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Start preparing early (for eLearning Week)

You will need time to plan, record and upload the presentation. Traffic jams happen online as they do in real life during rush hour. As we anticipate high demand, many faculty staff will be attempting to upload their presentations close to eLearning Week. This may result in slow or failed uploads. You can avoid these online traffic jams by preparing early.

Create slides easily viewed on a computer or mobile device

Use large sans-serif typeface, make sure the text does not blend into the background and use succinct text.

Plan your presentation

Screen recording software records “as live” in one continuous take, so you have to plan your presentation in detail before you start. Even though you can pause during recording, you cannot choose to re-record a previous section if you made a mistake. (You will have to re-record everything from the start, up until the point you left off.) You should:

  • open all necessary programs you will show during the recording e.g. presentation software, web browser and any other program you intend to demonstrate
  • preload any websites if necessary
  • close any programs which have pop-up notifications or emit sounds
  • choose a neutral wallpaper and clear your desktop of any sensitive materials
  • script your presentation, annotated with the actions you need to take at each point
  • rehearse before recording

Record your presentation in intervals of 20 to 30 minutes

By breaking down tasks into short segments, students are better able to find and view needed material. Breaking up your presentation into smaller chunks also reduces the chances of failed uploads. Also, if a task is complex and has many options, considering making two screencasts: one covering the basic points and another on advanced options.

Accept minor imperfections

The urge to make a recording perfect will lead to endless hours spent on recording. Aim for 'good enough'. It is fine to leave minor technical imperfections and concentrate on the content instead

Use a stylus or enlarged mouse pointer to emphasize important display areas

As you move through your presentation, you can help students follow along by using a stylus to circle or underline important areas on your screen. If you don't have a stylus, you can change your mouse pointer to a larger icon, which will be easier to see and follow.

Upload from campus, if the situation allows

If you recorded your lecture on your laptop, your upload speed will be greatly improved if you bring the laptop to campus and use a wired connection on the campus network. Some faculty have noted that mobile broadband (in particular) has much lower upload speeds than advertised, so uploading from home may take a very long time.


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