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Best Practices for Prerecording Lectures

In some cases, you may wish to record lectures and upload them to Moodle prior to class, thereby allowing students to view the content and discuss it during class time. There are many ways to record lectures, including screen recorders or even a cell phone. No matter what method you choose, be sure to keep the following best practices in mind when recording your material.

Content Tips

  • Keep videos short. Divide your material into segments shorter than 10 minutes — it’s easier to record and students are more likely to watch a series of short videos than one long one.
  • Prepare. Just because the lecture is short, doesn’t mean that it you would prepare any less than you do for longer, in-class lectures. Scripts are actually helpful.
  • Provide a short opening statement and summary at the end.
  • Don’t worry about perfection. Yes, you need to have solid content that you’ve practiced a bit, but the screencasts themselves don’t need to be perfect.  Think of it like any lecture — occasionally we stumbled over a word or two, or deviate from our planned information, and its ok for a screencast to be like that also. This makes you seem more real. And it saves a lot of time.
  • The pause button is your friend when making a screencast. Between slides or at a logical stopping point, go ahead and pause. Gather your thoughts, clear your throat, etc., then hit record again and continue.
  • Watch your videos before releasing them! It’s better for you to find your mistakes than for your students to do so.

Technical Tips

  • Use an external microphone rather than the one built into your laptop. A headset microphone will give you a much clearer sound.
  • Record in a quiet location.
  • If you are including a webcam image of yourself in the lecture, make sure that you have enough light so that people can see you. This may involve turning on extra lights in the room or moving to a location with more ambient light.
  • Close all software on your computer, except for what you are recording. You don’t want personal information or stray notifications in your video.
  • Don’t fidget with your mouse. It will be distracting to the viewer.
Updated on September 16, 2022
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