There are a variety of ways to utilize video recording in your scholarly practice:

  • Record additional modules or components for your course
  • Record a visiting scholar’s lecture (with their prior permission)
  • Screencapture a detailed training video for research assistants
  • Host a discussion with remote participants using videoconferencing tools and use screencapture to record video, audio, and chat messages
  • Publish a series of informal scholarly discussions as a podcast e.g. The First Draft, HistoriCal Outreach (audio only)

Note: If you are interested in automatically recording your class during the entire semester and making it available to the public, please get in touch with Educational Technology Services to discuss the Webcast Classroom Capture Program.  Participation is contingent on teaching in an enabled classroom and may require additional resources.  

Best Practices: Camera Recording vs. Screen Capture

You have two options for recording video content: you can either use a freestanding camera to record an event or use your computer to record your screen.  Screencapture is an ideal option if the media you are presenting features intricate detail, such as a mouse selecting options from a dropdown menu, or small text, such as a paragraph-length quotation. Avoid using a video camera to record projected slides: text may be fuzzy, images may appear faint, discolored, or out of focus.  Instead, make slides available for download along with the published video or incorporate them in the video using editing software.


Scenario Camera Recording Screen Capture
Slides with detailed content   x
Tutorial or walkthrough   x
Discussion with multiple-speakers x  
Single speaker, moving around a room x  
Whiteboard, flipboard x  
Video conferencing, remote participants   x

Screen Capture / Screencasting / Screen Recording Software

Quicktime (Mac, closed source, free)
Quicktime comes pre-installed on all Mac machines.  To start a new recording, go to File → New Screen Recording and click on the record button.  If you would like to record audio as well, select the dropdown arrow next to the record button and select ‘Built-in Microphone: Internal microphone’.  

CamStudio (Windows, open source, free)
A free and open source screencasting software that saves video as AVI files.

Camtasia (Mac / Windows , closed source, commercial)
Camtasia is recording and editing software optimized for screencasting.  Features such as zooming in and out of areas of the video are available to users seeking more refined editing controls. Camtasia is installed at the dedicated video-editing iMac in the Tolman Tech Lounge

Editing Software and Facilities

Video editing software allows you to splice together footage from cameras, screen recordings, audio clips, and images.  Note that certain HD footage formats will balloon up to large sizes when decompressed for editing. When working with long video footage (an hour), be sure to leave ample space on your hard drive (several gigabytes) or take advantage of computers at the various campus facilities discussed below.

iMovie (Mac, Free)
iMovie is preinstalled on most Mac computers.  Several Macs are available for use in various computer facilities on campus. See ETS’ general access computer facilities for hours and locations.

Adobe Premiere Pro (Windows / Mac, closed source, commercial)
Premiere Pro is available via campus license. Claim your Adobe Creative Cloud license to install Premiere on your personal computer or use the lab machines in the ETS computer facilities.  Adobe offers a variety of free video tutorials to get users acquainted with key features.

Final Cut Pro (Mac, closed source, commercial) 
Final Cut Pro is available on a dedicated video editing iMac at the Tolman Tech Lounge.


ETS Micro Studios (Capture | Annotate | Edit)

Instructors, faculty, graduate student instructors (GSI), and staff who are interested in filming high-quality materials for instructional videos (e.g. online learning, flipped classrooms, tutorials with annotate screen capture) can take advantage Educational Technology Services’ Micro Studios. The Micro Studios feature HD cameras, professional lighting, multiple backdrops, Mac and Windows computers, pen tablets and a wide array of screen capture and video software. Contact ETS to get started.

Throughout the semester, ETS offers a workshops on topics such as “Video Camera Basics”, “Screen Capture & Annotation”, and “Video Editing with Premiere”.  Workshops are free for instructors, faculty, staff and graduate students.

Photo Credit:Wen Zhang (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Last updated: Apr 1, 2015