Interview with Prof. Helen Ward recorded using Zoom

Structuring your lecture

These simple techniques have helped us improve learner engagement in our online degrees and MOOCs  

  • Learning objectives: share clear learning objectives with students as early as possible, including any interesting challenges or problems that will be solved.
  • Spaced learning: breaking content into chunks and interspersing simple interactions can help your learners stay engaged - it also allows you to collect feedback from comprehension checks.
  • Variety: Does the entire lecture need to be recorded? Consider whether there are elements that can be turned into readings or other learning components to add variety.
  • Think visual: as much as possible use slides to convey visual information rather than lots of text (long texts can be shared separately as readings).
  • Scripting: you may want to use speaker notes that are more detailed than you would normally prepare for a lecture, particularly when you're starting out, as pauses and hesitations are more noticeable in videos. You may wish to record yourself speaking into a phone and use a transciption app to create a script that reflects your natural speaking patterns.

Setting up

Setting up your recording correctly will help you create a more watchable video

  • Location: find a location with strong WiFi signal and a clean background without distractions.
  • Lighting: if possible make sure there is plenty of natural light, preferably coming from the front
  • Audio: although online video is a highly visual medium the most important thing to get right is the audio! Find a quiet room for recording, remove any jewelry and avoid touching the surface of the computer you’re using for capture. If possible use a collar mic or headphone mic to record your voice rather than the computer. 

Recording your lecture

These tips will help you get the most out of your recording

  • Style: use conversational language where possible - formality in this setting can slow down communication and make learners feel disconnected. Try to keep up the tempo - instructors who speak  with high enthusiasm are more engaging.
  • Tools: you can use a range of tools for screen capture, including PowerPoint and Camtasia. For the ability to switch between screencast and video we recommend using Zoom.
  • Whiteboards: most tools offer whiteboard functionality so that you can highlight content and create visuals on the fly.

Publishing your content

The final step is to share your content and utilise feedback to create a tailored experience

  • Navigation: you will most likely publish your content to a central repository for your course, whether it be in pantopto, on MS Teams, or in some other location. Name each video appropriately so that students immediately know where to look for specific content and ensure that the video is properly situated in the course.
  • Feedback: if you've included any comprehension checks keep an eye on the attainment outcomes and comments, you can use these to shape short feedback videos or live sessions which are tailored for your cohort

Click here for a list of additional equipment that may improve your remote media quality 

Please note that some tools referenced in our guides (e.g. Zoom) are not yet supported by ICT. If you have questions about implementation please contact your Faculty EdTech team