Learn@UW - Which Should I Use? Options to Create Instructional Videos [UW-Madison]

This document compares the major features of five tools that can be used to create videos for remote instruction: Microsoft Powerpoint for Office 365, Kaltura Webcam Recording, Kaltura Capture, and TechSmith Camtasia.

There are many tools that instructors can use to create online instructional videos. The table below summarizes some of the most popular options for instructors at UW-Madison. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list but information to help instructors get started choosing a tool:


Table showing a matrix of feature and capture solutions
Feature Microsoft Powerpoint for Office 365
Kaltura Webcam Recording
Kaltura Capture
TechSmith Camtasia
Screen capture
Slides only Yes Yes Yes
Webcam capture
macOS - No
Windows - Yes

Yes Yes Yes
Records system audio1

No macOS - No
Windows - Yes
Ability to update material
Instructors can edit slides, re-record audio, and export a new version of a video. Instructors cannot easily update videos. Instructors cannot easily update videos. Instructors can edit and export a new version of a video.
macOS / Windows support
Available for macOS and Windows Accessed via web browser Available for macOS and Windows Available for macOS and Windows
Support DoIT Help Desk DoIT Help Desk DoIT Help Desk DoIT Help Desk provides best-effort support for downloading and installing Camtasia. Additional resources:
TechSmith Support and Community
License / cost
Licensed by UW-Madison Licensed by UW-Madison Licensed by UW-Madison  Licensed by UW-Madison as of 8/28/20
Instructions - Install
- macOS instructions
- Windows instructions
- MediaSpace instructions
- Canvas instructions
- Install
- Instructions
- TechSmith Camtasia - Faculty and Staff License 
- Software library download
- TechSmith Camtasia tutorials
- Creating a multi-source presentation with Camtasia for Mac
- Creating a multi-source presentation with Camtasia for Windows 
Notes Powerpoint is a good option to create narrated slide videos. Many instructors already have it installed. Some macOS users have noted occasional issues with slideshow audio recording and that macOS Powerpoint can sometimes produce files that have silence at the start after uploading to Kaltura MediaSpace. Technologists are investigating.

The Kaltura MediaSpace Webcam Recording tool is simple, easy-to-use and good for short introduction or response videos.

Kaltura Capture is a newer tool that can capture and upload both your screen and webcam. The viewer can then switch between them on Kaltura MediaSpace. Kaltura Capture has proved to have some issues (especially on macOS), so we recommend you keep your recordings shorter - 4-6 min. Camtasia is a very capable tool with a solid history that’s worth looking at if you want to create a variety of online videos including narrated slides, capturing your screen, and webcam. It also has good tools for editing and updating your material in the future. It is the recommended screen and webcam capture tool for instructors and staff.


Instructors just getting started or new to this space may find recording slideshows with Powerpoint for Office 365 an easy way to get started creating narrated slide presentation videos for remote instruction. TechSmith Camtasia is recommended for instructors and staff to consider when they want a more powerful but still easy to use screen and webcam recording solution. It allows you to do edit your videos for easier updating and saves you time in the long run over some of the other options like Kaltura Capture, or Webcam recorder. 

Kaltura Webcam Recording is most useful for short webcam course or module intro or response videos. Kaltura Capture is useful for when you need to record something outside Powerpoint - walking students through a website for example and which can be done in one take (a shorter 4-6 min video that doesn't need editing). A more in depth discussion of the benefits of video, student outcomes, and technology recommendations is in the Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring (CTLM) article Developing Video Content for Students.

Consultation options

Instructors who would like help choosing a tool should first contact their local support as they may have a preferred solution. Instructors can also contact the DoIT Help Desk and request a consultation with a DoIT Academic Technology consultant.

1 - Records system audio - This means that the software can record audio that is being played back from your computer along with your microphone. For example if you're recording your screen and you play back a video the software can record the audio from that video as well. A non-ideal workaround is to record your screen on a laptop using the built in microphone to record as it will then also record the audio coming out of your speakers. The audio will not sound as good as using software that can record system audio and a dedicated microphone.

See also

Keywordsvideo, creation, create, comparison, distance, learning, media, audio, kaltura, capture, powerpoint, office, 365, collaborate, ultra, techsmith, camtasia, webex, teams, microsoft, technology, solutions, options, choose   Doc ID101623
OwnerLearn@UW MadisonGroupLearn@UW-Madison
Created2020-05-01 09:11:52Updated2023-09-22 15:10:28
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