Moodle FAQs

A collection of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Moodle at EMU.

Producing lecture capture video

EMU's Doug Graber Neufeld used recorded lectures in 2012.The "flipped classroom" has been in the news in recent times, and a feature of this approach is the recording, use, and re-use of lecture content in a digital video format. This usually entails recording both screen content (such as a PowerPoint presentation) and audio/video of the instructor presenting.

Recorded lectures can also be very helpful resources in online courses, and we even have one instructor at EMU who used a single set of recorded lectures in both online and on-campus versions of his course. (See case study posts 1 & 2.)

Here is the general process of recording and posting lecture videos:

  1. Design - Preparing your lecture materials, such as PowerPoint slides
  2. Recording, editing, & production - Using software which will capture your slides as well as the video & audio of you lecturing from the slides, and producing a digital video file. (See "Software" below)
  3. Posting the lecture video to your course in Moodle. (See Uploading & embedding video help article.)

Software [edit]

From a range of possible tools to produce these video resources, we have experience in using and/or supporting the following software tools. Each assumes that you'll be using a computer or mobile device that has audio/video recording capabilities, such as a webcam.

  • logoRecommended: Zoom
    "Don't we use Zoom for virtual meetings and classes?" Yes, but it's also a very good screencast/lecture capture tool! Just start a Zoom session by yourself, share any content you'd like to use, and hit the "Record" button! The recording file can then be easily uploaded to your Moodle course. (More info on Zoom...)
  • Other tools
    • Screencast-O-Matic* - Free. Browser-based and easy to use. You can produce videos of up to 15 minutes in length.
    • Camtasia - Cost varies, but is under $100. A full editing suite for producing screen recordings with annotations, animations, and more. Steeper learning curve. Coordinate with IS User Services for purchase and installation; departmental chargeback applies. (See below for more on Camtasia...)
    • Doceri* (for iPad) - Free. Whiteboarding plus audio capture. 
    • Explain Everything* (for iPad) - $2.99 at the App Store. Screen & aduio capture for your iPad. 

* - Denotes software that EMU IS can recommend but not provide support for.

Tips for recorded lectures [edit]

  • Due to user habits with online video, recorded lecture videos should not exceed 10 minutes in length. If you have a longer lecture, "chunk" it into mini-lectures along logical/topical breaks.
  • Use prompts - In live lecture situations, it's easy to stop and see if there are any questions or take time for discussion. Think of creative equivalents in the online space.
    • On-campus "flipped classroom" - Make sure lecture videos watched outside of class have meaningful links to in-class activities. Retention and application will suffer if students get the impression that there's no meaningful connection between the recorded lecture and in-class activities.
    • Online courses - Pair mini-lectures with activities in Moodle such as discussion topics. Students can even upload and embed their own captured video, so face-to-face discussion can be somewhat simulated with this approach.
  • Leverage Moodle resource and activity types
    • If you have a multi-part lecture, consider using the Book module/resource type. Each video could correspond to a "chapter" in the "book."
    • Want to gauge content acquisition? Embed a lecture videos in Quiz questions.
    • Want to elicit discussion on lecture content? Embed a lecture video in discussion topics.

What's next? [edit]

Once you have produced your video resources, consult the next article on Uploading & embedding video in your Moodle course.

Tips for Camtasia Studio 8 (Windows) [edit]

Some departments may have purchased their own license for the powerful (if somewhat complicated) Camtasia Studio 8 for Windows. If you are recording PowerPoint-based lectures using this tool, there are a number of ways this could be done. What follows seems to be the most straightforward process:

  1. Open the PowerPoint, click "Add-ins" tab at the top, then click record
  2. Record the PowerPoint lecture, click <Esc> when you're done
  3. Select "Edit presentation" on the pop-up that appears, the recording will load in Camtasia
  4. Position the camera where you want it, reposition the screen/slides if necessary
  5. (Optional) If you want to save the project for later editing, click Save
  6. When you're done editing, click the "Produce and share..." option under the File menu, and select "MP4 only (up to 720p)" from the first screen that pops up, save it in a location where you can find it later for uploading to Moodle/MediaCore.

Once the production/rendering of the edited video is complete. See the steps on Uploading & embedding video in Moodle, to get the video posted to your course.