West Texas A&M University
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Recording Studio - Best Practices

The Camtasia Recording Studio, located in HELC 66, is designed for faculty in creating course videos using several different approaches. Those approaches include:

  • Screen recording
  • Faculty recording
  • Screen recording overlaid with Faculty recording

The ITS department facilitates the video shoots, edits the content, adds graphics, produces the video out onto our media server ensemble, and provides assistance with captioning for accessibility and inclusivity. To schedule an appointment to meet with the ITS staff about course videos you would like to create, email the IT Success Center at itsc@wtamu.edu or call at 806.651.4357.

Planning Stage

Create a Script or outline

  • Creating a script/outline will help give your video structure – a script allows you to have a plan of how you will present your topic to your viewers even if you plan on ad-libbing throughout your video. Scripts are also beneficial in making your video accessible in post-production.
    • Include a welcome statement that introduces the topic and explains the purpose of the video as well as any objectives and outcomes
    • Add interactive components such as quizzes and surveys to help students in understanding the topic. If you have any visual aids, be sure to explain them in detail during the video.
    • If using a PowerPoint or other visual presentation – keep it simple and follow general font and style rules throughout to provide students ease in reading.
      • Formatting for accessibility – If using a PowerPoint presentation in your video shoot, leave the lower quarter of the presentation blank so all of the content on each page is readable with captions. Every video made in the recording studio will be made accessible with captions.
  • Look at breaking up material based on content to shorten overall video length.
    • When chunking content together for your video, keep the video length to a maximum of 15 minutes long. Research shows that student views drop off after 5 minutes so the ideal length for instructional videos is 2 – 5 minutes. For guidance in how to break up material, email techtraining@wtamu.edu to get connected with your college’s instructional designer.

Plan to stop by the studio before your video shoot date to do a simple run through of content and to familiarize yourself with any equipment that might be used. This will help give you an idea of what to expect in the studio as well as make you feel more comfortable with the video shooting process.

Recording Stage

  • Dress moderately - Avoid any clothing that is too blingy, has busy patterns, or logos. Clothing that is a single color works best along with jewelry that does not create background noise.
  • Find a comfortable position to sit or stand where you will not be tempted to shift, sway, or fidget.
  • Speak as you normally would in a lecture
    • Do not worry about making mistakes! We can always restart or redo a section if a mistake is made.
  • Be confident! Show your personality so your students get to know you just like they would in a face to face class.
  • Bring lots of energy to the shoot!

Using Camtasia

Camtasia is editing/screen capturing software that will be used in the studio if you plan on recording any part of a presentation or writing out formulas. The ITS department staff will show you Camtasia – how it works as well as how to start and stop a screen capture. Camtasia is very easy to use and offers a variety of editing tools for both the average and everyday user.

Using the Wacom Tablet

The Wacom tablet in use with smart ink allows for users to annotate over PowerPoint slides, images, PDF’s, webpages, and many more applications. The tablet is great for writing out formulas, highlighting important text, and drawing images. ITS staff will assist faculty with learning how to use the tablet as well as any other applications that may be used with the smart ink software.
In preparation for using the Wacom tablet:

  • Decide what applications you will be using in your video.
    • For PDF’s, word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and excel documents – Use an already created document from your course and plan to mark it up how you wish. OR Create blank PowerPoint slides for formula writing or blank word or excel documents to walk through diagrams and etc. live with students.
    • Webpages and other applications can also be used to annotate over for use in videos.
  • Tip - When using the Wacom tablet, use the Tell – Show – Try method: Write out the formula or task, walk through the task, then allow the students to do the same task on their own.


Best Practices for Instructional Videos. (n.d). Retrieved from https://www.uc.edu/cetl/ourwork/online/Videobest.html

Beheshti, M., Taspolat, A., Kaya, O., S. & Sapanca, H., S. (2018). Characteristics of instructional videos. World Journal on Educational Technology: Current Issues. 10(2), 79–87.

Spencer, T., & Victor, S. (March 23, 2018). 6 Top Tips to Design Effective Instructional Videos. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/instructional-videos-design-6-top-tips

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