There are a number of tools and resources at Duke that will enable you to make high-quality, lasting content from anywhere. Before making the commitment to video production, be sure to consider if it is necessary to create videos at all: When should I make videos?

If you have specific questions or need help with Zoom, Panopto, Camtasia or Warpwire video production at home or at Duke, please contact and request a video consultation.

Before recording, get the right equipment

Audio is the most important part of a recording. No matter what type of video you will be making, you will want to make sure that you capture high quality audio. Mostly, this just means having a microphone that is not your laptop’s built-in microphone. An affordable option would be a USB lavalier microphone (“USB lav mic”) that could be clipped to your collar as you record.

The built-in camera on your computer is sufficient for most recordings. If you need better resolution, we recommend recording with a webcam capable of 1080p video, as well as a tripod, so that you can have footage of yourself giving the presentation, in addition to whatever screen capture you may be using. 

If you need to annotate slides or write on a tablet, see our recommendations in the resources box below.

NOTE: These products are in high demand and may not be available in time for your needs, making it difficult to recommend a specific microphone or webcam. As long as you meet these minimum criteria, you should be equipped to create videos for your course. It’s a good idea to look for equipment as soon as possible once you’ve decided to create videos.

General recording tips

Regardless of the equipment you use, the following guidelines will help ensure that you capture better audio and video:

  • Record in a well-lit, quiet location. Avoid light sources directly above or behind you.
  • Do not be afraid to change your recording location to add variety.
  • You do not have to be perfect. If you make a mistake, pause for three seconds and then resume your presentation, leaving yourself space in the recorded video to edit.

> Options for screen annotation and handwriting
> Best practices for recording videos
> Quick tips for recording videos
Zoom Event Production: Presenter’s Guide
Zoom Event Production: Technical Production Guide
Zoom Event Production: Event Coordinator’s Guide

Choosing the appropriate software

There are several factors to keep in mind when deciding between tools: what quality of recording do you need and how much editing do your videos require? The topic of where to store your recordings is covered in more depth in How do I share videos with students?

Zoom is appropriate for short videos that don’t need editing. Using Zoom’s cloud recording and screen sharing features, you can create video lessons that show your slide presentation or other materials from your computer screen. While you can set a playback range (i.e., where a recording begins playing and stops), Zoom does not have the ability to edit out mistakes, which means short (i.e., five to eight minute) videos, which you can re-record, work best. Generally, the more you practice and adhere to a script the less you will have to edit later. 

Zoom’s playback range feature is useful but restricted. Choosing a playback range works best for videos such as recordings of live class sessions, as Cloud Recording must be enabled for you to have this option. Importantly, you are not permanently editing the video; rather, you deciding when to start the video playback (e.g., after class begins) and when to stop (e.g., after you end discussion). If the video is downloaded, or if those viewing the video are doing so under certain circumstances such as low bandwidth, playback range will not apply.

Zoom has limitations. The video quality may be of a lesser quality than recording with other tools, and keeping track of your Zoom cloud recordings can be difficult if you are creating a lot of videos. Finally, Zoom cloud storage should not be considered a permanent archive. If you need to keep your videos beyond this semester, you need to download them and upload them to another streaming service.

Recent versions of PowerPoint have built-in audio voiceover and subtitling tools. If you are working with slides, it is a good option. Plus, it is not necessary for you to appear on screen, so it might be a more comfortable way for you to record content. 

If aiming for the ability to edit, Panopto is a good choice. Faculty can gain access to the desktop version of Panopto through their department’s IT office. If you use Panopto to record a video, then editing is easy, as Panopto has a built-in editor. Because Panopto records your slides and your camera at the same time, students will be able to view both simultaneously. Editing video can take as much time as you are willing to put into it, but you can minimize the effort required by planning carefully.

Panopto is not appropriate for recording live online sessions. Use Zoom to host and record online synchronous meetings.

Recording qualityGoodBetter
Editing your videosNone (ability to set limited playback range)Basic
Organizing your videosUpload to Warpwire to organize or share URLsCreates an online folder for all of your class videos

MacOS and Windows have built-in video editors. The default media players on a PC QuickTime Player (on older PC systems) or Photos (Windows 10), plus iMovie on the Mac, have basic editing capabilities. You can download a video you create in Zoom (or elsewhere) and edit it in these applications. You will need to upload the edited videos to Warpwire and share the links with students. Edited videos cannot be uploaded to Zoom.

Camtasia is a screen recorder and video editor that is an option for advanced editing such as changing your video layout or adding annotations or transitions to your edits. For the most part, it is not required to take this extra step when producing videos.

Importantly, unlike Panopto, Camtasia is not centrally funded by Duke, so you will either need to purchase your own license and/or have one purchased for you through your departmental or school IT if they approve. Also, the interactivity features in Camtasia are not supported by Duke and will not work once you post your videos to Warpwire/Sakai. To add interactive features content to your videos, please use Playposit.

If you have questions regarding production techniques for your course after reviewing the Camtasia tutorials on LinkedIn Learning, please feel free to email and request a consultation with an academic media producer.

> The Difference Between Panopto and Warpwire
> How to Record, Edit and Publish with Panopto
> How to create a recording in Zoom
> Cloud Recording Playback for Zoom
> Camtasia: Recording and Editing (video)
> Effective Educational Videos (Vanderbilt University)