Kaltura - Effective practices for creating audio, video, or online lecture material for a course

This document provides a summary of key effective practices and information to be aware of when creating audio, video, or online lecture material for a course.

Recommendations for creating and uploading media to Kaltura MediaSpace to help lighten the load on the system

These recommendations are more important while Kaltura MediaSpace is seeing unprecedented usage during Fall 2020:

  • Upload a short (<5 second) sample video first so you know what to expect from the recording and upload process.
  • Break up your course content into 4-6 minute mini-lecture segments. Shorter videos keep your students attention and are faster to upload and process. See the Video Guidelines article for more info on recommended duration.
  • Upload material in the order you need it and upload early to allow time for file upload, processing, and potential errors.
    • Even when Kaltura MediaSpace is running smoothly other internet service providers may experience slower ervice which could limit your upload speed. Test your speed by going to speedtest.net, and click Go to run the test. Upload speeds and Kaltura's upload performance varies, but an upload speed of 10 Mbps should be able to upload a 250 MB file to Kaltura in about 4.5 minutes.
  • Don’t upload all your course content at once. Space it out over a few days if possible.
  • Camtasia is newly available for instructors to create screeen and webcam recordings. Powerpoint for Office 365 slideshows can be used to create narrated slide lectures (Win, Mac). If you use Kaltura Capture only record one input - webcam or screen. Recording both inputs doubles the file size, the time it takes to upload and process your file. Consider recording a short intro video with your webcam and the rest of your lecture segments with just the screen.
  • Upload and processing times will lengthen when there are a lot of users uploading content (for example during the COVID-19 situation). It may take a half-hour to an hour to upload a 15 minute video. Keep an eye on the Learn@UW-Madison KnowledgeBase for notifications regarding performance impacts and outages. When Kaltura is being heavily used processing times may lengthen to 24 hours or more.

When recording audio or video for your course, please follow these best practices. As an alternative to making your own recordings, you could search for an adequate substitute on: Kaltura MediaSpace, Canvas Commons, TED, or YouTube. Please be sure to properly cite any external video content used in your course. If you're making your own videos, we recommend:

Before Recording

  • Prepare and use a script or an outline if you have time to do so. It will help keep your video succinct, and on-track. A script can also be the basis for captions.
  • Plan to keep your videos short, below 5-10 minutes in length. If your lecture would normally last longer than that, divide it into smaller sections.
  • Insert a learning activity between videos if you include multiple videos in a module for a single class session equivalent. Activity examples:
    • Have students briefly derive a potential test question from the video they just watched,
    • Ask students to post a reaction on your courses Canvas Discussion Forum,
    • Have students take a brief Canvas Quiz. These kinds of engagement breaks make face-to-face lectures more effective, too.


  • If you do want to record audio and video, your laptop or mobile devices’ internal microphone and camera will work, but for better quality it is recommended you use a dedicated microphone or headset and/or camera.
  • If you're shooting your own videos on a phone or similar device, use a tripod if you can, to keep the picture steady.
  • If you find that you must choose between audio quality and video quality, prioritize audio quality. Otherwise, don't worry too much about production values; just focus on delivering the content students need. When you export your video, compress your video and use the MP4 format to ensure broadest compatibility with your students' devices.
  • Keep a backup copy of any files you upload to Kaltura MediaSpace.

Accessibility, FERPA, and HIPAA compliance

  • Consider captioning your media to make it more accessible to all users.
  • Content hosted in Kaltura MediaSpace identifying students, or content contributed by students, constitutes an educational record and FERPA regulations apply. Those regulations require that the content be protected from disclosure without student consent. Disclosure in this context includes use outside of the class such as posting student content openly on the Internet. Faculty who intend to post original student work in such a manner may do so with the students’ permission or by providing an opt out option for individual students. For additional information on FERPA please see the Office of the Registrar's resources on FERPA.
  • Be careful to not store or accidentally record and share material with electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) in Kaltura MediaSpace. For more information in HIPAA please see the Office of Compliance's resources on HIPAA.

Keywords:effective, best, practice, recommendation, recommend, kaltura, video, content, record, film, tape, FERPA, HIPAA media   Doc ID:98511
Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW-Madison
Created:2020-03-06 12:52 CDTUpdated:2020-10-09 11:35 CDT
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