Digital Learning & Design

1. Consider breaking up the video into 10-15 minute chunks. Watching a 60-minute long video is inherently different from the liveliness of in-person classes. 

2. If you choose to record a long lecture video, we strongly recommend adding chapter markers and bookmarks to aid navigation for a better learning experience . 

3. Add an agenda to the start of the video to indicate what you’ll be covering. Similarly, you can share next steps at the end of the video. 

4. Consider using techniques to enhance visual interest. These can include screen-recording, physical white boarding, digital white boarding, and using a document cam. More information can be found in our Digital Whiteboarding guide

You can also record an interview with a guest speaker, do on-camera demonstrations, or walk students through an assignment. Example: microscope video

5. If appropriate, create in-video quizzes and discussion prompts

6. Allow students access to your slides. You can also add notes after each video in Canvas with links to relevant materials like further readings and external resources. 

7. Clear out distracting items from your background, ensure you have good audio, and position the camera for good framing. Have water handy for long sessions. Visit the 'Presentation Tips' section below for more guidance. 

8. Engage the audience by looking towards the camera. Have notes or a set of prompts available if it will help you focus your delivery. Cue Prompter is an example of a free, web-based teleprompter app that you can use to deliver your script.

The purpose of a course introduction video is to welcome students to the course and to give them a sense of who you are. The goal is to show them your personality so that despite taking the course remotely, they still feel connected to you, their instructor.

The course introduction is also a chance to set the scene for the subject you're about to explore. Feel free to share what you're excited about, or what the challenges or takeaways of the course will be. Don’t worry about providing too many details about the logistics of the course. That material can be covered elsewhere in Canvas.

Before you start recording, consider writing a script or a set of prompts. Composing your thoughts in advance can help you focus on your delivery, resulting in a concise and effective video.   

Here are a few techniques that can make your video feel personable:

  1. Anecdote: Include a personal story in your script, perhaps something that shows your connection to the material, or gives students an insight into your personal interest in the field. 
  2. Cold open: Instead of starting your script with a welcome and introduction, instead begin in the middle of a thought, idea or story, the relevance of which only becomes apparent as the video progresses. 
  3. Visual references: Include visual references to thematic elements in your course (images, charts, cultural touch points). These can be recorded as a slideshow using Panopto or Zoom. 
  4. Setting: Choose a setting for your video that ties in with the subject matter. When recording in your home or office, consider whether there are pictures on your wall or props on your desk that relate to your course and could increase visual interest.

Note: We recommend not using course titles & codes, module numbers, dates and other specifics in your script that may change from year to year. 

Example videos:




Additional tips: 

  • It is helpful to practice reading your scripts aloud a few times before you record. Doing so will also help you rewrite phrases in a ‘speaking voice’ as opposed to a ‘writing voice’. 
  • If you tend to gesture when you talk, that is great! Natural gestures come across well on camera. 
  • Engage the audience by looking towards the camera. Cue Prompter is an example of a free, web-based teleprompter app that you can use to deliver your script.
  • In terms of your outfit, we recommend that you avoid wearing very bright colors or clothing with tight patterns (the latter can cause moiré on camera).

Embedding your Course Introduction Video:

  1. Record your video using Panopto Personal Recorder (please see “Recording through Panopto” section below)
  2. Rename as appropriate and upload to your course’s Media Library
  3. Navigate to your course’s welcome page and click “Edit” in the upper right corner.
  4. Move your cursor to the section of the page where you would like your video to appear, and click the green “Media Library” button.
  5. Select your welcome video from the Media Library pop-up, and then click “Insert” in the lower right corner
  6. Save your changes and publish when ready

Embed screenshot media player icon

Here are some tips on how to get the best possible audio quality at home using the equipment you have.


Below are a few tips on how to greatly improve the look and sound of your recording:

Framing: Position yourself about an arm’s length away from your computer screen, with the webcam or built-in camera at (or slightly above) eye-level. If you have a laptop, this might mean putting a stack of books underneath it. When viewing your image on the screen, make sure that you are fully within the frame, with a little bit of room between the top of your head and the upper edge of the frame.

Boxes holding up laptop

Lighting: Make sure that there is enough light in the room and that the light source (lamp, window, etc.) is in front of you, not behind.

Lit from front

Setting: If possible, try to choose a background that is not too cluttered or distracting, and most importantly, not too noisy.

well lit framed face

Audio: Try to minimize background noise while recording. If you hear echoes or other audio artifacts, consider using headphones 

For greater detail regarding the above tips, visit Look Great in Your Next Webcam Video | Wistia