Solutions for Making Your Video

Let us suppose that you just want either to record you speaking straight to camera, or include some slides (ie types (1) or (2) above).   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 particularly useful for producing materials for a ‘flipped class’ or for recording a presentation.  

Technology Solution
(1) If you are using a 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. You can edit these (stick in titles, credits, overlays, trim, add other segments, etc) if you want, using iMovie which also comes free with a Mac – but for simple recordings, you might only need to use Quicktime itself.
(2) If you are using a PC...
...then there are a number of different ways you can do this. Windows 10 has an inbuilt screen-recorder, but its 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.  
(3) Screencasting tools
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.

(4) PowerPoint

You can also (depending on the version you are running) use PowerPoint to do a screen recording. Find out how here.

(5) Kaltura

Finally, the Kaltura Personal Recorder tool is one that 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. If there are issues with network connectivity then that may cause problems. Also, we know that the most recent upgrade of the tool, which has made it more powerful, requires more powerful computers to run on and so is not suited to rather old laptops, for example.  Nonetheless, the Kaltura suite of tools provides many additional features (including automated transcription of voice to text) and a video produced using any of the above (or other) tools can be uploaded onto Kaltura (in Blackboard or MediaSpace) for hosting and sharing.
(6) Blackboard Collaborate
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. Other videoconference tools also support recordings (e.g. Zoom, Vidyo).

(7) 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 account in MediaSpace. 

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! Watch this video for a tour

Lecture Capture

Lecture Capture is the buzz-phrase for recording a lecture or similar event. The term is meant to show that it’s about recording whatever is being presented on the screen in the venue, but also the audio in the room, and a video of the speaker/audience.  Lecture capture is best done in venues which have been explicitly set up for this purpose. There are specialist software tools and hardware devices which enable such recordings and many of 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.   These systems are expensive and to date in this university, we only really have three venues for this (including the Medicine lecture theatres in the CSI) because it is being used for specific cohorts of students on particular programmes. 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, e.g. Camtasia) and 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 (both in TIPS and on Kaltura’s site) 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. 

Unfortunately, we cannot provide a bespoke support service for lecture recording in this way, but we would recommend you have a ‘plan B’ if the event/lecture is particularly important and one of the simplest of those is to (in addition to the device/laptop you might be using) bring along a small audio recorder and have it capture a ‘backup’ recording! You can always combine the audio track with PowerPoint slides later.