As a Subject Matter Expert or instructor with Champlain College Online, you have access to Canvas Studio, an application that allows you to record webcam and/or screen capture video. Weekly recorded announcements, directions for projects and other complex tasks, and problem-solving examples are just a few of the types of instructional videos you can create to enhance student learning.

Learn to produce compelling and concise videos by following these ten tips.
Download 10 Tips for Recording Instructional Video Infographic.

  1. Objective
    Define the key message that you want your students to understand from your video and plan accordingly. Keep your video short so that is covers a single learning objective or task.
    • Announcement video, 1-2 minutes
    • Demonstration of specialized software, 3-5 minutes
    • Problem-solving demonstration, 6-8 minutes

  2. Length
    Keep your video’s message succinct; include targeted, relevant information to maintain student interest. Write a script for your video to help guide your presentation and keep you on track while you practice and then record. For scripting tips, see Tip Sheet For Recording Great Audio. A single page of text, double-spaced, 12 size font translates into 2.5 minutes when read out loud.

    Avoid mentioning or showing URLs to online resources in your video. Consider using annotations in your Studio video or include links in the Canvas webpage which can easily be updated.

  3. Recording Tools
    You will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with either a USB webcam or a built-in camera. In addition, you will need either a built-in microphone or an external microphone (USB), a stable internet connection, and access to a Canvas course as a teacher.

    The resolution of your video recording is dependent upon your computer and your webcam. When you are setting the size of your recording in Studio, use either the 1080p or 720p setting. This will ensure that you are recording in a 16:9 aspect ratio, the standard for video productions.

    See Canvas Studio Guide Table of Contents for instructions on how to use Studio.

  4. Audio
    Audio is the single most important element of your video. Consider using a USB microphone and take measures to control ambient sound and extraneous noise.
    • Turn off computer notifications.
    • Silence mobile phones.
    • Unplug phone landlines.
    • Turn off heating or air conditioning units.
    • Use a seat that is stationary and quiet; avoid chairs with wheels and swivels.
    • Keep noise from children, animals, and guests from interrupting your presentation.

      For more audio tips, see Tip Sheet For Recording Great Audio

  5. Lighting
    Proper lighting will greatly enhance your visage presented on camera. Consider using a ring light for your computer and adjust the tone settings (daylight, tungsten, fluorescent) on the ring to match the lighting in your location.
    • Avoid positioning yourself in front of a bright light such as a window.
    • Close any window blinds.
    • Reposition yourself, your computer, and/or your webcam to limit extraneous light from flooding onto your visage.
    • Avoid items in your video’s background that could be distracting (signs, posters) or that could be offensive to the viewer.
    • Make sure to hide any viewable items that could potentially share private information with viewers.

  6. Stature
    Present your best self. Speak in a natural, conversational manner, with a confident, composed, and enthusiastic tone. Clear pronunciation, good diction, and poise all translate well on camera.
    • Adjust your webcam to record a medium close-up shot of yourself, from the top of your head down to the midpoint of your torso.
    • Allow just a few inches above your head to frame yourself properly.
    • Sit up straight, keep your hand movements to a minimum, address the webcam, and envision your students through that lens.
    • Do a test recording, review the recording, and make sure you can see and hear yourself clearly.

  7. Attire
    Prepare for your recording session by following these instructions for dress, makeup, and accessories.
    • Option 1
      • Wear a solid color blouse and/or jacket with no patterns, weaves, or stripes. Avoid reds, oranges, whites, or blacks. Blues, greens, grays, and browns work well for video. Scarves are also acceptable.
    • Option 2
      • Wear a solid color suit coat or sweater and shirt with collar (tie optional). The shirt, tie, and jacket or sweater should be a solid color with no patterns, weaves, or stripes. Avoid reds, oranges, whites, or blacks. Blues, greens, grays, and browns work well for video. Scarves are also acceptable.
    • Avoid visible labels, logos, and shiny fabrics.
    • Neatly style hair.
    • Trim facial hair.
    • Keep accessories simple and tasteful.
    • Use makeup that is appropriate for your skin tone and natural coloring.

  8. Elements
    Gather illustrations, images, graphics, video, and any other elements that you plan to use in your video. If you are creating a presentation video, pre-build your slides in Google Slides and use different slide layouts to highlight key information.

    Build a slide presentation that is clear, simple, and visually compelling. Make sure your Google Slide presentation page setup is Widescreen 16:9.

  9. Annotations
    A notecard allows you to create an annotation at a specific point in your Studio video and is ideal for sharing online resources with your students. Add a title, description, and active URL address to the notecard.

    As the video plays, when it reaches a notecard, the video pauses and the student can read the information and access the link in a separate browser window. A Continue button allows the student to restart the video at the location of the notecard.

    Notecards are advantageous because they are 100 % accessible with screen reader software and can easily be edited or removed from the video.

  10. Captions
    Follow directions for generating auto captions for your Studio video but take additional time to Review and Publish those captions. Depending on the clarity of your audio track, auto generated captioning can be accurate; but correct any grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors to avoid misinterpretation.

Additional Canvas Studio Articles

Faculty: How to Record Video Using Canvas Studio

Faculty: How to Post a Studio Video to a Canvas Announcement

Faculty: How to Post a Studio Video to a Canvas Discussion

Canvas Studio Guide

Canvas Studio Guide Table of Contents