The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Recording Best Practices


  • Record short lecture modules. It will depend on the topic, but research recommends videos no longer than 15 mins.

    • The typical classroom lecture then gets broken into a few modules, perhaps with activities the students are directed to complete in between.

    • Note that the short videos make it easier on the instructor as well and lead to much better quality, as we can prepare quite well what we want to say for that short period!

  • Maintain instructor presence. Show yourself on the video to keep a personal connection and engage with students. They learn from nonverbal communication as well.

  • A headset with a mic helps to avoid background noise disruptions, but is not needed if you have a quiet workplace.

Presentation Tips

  • High contrast such as dark background, lighter text
  • Plain font that does not have flourishes because they tend to get blurred in the video (sans serif font is recommended)

Motivate careful/active/reflective reading and viewing of materials. For instance, you may want to do one of the following:

  • Add questions students need to submit answers to either interspersed within the lecture or at the end (perhaps a problem where they have to apply what they learn).
  • Have students fill out IQI journals as they are going over the material
    • IQI > Insights, Questions and Implications (what does it mean for you going forward) from the reading or video.
    • For a journal log example click here »

Next: Echo 360 and Camtasia »