any student or staff member. All you need to do is bring along a USB memory stick, on which your video will be recorded and which you can take away with you to edit or share, and press the single button marked ‘record’ in the room. All the equipment switches on and off automatically. If you want to capture a presentation on your laptop then bring it along and you can plug it in to the system and it will recognise that you want this automatically! If you know what you are doing, there’s a green screen available in the room too! View this video for a tour.
‘Lecture Capture’ is the term used for recording a lecture or similar event. Lecture capture is best done in venues which have been explicitly set up for this purpose. There are specialist software tools and hardware devices to enable such recordings. These allow events to be scheduled for recording in advance and for the processed recordings to be automatically posted up in the correct module in Blackboard, a website, or wherever. To date in this university, we only have three venues for this, using Echo360 (including the Medicine lecture theatres in the CSI). In other countries, particularly the UK and Australia, universities have equipped all their teaching rooms for this and, indeed, record every scheduled lecture by default! We’re a long way away from that here.
It is possible to use Kaltura to do a rough and ready lecture recording (or indeed any of the screen capture tools we mentioned above). We are also currently experimenting with Kaltura’s dedicated lecture capture system and testing its integration with a dedicated hardware device.
To make a lecture recording, please read through the appropriate Kaltura help and plan it carefully. Where things often go awry is with the quality of the audio (or sometimes a network issue). If you are planning on making such a recording, check that the audio from the microphones is being passed through to the computer that you are using. Testing out in advance is essential.