best way to record lectures

Our current times are somewhat forcing us to change the way we do things at a rapid rate. And sometimes, we don’t have much choice but to adapt or be left out. How we go about our education is directly affected by such rapid changes and so both students and teachers alike need to flexible and adaptable.

Online or video courses aren’t new. They’ve been around since the advent of the internet or should we say YouTube. We see courses offered online all the time whether it’s for free, self-paced, or comes at a price.

So how does one go about recording these video lectures and go about it well? What is the best way to record lectures for students? Let’s discuss!

What are the many benefits of video lectures?

As an educator, why should you go for video lectures? As a student, why would you prefer video lectures as opposed to the standard face to face lectures? While a lot of educators or schools, online or not, have long been implementing video lectures, most still don’t. So, what are the pros and cons to this?

For the teachers

No doubt, whether it’s a personal decision to go with video lectures or not, or if it’s the institution or platform that decides to do so, it’s the teachers that are directly affected by it. It’s not only how they teach that changes but what they teach, and how effective they can be.

An interesting statistics about usage of video in education, concluded by Livestream shown below-

Take note, that video lectures won’t necessarily mean online classes either live or pre-recorded but teachers can opt to have a flipped classroom environment where video lectures are utilized.

On that note, teachers should use video lectures because:

  • They can get more creative in their video lectures and can reach or effectively impart learning to the students (especially children) with a variety of employed techniques.
  • This will enable self-paced learning and to most students, this is super effective.
  • Recorded lectures also are super-efficient for it eliminates repetitive learning even in the most complex of subject matters. Teachers can study, practice or should we say rehearse the content of the video as much as they needed to and make the learning material more effective for the students.
  • At the same time, students’ creativity in one or more ways are promoted through these video lectures. Also, study shows that cheating is also mitigated in one way or another through this technique of teaching.
  • Video lectures are also available anytime and anywhere for students to watch them should they be absent thus making sure that no one misses any part of the subject matter.

For the students

For sure students complete the equation in this topic and so what are the benefits centered on them that are brought about by video lectures?

  • Independent learning. It’s not only that students more effectively get a grasp of the subject matter if they study it at their own pace but they get better retention of it. Well, a part of that is that they can watch it again, rewind or forward the video as they need to. Self-paced learning was never the strength of conventional classroom setting and now, lots and lots of educators, parents, and students alike are leaning towards that direction.
  • They somewhat get ready for the real world. Well, what we really mean is in the future with their careers or say maybe even in future education like in college or post-graduate degrees where face to face may not be an option anymore.
  • Collaboration is also encouraged with video lectures. That means students will connect more with their peers.

What about schools?

Educational institutions are most definitely affected or are reaping the benefits from video lectures. If done right, it can uplift the overall quality of education for a school whether online or traditional.

When teachers know how to implement them, short video courses will appeal to a wider audience thus making them effective for students. Well thought out and executed videos can be good teachers.

When schools champion for it everyone gets more efficient and so resources are optimized. You can be sure that this benefits the educational institution a lot.

Video lectures for schools will:

  • Improve marketing and overall communications.
  • Make their students and faculty more flexible.
  • Can have campus events for either live or pre-recorded access.
  • Online course options for students will create another avenue for the said institution. This can result in boundless education and wider potential student enrollees.
  • The school’s Learning Management System or LMS can now integrate digital videos. Read more about 25 best elearning platforms for teachers.
  • Improve the overall image of the said institution.
  • Video lectures or courses have been shown to yield better (ROI) return on investment.

Amazed by the possibilities brought about by video lectures? It’s one flexible way to administer learning to a massive audience and so everyone should at least consider it and integrate it little by little in their system.

Let’s get to the meat of our article and discuss the best way to record lectures for students.

Steps to record your video lectures effectively

1. Preparation is key!

Take advantage of the fact that you can edit your video, it won’t be real-time, and that you have time to rehearse. You can then maximize your video for your students to learn from it effectively.

Learn your content, prepare your slides, and structure your presentation or video well. And when it comes to the actual content, make sure to not be redundant and highlight key aspects of the lesson as much as you can. Be creative and aim for effective techniques for your students. Be creative!

2. Use the right tools for the lecture

When we say tools we’re referring to both hardware and software for you to create stunningly effective video lectures. Knowing the tools that you can have access to either free or premium ones will unlock some teaching potential in your lectures like no other.

2.1 Hardware

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You always have to start with your hardware tools for any application, program, or software that would be useful if you don’t secure the basics. What are these? It’s your computer or mobile device, camera, and microphone.

Naturally, the quality of the videos that you want to achieve or have to achieve for the lecture would determine the devices that you’d need. Normally, a laptop or desktop computer with standard specs, camera, or onboard mic would be enough for these video lectures. But if you want to take it to the next level, HD video cameras and external microphones are also an option for you. Optimal resolution for video lectures? Try 1080p as that’s the one that’s commonly used.

Related Post: 7 best laptop for teaching, 6 best wireless headset with microphone

Wondering how you can achieve superb video and audio quality? Here are some tips.

For audio, eliminate background noises:

Not everyone will have soundproofed rooms and so it’s already an advantage if you are recording in a place that’s away from external noise like vehicles passing by, dogs barking, or family members chattering in the background. So, what if you’ve eliminated all of these but are still getting a lot of background noise? What gives?

Most of the time, buzzing, humming, and other noises are caused by your air-conditioner, fan, or other appliances. Try to shut them off while you’re still recording if you can. For more advanced users, you can even use your editing software to denoise your videos.

Lighting – Brighten up your face:

Make sure you have enough light especially for backlighting. Low light conditions would make your videos grainy and we can’t just rely on post-production techniques. Make sure to not record against the light and position your camera properly and on stable surfaces for proper framing. You can check these 6 best lightings, which good for video recording also.

What about you?

Your hardware devices can only get you so far, if you don’t know how to project yourself in your video then they’d all be useless. Make sure to take advantage of your good quality audio and video by enunciating properly. This is where step number 1 will kick into place for how prepared you are would affect your confidence and how you talk about your content. Also, make eye contact with your students and not just record as if you’re not talking to anyone. Be engaging, speak to your audience.

Related Post: Online Teaching Guide: 14 tips and best practice

What if I want to use my mobile device?

Well, the issue with mobile devices is most of the time, stability and garbled audio. How to remedy that? Make sure you put your phone in a cellphone holder or some sort of tripod. Also, utilize a good quality headset or headphones for your voice. Ring lights are affordable but will improve your video quality tremendously. Check this post for details – the 6 best wireless headset with microphone.

2.2 Software

Now that you have your hardware devices ready, it’s time for you to start making those lectures! Take note that you can go about this in two ways.

The first way is you can head on just record your lecture using your camera and microphone and edit it later on using a video editing software like Filomra, Filmora pro, Movavi, Adobe Premiere, Da Vinci Resolve, and iMovie.

That’s if you are familiar with these programs for how to use them would be an entirely different discussion altogether. Hint, video editing software like Filmora and Movavi would probably be easier to learn if you’re a beginner. Check our filmora reviews and movavi review.

The second way is to record using dedicated programs meant for video lectures. Chances are, you won’t do any other editing for your videos after you’re done going through your lecture with these applications. They have built-in tools and add-ons that can be utilized to aid you in your video lectures.

Features like marker tools, additional graphics, annotation tools, and anything else that will help you turn your video into a full-on tutorial or course. Take note, you’ll be doing a lot of slide shows, screen capturing or screenshots, and screen recording so you need applications that can do all of these things.

What are examples of these kinds of programs? Here are a few regardless if they are free or not (HINT: there are a lot of free video lecture software that offers everything that you will need):

  • Bandicameasy to use screen recorder even for those without prior knowledge of the process. Use your webcam and then the software will overlay it to produce good-looking layouts. It will also let you highlight and mark your screen easily. It will let you share your video either on Vimeo or YouTube easily. Record audio through your mic too with several audio recording modes. This software has it all but it only runs on Windows OS. It’s lightweight and fast too!
  • Camtasia if you’re looking for something more robust and if you’re using Mac OS then this is for you. It works on Windows too though. It’s got a wide video format support and you may share captures to Google Drive, YouTube, Vimeo, and Screencast. It’s got support if you choose to record 4K lectures. It’s the recorder for the highest quality lectures. Check the Camtasia Education Offer Here.
  • CamStudio if you’re looking for only the most basic video screen recorder then go with this one. It’s easy to use, completely for free, and will have everything that you will need for your basic video lectures.
  • Powtoon if you’re looking to create animated presentations then Powtoon is what you need.
  • Animoto slideshow videos? Go with Animoto. You’ll have access to templates and all you need to do is just add your content.
  • Webineria a great free and open-source tool that lets you capture your screen and then add-in your webcam capture in the video for full-on tutorial mode.

Ezvid, Krut, and Flixtime are also great tools that you may check out for your video lectures.

A few more things to consider is the video file format that your lecture can be converted or rendered to. Also, consider the platforms that you can then auto-upload the videos. Features like these will just make your job easier and more efficient.

3. Test Videos

Always go for a dry run. Test your audio and video and familiarize yourself with the application that you are about to use. Record a few runs if you can to make sure that your lessons are captures properly with crisp clear audio and images.

Different ways that you may present your video lectures

It’s not just your content sometimes that makes a lecture video effective. It’s not always about the quality of the video or audio captured but it’s about how you presented your course materials through a video lecture. And yes, there are a few ways to do so.

1. Lecture Capture

What’s the best way to maximize videos to learn from than to record the actual lecture itself? Not a lot, that’s what. As of writing, a lot of institutions promote lecture capture no matter the level of learning.

Students appreciate it because it’s the actual lecture that’s being recorded and they can watch it and learn from it again anytime. There’s also still the interactivity and candid feel to the video and so it’s effective. Also, it’s so easy to set up, no other tools necessary than just your camera (mic if necessary), and you won’t do any edits afterward.

The downside to this style is if you’ll experience technical issues with your gear that would result in some part of the lecture missed either through poor to no audio or video at all.

You can also go about a recorded demo or presentation where you as the lecturer goes through the steps required to teach a certain process. This is more hands-on and methodical but also won’t require a lot of tools aside from of course the stuff that you are going to use in your demo.

2. Talking Head

A talking head lecture is quite common in YouTube “how-to” videos actually or for a lot of product reviews. You just basically prepare your lecture materials on your screen while recording it and you through your webcam.

It’s the closest thing to a live lecture capture so depending on how you want to go about it, it can be candid or be more of an edited version. Either way, you can follow a script you’ve prepared or not as well.

It’s flexible in the sense that you can edit the video and insert missed sections of the lecture later on or even continue recording it anytime. But, it’s not as interactive and not as flexible in terms of the learning materials that you can bring on the screen like inserting links mainly because you’ll mess up your talking head setup if you will.

3. Voice-Over Lecture

A voice-over lecture can be similar to a talking head lecture simply because you can record your audio script over your visual aids at the same time. But what most prefer to do is to pre-record the lecture’s script and then match that with the visuals for more efficient videos.

This kind of lecture video gives you more room for what you are going to show on the screen. Mostly made up of slideshow presentations and graphics this is much more effective than a talking head lecture.

It’s more challenging to pull-off though and you need to prepare more than just your mic and webcam but also the materials of your lecture and reliable software to use.

4. Interactive Lecture

While all types of video lectures we’ve presented above are one-way conversations employing an interactive video lecture will get your students involved more than just listening and studying what you say and present.

Although interactive lectures are the most challenging to execute, they are very effective. You also get to be more creative with it. You engage your students with links, references, or let them answer pop quizzes along the way.

In a nutshell, you ask them to do things in the course of your video. Obviously, this is for the more advanced video lecturer but it will all be worth it.

5. Microvideo

A microvideo is commonly utilized nowadays due to the short attention span of people. As the name implies, these are short engaging videos that you may create that talk about one topic only. They are usually a minute long and are best when viewed on everyone’s device nowadays, the smartphone.

FAQ: What is the best way to record lectures for students?

Where else would video lectures be essential aside from a school?

Video lectures are essential in any corporation. It’s just one great way to educate anyone within an organization about any updates, reports, new tools, rules, and things to learn. Also, video lectures are perfect for expanding a business’ brand. Not just for consumers to understand what you are all about but also internally. They are also best for acquiring new partners for your business.

What are some of the best Android apps for making video lectures?

There’s an app on Google Play called LectureVideos that you may try. Or you can go for tried and tested apps like Magisto, Wevideo, VivaVideo, PowerDirector, and Videoshop.

Any drawbacks to video lectures?

Of course, there are a few things that video lectures might not be effective for. There’s a chance that students or our target audience won’t even bother to use them or watch them at all. So it’s up to the creator to make them as engaging as possible.

Conclusion

There you have it, some of the best way to record lectures for students and everything that comes in between. Education is constantly evolving for the institution, students, and teachers. So for us not to fall into the oblivion of obsolescence then we must adapt and learn new tricks.

Video lectures are important and will continue to be as the internet takes over. And so to learn how to make them and use them to our advantage is not just a huge plus but a must.

So go rehearse that lecture, get your devices ready, and ACTION!

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