Pre-recording Videos to Share with Your Students

You might record a lecture or mini-lecture and then share it with your students to watch as pre-work for your live class meeting. This approach can make your lecture content more accessible to different students since they can watch it at their own pace and review it again before assignments or exams. Pre-recorded content might take the form of a screencast (your voice over slides or visual aids with or without your face on camera), a video showing your face only, or a podcast (your voice only).

Below are some guidelines for planning, writing, and recording your pre-recorded content.

Planning your content

  • Keep recordings brief. Data from GSB instructional videos has shown that viewership starts to decline after 6.5 minutes. However, it is important to balance student engagement with the need to provide students with all of the content they need and to provide the content in a coherent way. When applicable, consider producing several smaller videos, instead of one long one. 
  • Create a personal, informal tone. Student engagement is likely to increase if the tone is personal, as if you are speaking one-on-one with the student. Consider recording yourself explaining the concept and use a transcription of that audio as a first draft of your script.
  • Allow plenty of time for the planning and pre-production phase. Spending time upfront planning the content that you will include in your recording, thinking about the visual aids (if applicable), and writing a script will result in a more engaging and more effective learning experience for students and a less frustrating experience for you while recording and editing the video. Editing and revising the script is an important part of this process. Your first script may not be the final script that you use for the screencast.

Recording your content

Here are some tips on the various technologies you can use to pre-record your lecture.

Record your voice and slides using PowerPoint or QuickTime

Powerpoint and QuickTime have screenrecording capabilities you can use to overlay a narration on a sequence of slides or visual aids. Instructions concerning how to create a recorded lecture this way are available for PowerPoint and QuickTime. A limitation here is that your recording is tied to your slides and that face never appears on the screen. If you’d like to produce a recording that includes your face, see the instructions for recording using Zoom below.

Record your face, voice, and slides using Zoom

Though it is designed primarily as a video conference tool, you can also use Zoom to quickly record a lecture and post the video to Canvas for students to view asynchronously. We are recommending this approach to instructors who need a quick way to record with a familiar tool and/or prefer to record at home rather than in GSB’s screencasting studios (reservable in MARRS).

  1. Launch your slides or visual aids.
  2. Launch the Zoom application on your computer.
  3. Start a new meeting with video and audio. As with delivering a live meeting via Zoom, we recommend using an external microphone (headset is fine) for the best quality audio.
  4. Click Share (at bottom), select the window with your slides/visual aids, and then click Share again. 
  5. You should now see both your slides and your face on a video feed in two panels on your computer. Resize one or both panels so that both are clearly visible, or consider turning off and minimizing the video of your face to reduce the file size (which can reduce processing and upload times).
  6. At the top of the screen, click More > Record to the Cloud.
  7. Deliver your presentation, including clicking through slides as needed. You may use the annotation tools using the Annotate button at the top of the screen to mark up your slides as you speak. You may also pause and resume the recording as you go along.
  8. When you are finished, click More > Stop recording.
  9. Then click More > End meeting > End meeting for all. 
  10. Zoom will begin preparing your MP4 recording of your presentation. You will receive an email with the link shortly (timing may depend on the length of the video).
  11. Review the recording of your presentation to check for any audio or display issues.
  12. Add the link to a page or module in your Canvas site.

Watch a quick demo of steps 1-9

Record video or audio only

You can leverage built-in video and audio recording apps on your phone to create quick, low-fidelity videos and audio recordings. Use the built-in video editing software on your phone or computer to make minor edits to the recording.

Record content at the GSB

We have a number of recording studios on-site at the GSB that can be used to record content. These include self-serve screencast studios, in-classroom lecture capture, and our video production studio. Get in touch with us to learn more and we can help determine which space would be ideal for your needs.

A note about privacy and intellectual property of your screencast recorded in Zoom

If you created a screencast by recording in Zoom and shared your recording as a Zoom URL, be aware that your recording is less secure because the link can be shared outside of Canvas. There are a few security measures you can take to increase keep your recordings private between you and your students: 1) Delete the video from Zoom after your class is over using the “host URL” that was emailed to you by Zoom when you created the recording, and 2) explicitly state that students are not to share recording links or copies of recordings with anyone outside of the class. In addition, Stanford has enabled default settings in Canvas to help limit access to the meeting recordings after the end of the quarter. 

Contact us or your FA if you need greater security for your screencast video.

Interested in learning more on this topic? Consider watching the webinar, Record and Edit Lecture Videos from Your Computer, which introduces best practices on recording and editing lecture videos from your computer.