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Teaching Essentials

Instructor Guidelines for Screen Capture

Step 1: Is screen capture the right choice?

Ask yourself the following:

  • Is the material something students could read on their own without having to sit through a recording? Text online allows for searching, copying, editing, and sharing. Video does not.
  • If the video is demonstrating or explaining something taking place on your screen, such as a software demonstration, or you are sending your students a personal greeting with your webcam, then screen capture is the right choice because it allows for the recording of video and animation.
  • Remember – DO NOT record any material that the college does not have clear permission to use. Example: LinkedIn videos are available to the college to use but cannot be recorded in Mediasite. Be sure to check the copyright on any material you will be recording. If you have any questions about copyright please go to the information available from the library.

Step 2: Planning and instructional considerations

Once you have decided to use screen capture in Mediasite

  • Plan your recording session
    • What is the outcome or outcomes you want to achieve? How will your recording help your students achieve them? What should your students know or be able to do after viewing the recording?
    • Plan the content you wish to record.
      • Determine how the material could be divided to allow students to focus on a specific topic. Chunking also allows students to select which material they want to view. Visualize how the recordings will be sequenced on LEARN.
      • Provide an overview that explains how each of the smaller topics relate to one another.
      • Introduce what will specifically be covered in the video
        • In this video we will look at …”
      • At the end, create a brief summary of what the video was about. If there is a follow up video, indicate the topic of the next video in the sequence.
    • You may wish to plan what you want to say in the recording by writing a script or storyboard so you can be concise and to the point, or if it makes you more comfortable. Don’t worry about the occasional “um” or “ah” or tripping over your words. Those things happen naturally in the classroom and you don’t have to restart the recording each time they happen.
    • Make sure you have the software and hardware you will need and that your computer has the minimum system requirements to run software such as Mediasite.
      • Software: Mediasite loaded on your computer as well as any software you require such as PowerPoint.
      • Hardware: a headset with a good microphone is recommended to isolate narration audio, although an external or built-in microphone can work in a quiet environment if necessary.
      • Test all software, hardware and accessories prior to beginning recording and make a short test recording.
    • Instructional considerations
      • Be sure to provide context for the video to the students
        • You can provide students with content-related questions or other learning activities to assist with the student’s learning.
        • Another option may be to assign a task for students to complete based on the recording.
      • Remember
        • . Provide extra context for what is being presented. Remember that screen recordings are best used for visually demonstrating a concept or process, not for only lecturing.
        • Don’t talk for too long without showing something or changing what’s on the screen
        • Don’t record in a noisy environment (i.e. background noises are distracting)
        • Don’t record in a poorly-lit environment when using a webcam – show them your bright side!
        • Don’t forget to center yourself in the frame of your webcam so your whole face is visible
  • Don’t talk too quickly
  • Don’t try to edit your video. It’s ok if it isn’t absolutely perfect as long as you haven’t told them something incorrect or dangerous.
  • For further assistance with recording click on the overview or Help icons in Mediasite

Step 3: Record

Ensure that your equipment and environment are ready for recording.

  • Verify that you have the appropriate recording equipment and verify that everything works correctly before you get started.
  • Recording:
    • Audio recordings: You need either a built-in microphone or an external microphone. Position microphone just below lip to prevent breath pops.
    • Video recordings: You need both a microphone and a webcam.
  • Composing your best screen capture (from home)
    • Video: Ensure that your webcam rests at or slightly above eye-level and you are centered in the video capture area.
    • Sound: Adjust and test your audio equipment so that you sound clear and audible. For example, keep microphones 6 to 8 inches from your mouth to avoid picking up breathing. If you are using a headset for recording audio, keep the microphone about one inch from your mouth. Always test before recording!
    • Lighting: Where possible, use bright even lighting. Illuminate yourself with a lamp, and avoid glaring light such as the sun from a window or background lights in your shot. This is essential for high-quality video. Make sure bright lights (e.g. windows) aren’t positioned behind you in view of the camera.
    • Background: Where possible, use a solid-colour background and avoid solid white or a wall with busy patterns. If the video background is a solid colour (you can use a sheet, for example) the background will be processed more efficiently.
    • Reduce ambient noise: Turn off appliances and electronics, close doors and windows to reduce external and ambient noises. Use chairs or stools that do not squeak or make noise when they move. Mute phones. Tell those around you that you are recording. It is important to have a quiet space to minimize distractions.
    • Clean-up recording area: Make sure your space is free of clutter that may distract your audience.
  • Before you begin to record shut down all applications that you will not be using in the recording.
  • When using PowerPoint or content presentation software
    • Be concise (try following a script)
    • Don’t skip around, organize logically
    • Focus on main points, spend less time on minor details
    • Use personal stories and examples
    • Use visuals as much as possible, limit text on the screen
      • Image on screen should always support what’s being spoken and be labelled as per spoken word
      • Don’t leave an image on screen if it’s not being talked about
      • When providing examples provide visuals for reference wherever possible
    • Speak conversationally and at a consistent pace (not too fast) – as if, you were talking to a class in front of you
  • Provide detailed instructions for accessing and playing lectures at the beginning of the course.