Depending on the type of videos you would like to show your students, you have many options for creating these videos. The process is further complicated depending on your operating system, computer, access to video camera and microphone, and many other factors.

Before you begin creating videos, make sure you can take advantage of videos that others have made available on the internet. Start by checking out these links.

Assuming that you come to the conclusion that you need to make your own videos, start by answering the following questions (make a list of your answers - you will want it later, really):

What type of content do you want to share?
  • images - a presentation?
  • audio/visual - a presentation with voiceover?
  • video - of you explaining something or writing on a board?
  • a whiteboard - an explanation of how to work out a problem?
  • a combination - some images with embedded video and a problem solved on a whiteboard?

How long will each video be?
  • Short and directed videos are most likely to be watched by students (and referred to later when they study the material).
  • The longer the video, the larger the file.
  • When it comes to creating and editing the video, it will be much less time consuming to create and edit three short videos than one longer video. Additionally, the more times you go through the process of creating, editing, exporting, etc., the quicker you will remember the steps. Once you have learned the "steps" for your particular system, the process of creating new content substantially speeds up.
  • If students will watch a series of your videos over the course of a semester, you can shorten videos by referring students back to the content of earlier videos (if they need a refresher).

In what format will you save your videos?
  • There are many different video formats available, and for most you can install plug-ins to your browser to watch them on different platforms.
  • Students that plan to watch videos on their tablets or smartphones will have difficulty watching Flash videos (and they will not understand why - I have found that avoiding Flash is the easiest way to avoid involved discussions).

How do you plan to deliver the videos to your students? (don't count on easy upload to your LMS - even a short video will be a large file)
  • If you have a Google account, you have access to Google Drive (with at least 15 GB of space for your account). Video files of many formats can be stored and shared this way.
  • A shared Dropbox folder could also be an option (but the amount of available space is often substantially less than on Drive for free accounts).
  • Posting videos to your own YouTube channel is a common solution. By changing the privacy settings on your account, you can ensure that only people with the link to the file can watch the video.
  • Many other cloud-based services are available, take a look around, and see if you can find something that will work.

Consider accessibility when you create your videos - not all students have access to speedy internet connections from home. Some may even have to rely on their smartphone to watch videos from home. You may have some students who are less than tech savvy. There are ways to deal with these issues, but make sure to consider the possible problems early.

Additionally, you may have students who cannot easily see or hear the videos you create. There are ways to deal with this, and your Disability Services office on campus can likely help with these issues.

Before you get started...

You will likely require access to the following:

  • Video camera (your laptop or tablet may have this covered)
  • Microphone (does your computer/tablet have a built-in microphone?)
  • Video editing/conversion software (there are free/inexpensive options for all platforms)
  • Place & space to post videos online

Lecture capture platforms

Screencasts can be created on most any computer/tablet platform. Follow the links below for information on some of the most popular options.

- Mac OS X programs
- Windows programs
- iPad apps
- Android apps
- cross-platform options

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