1. Like a tour?
  2. Behind the camera lens
  3. The microphone and its battery pack
  4. Mobility when you lecture
  5. Responding to questions
  6. Going out of town? Pre-record your lecture
  7. Editing lectures on CUOL
  8. The overhead camera
  9. Preparation of printouts for overhead camera display
  10. Computer images
  11. Broadcast rights
  12. Inviting guest lecturers
  13. From the trenches – advice from your CUOL technical crew

There are several important technical aspects to consider while your lectures are being recorded. The following list will help make your presentation run smoothly.

Like a tour?

If you would like to arrange an orientation to your CUOL classroom, please contact cuol@carleton.ca. We would be happy to show you the ins and outs of the room and working with your crew.

Behind the camera lens

The camera crew is there to offer you support during your recorded lecture. There will always be a crew member in the booth and usually there will be one in the classroom itself. Take a few minutes to get to know the crew members before your first lecture. Let them know if you will be using any media materials, or if you are planning anything unusual during your lecture. It is not necessary to lecture as though they do not exist. As a matter of fact, developing a rapport with the crew will aid in situations when presentation or technical problems arise and you have to take a moment to correct them.

The microphone and its battery pack

It will be necessary to wear a small mic during your lecture, so when you plan your wardrobe keep in mind that you will need to attach a mic somewhere to your clothing. Instructors usually find that sweatshirts or pullover sweaters can be problematic. A small transmitter for the wireless mic clips onto your belt/waist or can be slipped into a pocket.

Mobility when you lecture

Your lecture style should not be inhibited while teaching on CUOL. If you are in the habit of moving about the room to lecture, please continue to do so. The camera will follow you. Instructors who have many years of experience teaching on CUOL advise that its best to “just be yourself” as if you are in a classroom without a camera.

Responding to questions

The audio quality in a CUOL classroom and our ability to capture questions from students has improved greatly in the past few years. However, it is always wise to repeat or rephrase the questions from students just to ensure that the students at home have heard them.

Going out of town? Pre-record your lecture

If you have to be out of town during the academic year, it is possible to pre-record the lecture you would have given if you were here. The lecture can be played to your regularly scheduled class and/or made available at no charge to all your students through the Video On Demand service. To arrange this contact cuol@carleton.ca.

Editing lectures on CUOL

If you are concerned about something that has been said during a lecture, we advise you to preview it. If you think you have erred in a statement or that it needs clarification, it is best to correct it in your next lecture and/or post on cuLearn about it. For serious concerns, we do have the ability to edit lectures, but be aware that the live stream has already occurred and the lecture may not be edited before it is posted for Video On Demand viewers. Time is of the essence to limit the number of students who see the original lecture.

The overhead camera

All recording-ready classrooms allow you to display images and notes on an overhead camera permanently installed in the ceiling. Images displayed are shown to in-class students on screens. Blank paper and markers are supplied for you to write out notes. However, prepared “print-outs” have a more professional appearance.

Preparation of printouts for overhead camera display

Printouts should be created in 24-36 point font and printed on to 14 x 8.5 paper (landscape legal size). Light cream or grey paper is preferable to white for on-screen use. Paper may be ordered from The Print Shop.

Computer images

Each CUOL-equipped classroom has a computer connected to the university’s CUNET network. If you do not have a password please contact the ITS Help Desk at 613-520-3700 to obtain one. Images from the computer are converted to video for our recording and displayed on the classroom screens. The computers are equipped to play audio as well.

Broadcast rights

Broadcast rights must be cleared before film or video material can be aired in recorded classes. This is because the class is available freely during the live stream and the web channel showing. Depending on the material involved, it may take a number of weeks (or months) to determine who owns the copyright and to negotiate the broadcast rights. The amount of the broadcast fees may prohibit the use of certain titles on CUOL. As a rule of thumb, NFB titles can be checked for broadcast rights quickly and, if available, can usually be obtained at a reasonable cost.

An alternative is to air the video in the class but stop the recording so that it is not distributed openly online. The video can be posted in cuLearn, which, as it is password protected and limited to students in the class, is considered acceptable use. Your online students can view the video through cuLearn. If you would like to do this, please contact CUOL so we can make the video available for posting in cuLearn and so we can make sure it is not made publicly available.

Here are some handy connections if you want to use video:

  • For broadcast rights requests, contact Maria Brocklehurst.
  • The library maintains a video collection that supports teaching and research at Carleton. Find out what your need to know about searching, borrowing and booking on their website.
  • Requests to borrow videos from other Ontario universities (participating in WATMEDIA) should be made through MacOdrum Library’s Interlibrary Loans Department. For more information please contact racer@library.carleton.ca.
  • To request that a video be placed on course reserve, please contact the Library’s Course Reserve Coordinator, racer@library.carleton.ca.
  • The library provides access to online video databases which are open to Carleton students – see the video database page.

Inviting guest lecturers

Guest lecturers are always welcome on CUOL. However, if you plan to have a guest or two in a recorded course, be sure to contact CUOL’s technical operations at cuol@carleton.ca the week before your lecture so they can arrange to provide extra microphones. A wireless handheld microphone is available for multiple guest/panel discussion situations.

Please ensure guests complete the event authorization form which is available from CUOL administration.

From the trenches – advice from your CUOL technical crew

  • We would be happy to help with any course preparation or special media requirements. Please feel free to inform us of your plans to play video and audio clips, perform demonstrations, present slideshows and computer presentations. It is always wise to test your media beforehand, and it means we are ready to follow your lead.
  • Avoid clothing that is too dark, too light or too bright, or that has a busy pattern. Keep it simple and consider attire that is not distracting. Wear smaller jewelry and avoid scarves to allow for the placement of a small wireless microphone.
  • Use PowerPoint slides that are easy to read and understand, and not too busy with graphics, colours and fonts. Make sure your font is big enough (bigger is better!). Feel free to use our template.
  • Check your monitors when using overhead cameras to make sure the material is placed properly to show on-screen. Leave material in view long enough for show and tell.
  • Move around (really!), and feel free to use the space fully. It makes for a better presentation on camera. Be as expressive as necessary – getting excited about your material can be contagious!
  • Microphones transmit those “throat-clearing” sounds clearly.
  • Look up. Eye contact works well.
  • Give equal eye contact to the camera – treat it as another student.
  • Say hello, greet students and welcome all. Make sure to acknowledge and address the students at a distance.
  • It’s ok to interact with students in a recorded class. If you are intimidated by the presence of the camera, they will be as well. Try to look relaxed. Even if it’s forced initially, it will become natural. You’ll be surprised how soon you forget the cameras are there!
  • Introduce your camera crew to your class – you can even ask them to participate in discussion if you like. It takes away the sense of “us” and “them.”
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help during lectures if you need it. Sometimes equipment acts up and our technicians will step in to help if needed. As we do not always know when it may be appropriate, we will wait for your cue.

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