Recording Video or Audio

OVERVIEW

This page provides a variety of resources and FAQs for students creating video or audio recordings for class projects.

Getting Started FAQs

What apps can I use to record video or audio?

For any course projects, make sure to follow any guidelines specified by your instructor around desired content, formatting and sharing practices. Here are a few common approaches:

  1. Utilize the Video Assignments tool if it is included within your D2L Brightspace course. This built-in tool designed by Bongo enables students to create, review and post videos - as well as respond to your peers. Students can also upload videos through this tool from another device or as a cloud link (e.g. from Loom or Screencast'O'Matic).

  2. Create a VideoNote within your D2L Brightspace Discussion post. This tool does not currently allow you to record your screen for a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation but it does provide a quick webcam recording. As you complete your Videonote, make sure to enable subtitles as you post your videonote.

  3. Use a Cloud recording tool to record and post a video or audio link. For video recordings, you may consider free versions of cloud-recording tools that enables screen-sharing like Loom or Screencast'O'Matic. These links can then be posted directly to a D2L discussion topic thread. For audio recordings, you might consider using the free version of a cloud-recording tool like Otter. In general, sharing cloud-recording links are preferable to direct uploads of large video files. This is because large video files uploaded to D2L Brightspace or Google Drive can become time-consuming to upload or view.

  4. Recording Within Live Class Meetings? Though free Zoom accounts and student Gmail accounts at Pima are not able to record presentations, your instructor may be able to record such meetings. To confirm, check with your instructor. If your instructor schedules whole-class or group meetings with you through a synchronous meeting tool (e.g. Google Meet, Zoom or Bongo Virtual Classroom), you may be able to ask your instructor to record any presentations you make during that meeting.

What gear do I need?

For recordings made from your computer, most laptops have built-in webcams and microphones for completing a quick video or audio presentation. For advanced recording and editing, see the FAQs below which also addresses lighting and other questions.

For recordings made from your smartphone, most smartphones have built-in cameras and microphones that, likewise, can work quite well for a quick video or audio presentation.

Other FAQs

Do I need to buy a webcam?

If your computer does not have a webcam built in, you may want to purchase an external webcam to connect to your computer. To see a review of webcams for the classroom, visit this TeachAndGo article.

Do I need to plug in a headset or earbud to my computer or smartphone?

Perhaps. Arguably, quality sound is even more important than having quality video.

If you can pick up a cheap $15 Logitech headset (from SWS or Target), or plug your smartphone earbuds into your computer, your microphone quality will increase considerably.

As a side note, the quality of captioning improves significantly when headsets are used (e.g. for auto-captioning in Google Meet).

Is my internet too slow?

    • A reliable test for internet speed is Speedtest by Ookla. Simply go to the website and click GO. You want a fast “download speed,” the higher that number the faster your internet is. For group video meetings:

      • 25Mbs is the bare minimum and will likely be laggy.

      • 50Mbs is good.

      • 100Mbs+ is lightning fast (if you still have problems at this speed, check your computer)

Can I speed up my wifi with an Ethernet cable?

Yes! To speed up slower wifi, you can also connect your computer directly into your modem using an ethernet cable (rather than depending on wifi). If your wifi router is too far from your computer to connect via a short ethernet cable, there are inexpensive options online for 50ft ethernet cables that are flat, white, and come with wall tacks to prevent tripping hazards.

Is my computer too slow?

Google recommends- 2.2 GHz Intel 2nd-generation i3/i5/i7, AMD equivalent or better, processor to support HD video.

Do I need additional lighting?

Generally, your webcam will not need additional lighting for quick meetings or recordings. But, lighting can be very valuable for these reasons: the presenter is more visible day or night, whiteboards can be seen without glare, budget webcams look more high quality, and virtual backgrounds work better. There is no need to spend money on professional lighting, rearranging household lamps will work just fine. However, if you are looking for a budget solution you can get 40W LED Daylight bulbs and clamp lights at the local hardware store. Online, there are various emerging, low-cost products like LED clamp lights that may be useful.

Important tips for a great-looking video:

  • Don’t sit with a window behind you

  • Make sure the background is clean

  • Try to avoid all-white shirts/walls which cause auto white-balance issues.

  • LED Bulbs don’t get hot and daylight bulbs don’t make your skin appear yellow like soft white bulbs can.