Learn@UW - Which should I use? Options to create instructional videos

This document compares the major features of five tools that can be used to create video for remote instruction: Microsoft Powerpoint for Office 365, Kaltura Webcam Recording, Kaltura Capture, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, 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:

    Feature Microsoft Powerpoint for Office 365
    Kaltura Webcam Recording
    Kaltura Capture
    Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
    TechSmith Camtasia*
    Screen capture
    Slides only
    No Yes Yes Yes
    Webcam capture
    macOS - No
    Windows - Yes

    Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Records system audio1
    No

    No
    macOS - No
    Windows - Yes
    No
    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 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 Available for macOS and Windows
    Support DoIT Help Desk
    DoIT Help Desk DoIT Help Desk DoIT Help Desk TechSmith Support and Community
    License / cost
    Licensed by UW-Madison Licensed by UW-Madison Licensed by UW-Madison Licensed by UW-Madison  * $169 + maintenance (if purchased)
    Instructions - Install
    - macOS instructions
    - Windows instructions
    - MediaSpace instructions
    - Canvas instructions
    - Install
    - Instructions
    - Ultra Overview
    - Recording Ultra sessions
    - Downloading Ultra sessions
    - Tutorials
    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 webcam-only 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 short. Instructors familiar with Ultra from its main use for synchronous lectures could create online videos using Ultra to record sessions ahead of time. The recording will only show either the webcam (if active) or what is shared - both aren't visible at the same time. Audio quality isn't as high as other options.
    It needs to be purchased, but 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.

    Recommendations

    Many instructors will find recording slideshows with Powerpoint for Office 365 an easy way to get started creating video for remote instruction. 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 without needing editing. Instructors who have used Blackboard Collaborate Ultra may find it to be an easy way to get started creating videos. TechSmith Camtasia - while not licensed by UW-Madison - is often recommended for instructors to consider when they want a solution without some of the limitations described with the other tools. A more in depth discussion of the benefits of video, student outcomes, and technology recommendations is in the Blended Learning Toolkit article Delivering Video Content to 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