Recording your own lectures?

Guidance for getting your lectures online

Do you want to start recording your lectures? This post will take you through the tools and support available. What equipment you might need and tips to make sure that both you and your students benefit.

Recording your own Lectures from your computer

Minimum Equipment/Software required

Camtasia Relay – hosted screen recording software that enables you to record your computer screen whilst capturing audio (we have a site license for this, you can request a copy from the servicedesk)

USB Microphone – used to record your audio (lecture)

With just the above equipment and software you’re ready to start recording your lectures, however if you want to be able to edit or splice your movies then you’ll need to look at the options below.

Other Equipment/Software

Fuse – An App available for mobile and tablet devices that lets you record from your device and post to the relay server. The app enables you to record a talking head video or any video recorded using the device camera as well as using to record audio.

Camtasia Studio – screen recording software with the addition of an edit timeline. This means you can cut, splice and add information to your movie. Output options include Camtasia Relay, so you can send your movie to our server for hosting and processing. Limited licenses available, speak to the to see if any are available

Jing – Free screen recording software (recording limited to 5mins) that is also produced by the Camtasia team. This simple to use tool enables you to retrieve the original file, record a region of the screen and publish directly to their server. Useful for short clips of a region of the screen, but you may need studio as well for publishing purposes.

iMovie – standard movie editing software for the Mac. It inlcudes some great editing facilities and templates based on movie genres. You’ll need some knowledge of suitable output options to get the best out of this software.

Windows Movie Maker – standard movie editing software for the PC. You’ll need some knowledge of suitable output options to get the best out of this software.

Web Camera – useful if you want to add a talking heading to your lecture. Speak to the computer store about purchasing options if you need to buy one. Remember most laptops have inbuilt cameras.

Audacity – Sound editing software. Free to download or request from the servicedesk.

What to consider before recording

  1. Make sure all of the equipment you plan to use is working, eg. is the sound being recorded
  2. Make sure you’re in a quiet environment.
  3. Take your phone off the hook and put your mobile on silent.
  4. Close your outlook/email client.
  5. Break down the lecture into bite size chunks of no longer than 5mins each.
  6. Write down the key points that you want to make, a little like a story board.
  7. Check the resolution of your monitor –
    A computer monitor is measured in pixels (a pixel is a little square that is the basic component of any computer graphic). If a monitor is set to show more pixels, it is known as increasing the resolution. At a higher resolution, graphics and text will look sharper. but smaller. The fewer pixels you request, the lower the resolution, and larger the-screen elements appear. If your computer is set to a high resolution (such as 1280×1024) when you record your video, a user viewing your published project at a lower display resolution (such as 800 x 600) will have to scroll significantly to see the action you recorded.However, if your computer is set to a lower display resolution (such as 1024×768) when you record your project, a customer with a higher screen resolution will have no trouble viewing your project. However, if you record your projects at the lower screen resolution, you may not be happy with the appearance of the screen icons and fonts (they may be too big and not as sharp as they would appear at the higher screen resolution).
    If this becomes an issue for you speak to your LTA who will be able to offer you more guidance on this issue and make suitable recommendations.
  8. Relax and don’t worry too much about making mistakes. If you record short sections then it’s easier to re-record if needed.

What is the best output option for my video?

  • When sending a recording to the Camtasia Relay server from either Catasia or Fuse choose ‘All Formats’ and then give students access to the MP4 format option.
  • If recording from a video camera we would recommend you use the university streaming server to host the output (see below for details)

Recording a live lecture

If choosing to record a live lecture so that you capture the interaction as well as the content you have three approaches you could consider.

  1. Contact the media services team. They provide a professional level service for recording live sessions. For more information contact Mark Raeburn, Senior Production Engineer, ex. 2781
  2. Recording the lecture using a video recorder. If you have a video recorder and tripod you could record a live session. This would result in a long movie that needs to be streamed in order to make it available to your students. The university has a streaming service which is also provided by the media services team. For details of the service contact Mark Raeburn.
  3. Do an audio recording of the lecture. This is the simplest approach to capturing the live lecture. MP3 recorders are now cheaply available, simple to use and easy to get online. Alternatively you can use a smart phone or tablet eg an iphone, ipad etc. If capturing using a smart device we would recommend downloading and using the Camtasia Fuse app, this offers you an internally ‘hosted’ solution for your audiocast (podcast).

Additional Resources

University resources

Information about the university streaming service

IS Workshop Programme

Using Camtasia Studio

Reversed Learning Case Study which includes the use of pre-recorded lectures

External Resources

Legal Considerations – Jisc Legal – using Camtasia Relay – Using Camtasia Studio – using Jing

I am the Learning Technologies Adviser for Brighton Business School; Environment and Technology; PABS; Art, Design and Media. I am based in the Aldrich Library. My role is to to provide research, guidance and support with the use and implementation of technology in teaching and research. My background is in the creative arts, education and technology and I would see myself as a creative technologist. You can follow me on twitter using @mecurdy To find out more about the technologies and services we support visit the elearning blog:

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