A woman sits at a desk in front of a laptop and camera

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By Kim Loenhart, Educational Technology Support, EDC

Did you know that all Carleton instructors and TAs have access to software that allows you to create lecture recordings and/or screencasts on video? Capture (TechSmith Relay) is available to download for free and is installed on every classroom computer on campus.

Lecture recordings provide a great opportunity for instructors to try asynchronous online instruction, technology demonstrations, and narrated PowerPoint presentations. And these are just some of the many ideas for eLearning use. Creating a screen recording or lecture recording can help you to flip your classroom or take a blended approach to teaching.

Whether you already use Capture for short demonstrations, or you’re thinking about shooting your first video, here are five tips to make your video a success:

  • Plan your content in 5-10 minute chunks. Shorter videos are preferable to long videos because viewer attention spans are short, and smaller segments are more reusable.
  • Don’t try to be perfect. Small pauses or vocal imperfections humanize you as a presenter. Planning is important, and you might even want your key ideas written down to follow, but don’t try to fix every pause or stumble. No one expects perfection.
  • Choose your background carefully. Select a neutral background setting with a light source in front of you. Avoid sitting in front of a window as the background glare will make it harder to see you in the video.
  • Look directly into the camera. Looking at the camera makes you appear focussed and commanding, while looking at other locations off screen will make you appear distracted.
  • Get an external microphone to use instead of your computer or laptop’s microphone. The microphone in your laptop keyboard will record any desktop sounds such as typing or mouse clicks which can be distracting for viewers.

Want to learn more about using Capture in your classroom? Register for our upcoming workshop, Capture: An Introduction to Creating Course Videos, on Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. – noon, or watch a video tutorial to learn some new tricks with Capture.