Screen recording tips

A man sits in front of a laptop, speaking into a microphone.
Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash

Camtasia tips

  1. Cursor effects: Camtasia allows you to add effects to your cursor, helping learners follow where you are pointing or clicking. Use the “Rings on Left-click” option to clearly show where you are clicking during demonstrations.
  2. Blur/Pixelate: If you have to enter or show any of your personal information e.g. your username during a screen recording, use the blur or pixelate tool to obscure your details.
  3. Highlighter: Use the highlighter tool to draw the viewer’s attention to important elements, like boxes and buttons that need to be clicked.
  4. Spotlight: Use the spotlight to draw the viewer’s attention to an area of the screen that you are talking about or that they need to be aware of.
  5. Noise removal: Camtasia has an inbuilt noise removal system, which will help make your audio clearer. This setting can be enabled in the Audio menu by checking a box. You can use the advanced settings below the check box to change the sensitivity.

Captions

Speech-to-text (recommended)

  • If you select this option, Camtasia analyse your narration and produce captions for you, this includes setting all the timings.
  • All captions produced using speech-to-text need to be checked thoroughly as this process can produce mixed results.
  • It is good practice to export them and check spelling and grammar within MS Word.

Manual

  • You should time your captions to be onscreen for at least three seconds for the shortest examples, and up to seven seconds for longer examples.
  • Wherever possible, split large captions over two screens to avoid needing to have any on screen for more than seven seconds.
  • All captions should fade in and out (this is the default setting in Camtasia).
  • Text in captions that are displayed on the screen should be bold and in quotation marks, eg: When you’ve found a result that looks relevant, click the ‘Abstract’ link.

Audio/narration

  • All recorded demonstrations should include narration. You should adopt a friendly tone, taking time to speak clearly and slowly. Remember that people may be working along with you.
  • You can record audio at the same time as you record the visual elements; this allows you to get the correct timings, ensuring they match up perfectly. It also helps you to slow down and work at a pace that is easier to follow.
  • You can also record the audio and visual separately. This method requires more forward planning with regards to timings and will also require more time in post-production to ensure all elements are synchronised correctly.

Standard phrasing list for recording demonstrations

  • This is the search interface in…
  • Here you can select which platforms you want to search
  • In this example, we are searching…
  • This is where you…
  • In this example, we’re looking for research into XYZ
  • This drop-down allows us to select…
  • Enter your other search terms in these boxes
  • This drop-down allows us to select…
  • Click the … button
  • That is the end of this demonstration. In the next, we’ll look at…
  • Let’s select … and …
  • Now let’s have a look at what we can do with our results
  • This page shows you…
  • These buttons let us…
  • First, select the results you want to save
  • You can email these results in a number of formats
  • Enter your details here to email…
  • You can also download your results
  • You can also save your search and run again in future
  • You’ll need to …
  • That’s the end of this demonstration

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Library for Educators

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Sharing resources for educators, from The University of Manchester Library

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