While reading this question, and specifically Chris Gregg's answer, I started to think about recording my lectures in order to help students review, help students who missed class, and generally provide a way for people to learn about the subjects I teach.

So, how do teachers (with the same goal as I wrote) record their lectures? Do they simply ask someone to record them with a video camera? Do they go in and do more serious editing like you see in Coursera videos where the video transitions between the lecturer's face and slides being drawn on by the lecturer (as described here)?

I'm curious what my options are, considering my university provides zero support for this idea of recording lectures.

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    Thanks for the shout-out! This is what I said about the topic when it came up a couple of months ago. I don't edit at all, but I do provide slides separately because it's hard to read on the board when I'm presenting. – Chris Gregg May 24 '13 at 15:45
  • This looks related: Using iMovie and Keynote to Make a Web-Based Keynote – earthling May 27 '13 at 9:55
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    "help students who missed class" I think you meant to write, "help students to miss class". Because if you provide good video recordings of your lectures, many will elect to do just that, thinking they can skip class and just catch up online. If you're OK with that, then try it. I myself feel it's not good to encourage this at a brick and mortar college. – Chelonian Feb 14 '14 at 4:17
  • If you could record lectures it benefits everyone - our uni uses Panopto, but you could use OBS or even just bring a hand-held microphone recorder ('Zoom Handy Recorder' or the like); everyone would benefit even from just a simple audio recording to follow along with the course notes/presentation files. – Vix Jan 19 at 13:42
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    @Vix I get it, I really do. I was only mentioning one factor for consideration. Finding a way to help those who need the help along with not enabling others' lax behavior would be something I would very much like to read about. – earthling Jan 25 at 2:53

If my lecture is done via a presentation (not my preferred method, but necessary for some classes), I record the audio of my lectures along with a "video" of the slides I use. I use Camtasia to record everything, so the only other thing I need is a microphone.

When I give lectures at the blackboard I don't record them. However, for those lectures I provide a fairly detailed set of course notes.

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    To clarify, are you saying you record using Camtasia while you are lecturing/presenting in front of students? One thing I'm wondering about is how to capture the audio of student questions (whose voices might be too weak to be picked up by a mic in the front of the room). – earthling Jun 24 '13 at 11:37
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    You can solve this problem by repeating the question. – aeismail Jun 24 '13 at 16:47

My preference for teaching undergraduate courses (in physics) is:

  • Audio-record the lecture using a small MP3 player hung around my neck, and provide the file to students as a MP3 file
  • Write coherent notes on the blackboard that students can use as the basis for their own notes

I specifically do not do the following, which I believe is harmful to students' learning in such courses:

  • Provide detailed printed notes
  • Use slides (except for occasional complex Figures and animations)

The system my department uses for large lecture classes captures two video feeds: One showing the lecturer and the screen, taken from a camera mounted on the ceiling, the other showing whatever is currently being projected onto the screen, captured on route to the projector. (I normally lecture with a document camera, printer paper, Sharpies, and the occasional small prop.) Audio is captured separately from a microphone on the instructor's lapel.

My department's playback system allows the students to show either or both videos, at adjustable sizes, with synchronized playback, and to slow down or speed up playback. The capturing system automatically locates transitions between slides (or, in my case, new pieces of paper) and provides navigation landmarks for the students.

The system is almost entirely automated. In particular, the lecture videos are not edited at all.

I also provide detailed course notes.


You could try video recording your classes then upload them to Big Marker. You could then provide your lectures to more people. At Big Marker you can invite people to your online class. You could invite 100s or 1000s of people to your online lecture. It's just an idea. I used Big Marker when I used to tutor groups of students online. It is very easy to use and you can even monetize your lectures. (Although it could be against university policy. Maybe not because they are your lectures.) Good Luck! Kim

  • Thanks for your answer but the question was how to record, not how to distribute. Still, it's a site to keep in mind. – earthling May 29 '13 at 5:14
  • Perhaps, Big Marker is a tool that includes functionality to annotate lectures, as well as distribute them? If this is the case please update your answer, to relect this (or update it otherwise to reflect proper consideration, of the OP's question) – Lyndon White Jan 1 '14 at 16:57

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