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Creating Your Own Lecture Videos

If you are considering recording your own lecture videos, the following suggestions provided by the Carolina Office for Online Learning will help you get the best results. If you have specific questions about setting up your home recording space or how to get the best video quality, post your question in the Keep Teaching forum thread titled “Creating Lecture Videos.”

Lighting

  • If possible, position yourself in front of a window during the day without direct sunlight. Indirect sunlight is soft and not harsh like overhead lights.
  • Do not position yourself in the shot with a window or lamp behind you. This will cause you to appear dark or as a silhouette.

Staging

  • Clean up the area which will show up around you in the video. Staging your area to look pleasing is also a good idea.
  • Avoid recording in a cluttered area. Minimize distractions. Less is more.
  • Make sure no personal information is visible by the camera.

Sound

  • Record your video in a quiet area. Avoid noisy environments.
  • Think about ambient sounds we don’t typically think about during the day: avoid recording your video with a television on in the background, in an area with a lot of other people talking, near a refrigerator, washer/dryer, AC unit or fan. As much as possible, turn off equipment that makes a lot of noise and resume once you have completed recording your video.
  • If possible, use a microphone other than the mic inside your device. The quality will generally be better with an external microphone and captioning will be more accurate.
  • When using the microphone in your laptop or mobile device, position yourself as close to the camera as possible. The closer you are to your microphone, the more clear you will sound. If you are too far from the microphone, you will hear a lot of room noise and your audio will be difficult to hear.

What to Wear

  • Try to avoid wearing clothing that may be distracting to students, such as shirts with logos, images or words. Solid colors generally work best.
  • Be mindful of jewelry that may be noisy and distracting, like rings when touching a table or bracelets clanging together. These noises may be amplified and more distracting in video.

Camera Setup

  • If recording with a phone or tablet, record with your device positioned horizontally, not vertically.
  • If possible, place your camera or device on a tripod or set it somewhere stationary instead of holding the camera or device yourself or relying on someone else to hold it.
  • If recording by yourself using a phone or tablet, record in “selfie” mode with the screen facing you so you can see yourself and your shot.
  • Record a one-minute sample video before beginning your official recording. This will give you an opportunity to review your setup, sound, wardrobe, etc. and correct any issues before getting started. If possible, transfer your sample video to your computer to review the clip on a larger screen. Some issues may not be noticed when reviewing on a smaller screen.

File Size

  • Consider breaking your typical class-length lectures into shorter segments by subtopic. This will make the videos easier to view and keep the file sizes more manageable.
  • If you are recording long lectures, keep in mind you will be dealing with large files. Go ahead and back-up your existing photos/videos in case you need to delete them on your device to make room for your recordings.
  • Emailing or texting these files may be impossible due to file size. You may need to connect your device directly to your laptop/computer (if using a mobile device) and copy your files to your hard drive directly. Alternatively, you may try uploading your videos to OneDrive on your device.

Notes/Delivery

  • Be sure to keep notes close during your recording.
  • Try to avoid filler words such as “uh,” “um,” “er,” “ah,” “okay,” “like,” “right,” “so” and “you know.”
  • At first, it may be helpful to rehearse in front of a mirror. Once you are more comfortable with recording yourself, you should find that it will begin to feel more natural.
  • If you think you may want to use the videos again in the future, you should avoid using specific dates in reference to your recording.

More Resources

UCF: A Short Guide to DIY Videos