Video and Audio production
A number of faculty have expressed interest in using video and audio in their classes using the Internet or web to distribute the materials. Here are some of our initial recommendations about technology selection as well as tips for recording. Please keep accessibility strategies in mind when designing course materials. Also, here’s a link to crash course on basic video lighting.
|For talking heads only… Consider a web cam. It’s cheaper than video cameras and even the latest flip cams. It’s also stationary and sometimes even comes as standard equipment on your computer. If you use a webcam, the recording can easily be saved to your computer hard drive.|
|Classroom or outside events… Consider a FLIPCAM or videocam – If you want to record classroom events or tape an event outside, either use a flipcam or borrow a video camcorder from the FRC. You can then download the recordings directly to your computer or to one of the FRC image/video capture stations. Here’s a link to Shawn Miller’s blog site at Duke University that contains links to videos demonstrating how to record, edit, and upload videos made with a flipcam.|
|Voice-only - Consider a USB microphone or headset (mic and headphone). We like the Logitech brand. You can purchase these from Frye’s Electronics or from CompUSA.com|
Screen recordings or demonstrations…
If you want to record a screen demonstration or even Powerpoint presentation with your voice, you can use screen recording software such as Jing available from Jingproject.com or Camtasia studio available from Creationengine.com for a reduced price. Both of these products are great products though Jing is the free LITE version of Camtasia. Adobe Captivate is also a fine product but has added features that you can use to require students to perform behavioral tasks before proceeding through a tutorial. Jing comes with a free screencast.com account that provides up to two gigabytes of web server space per individual but the videos are limited to 5 minutes in length. It also lacks many of the features that Camtasia has. If you want to create a screen recording, you will also need a microphone to narrate your presentations like the one shown above.
- The content of single recordings should address no more than one to two topics, i.e., it is better to to create more videos than to cram a lot of topics into one video.
- Practice your recording two or three times before actually recording it. The goal is to make your videos as concise as possible removing all unnecessary language or steps.
- Record in a quiet room; unplug the telephone, etc., to reduce the chance of extraneous noise.
- Close all applications on your computer that you will not be using for the recordings.
- If you make use of the Webcam feature (JingPRO only), make sure you have plenty of light so that your face is not hidden in room shadows.
- Make sure you have plenty of light so that your face isn’t hidden in room shadows.
- Do a microphone sound level and video picture check prior to recording.
- Record in the morning or when your voice is the freshest. A tired voice lacks enthusiasm.
- Keep your recordings short if possible, i.e., less than five and no more than 10 minutes at the most.
- If you do a screen recording, reduce your computer display resolution via your computer system control panel to 800 (W) by 600 (H) before you do the recording. After the recording, change your display size back to the resolution it was before you changed it. This technique will produce a demonstration that is more likely to fit all the display resolutions of students, especially those who have older computer displays.
- Use the mouse and software’s cross hairs to capture ONLY that portion of the window you want to record.
- Wait 2 seconds after you select the record button in your screen recording software because it may take a second or two for your computer to start recording.
- If you are creating several videos that will be accessed from a table of contents, make sure your video display capture sizes are the same size; otherwise, your movies will not fit neatly into the video display window.
- If you intend on using this video more than once OR if you know you have students who are hearing impaired, you MUST have the video captioned. Currently, the College was awarded some grant funds to caption videos for use in distance education classes. Contact Laurie Vasquez in the FRC at X2724 or at email@example.com for more info.
- Upload your video to Edustream.org or Screencast.com in order to stream/present your videos.
Editing your video
We don’t recommend that you edit video unless you want to spend a lot of time. Some free video editing software packages (IMovie for Apple and MovieMaker for Windows) are easy to use but still consume your time and take up hard drive space.
Uploading your video to a web site for viewing
If you use a flip cam or video cam, you need to download/save your recording to your computer so you can upload it to website for viewing. Once your video is ready to be presented, you can upload it to a variety of video sources such as Xythos, the college’s web file sharing system. We recommend saving your videos in flash video format because the majority of Internet browsers support flash. The FRC, however, still supports the Quicktime video/audio format if you want to make use of that streaming technology. At this point in time, the College does not have a flash streaming server to stream your videos. Instead, we recommend
saving your flash movies in flash video format (FLV) and uploading them to your individual Xythos space. If your software doesn’t have the capability to save files as FLV files, then contact the FRC so that we can show you how to do this using software in our training center. Be sure you make the folder that contains the movie files in Xythos unrestricted so students can view them without having to enter an ID and password. You can link to these movies in Xythos from any site including your Moodle course shells or Campus Pipeline in a variety of ways. Please contact the David, Jeff, Karen, or Rob in the FRC for help.
Ideas for copyrighting your materials
Creative Commons – sharing your materials with others but retaining some rights if you want to… Here is a form on their site that helps you decide how to license your materials. http://creativecommons.org/choose/
Audio Production Tips
Here are a few tips in terms of audio recording using tools like Wimba voice tools or Audacity:
- Record voice authoring or podcasts in the morning or when your voice is not tired like at the end of a day of teaching
- Pretend your having a conversation with a student rather than formal reading like a textbook
- Do two to three practice runs. Your third or fourth try is likely to be the most concise and therefore the best.
- Make sure the microphone is close to your mouth. For a headset, figure about 3 inches and for a microphone, figure about 8-10 inches depending on the type of microphone. This will help in terms of the recording input level and reduce the chance of your recording extraneous noises in your office, etc.
- Focus on communicating two to three points max. Otherwise, students will have to scrub/rewind through the recording in order to review segments of the recording.
- If you’re describing something that’s worth illustrating in picture form, provide a separate link to the picture so students can view the picture while listening to your narrative.
- If you plan to use the audio recording over several semesters, you need to type a text transcript of the recording for hearing impaired students.
- Finally, remember what your mother always said and sit up straight so your diaphragm is extended before you record your narration.