How to Enhance Your Lecture Recording Quality


The rapid growth of lecture capture applications has made it use-cases indispensable across institutions in its effort to democratize learning. Campus-wide deployments are increasingly becoming the norm, and institutions are continuing to expand the classroom experience across anywhere with an internet connection.

With more distance-based learning comes the need to produce quality recordings to distribute across your Learning Management System (LMS) platforms to your students. Instructors are expected to ensure quality information being presented that can be easily seen and heard.

 

 

How to Improve Your Lecture Recording Quality

 

1. Quality Content to Enhance Lecture Recordings

At first glance, instructors new to the flipped classroom environment tend to resort to public resources – such as YouTube – to store and share their video content. However, the lack of a centralized video management system can create a confusing experience for students who are left wondering where certain content is being stored for multiple courses in different locations. By resorting to public locations to store content, this can lead to instructors facing multiple security and copyright issues if stored information is improperly disseminated across public domains.

 

 

Factors to look out for to ensure quality lecture recordings.

  • Less “Fat.” Details can help you articulate your main point and help drive your argument home. However, redundant information and jargon can make your content harder to digest. Ensure your recordings are straight to the point.
  • Text Overload. In the event your lecture recording also has text presented, students will naturally read those words. As a result, large text blocks and bulleted lists will force students to inefficiently multi-task. Reducing the amount of text per slide can help students focus more on listening and less on typing.
  • Proper Flow. Divide each point into their respective slides and ensure that your presentation isn’t too rushed or too slow. This improves the flow of lecture presentation and ensures that students won’t need to constantly rewind or fast-forward the recording.

 

2. Visual Quality Improvements

While lighting remains of the easiest alterations you can make to improve recordings, poor lighting can instantly detract viewers from the learning experience if left mistreated. Consider the addition/removal of various lighting sources to ensure a clear and natural display for your viewers.

 

 

Factors to consider when improving visual quality.

  • Lighting Optimization. If your presentation appears too dark or bright, consider opening/closing a window to provide some natural light. Note that any lighting source should be in front of you and not directly behind you within frame. This can cast unnatural shadows and cause your face to be dimly lit.
  • Camera Placement. Even in a flipped classroom setting, the importance of eye contact towards your audience is essential in retaining viewer focus. Place your camera a few inches above eye level to ensure that you can easily look at your audience. Further, a camera placed slightly above eye-level produces a more flattering, less-awkward view of the presenter.
  • Check your surroundings. Pay attention to all objects placed within the camera’s view. Ideally, a background free of visual clutter will prevent the viewer from getting distracted. Use solid-colors for your backdrop and remove any miscellaneous items within frame; that way, your audience will be focused on only you.

 

3. Audio Quality Improvements

Like visual quality, it is important to ensure that your audience is actively listening to your material as well. Contributing factors such as auditory distractions and repetition can cause your audience to tune out of your content and or result in confusion.

Factors to consider when improving audio quality.

  • Clear Sound. No one likes choppy or distorted audio. The addition of another microphone can enhance the listening experience so that viewers can clearly hear your presentation. Consider using a Lavalier microphone as it allows for users to walk around during their presentation in case you have an additional whiteboard to display.
  • White Noise. Outside noise can be distracting even without your knowledge that it exists. Avoid standing near running machines or oscillating fans during your recordings. While it might not generate much noise in person, your microphone might pick up the humming significantly louder in a recording. Run a quick test footage before recording to prevent this occurrence.
  • Outside Noise. Prior to recording, consider closing any doors or windows in your recording studio to prevent any outside noise from interrupting your recordings.

 

 

Related Post: How to Record Lecture Videos

Three Ways a Flipped Classroom Can Support Students


As we continue to venture outside of the typical classroom environment, the advent of a flipped classroom setting has become a mainstay among various teaching pedagogies.

In a flipped classroom, students have easier access to learning resources, and therefore, are less likely to experience frustration or unanswered questions. Flipped classrooms can also enable access to course-related content at any location and on any devices in the event that a student cannot attend a class. According to a LearnDash study, 71% of teachers noticed a positive change in student engagement since flipping their classroom. Here are three ways a flipped classroom can support students.

 

 

Three Ways a Flipped Classroom Can Support Students

 

1. Access to a Secure, Centralized Video Library

At first glance, instructors new to the flipped classroom environment tend to resort to public resources – such as YouTube – to store and share their video content. However, the lack of a centralized storage location can create a confusing experience for students who are left wondering where certain content is being stored for multiple courses in different locations. Further, by resorting to public locations to store content, this can lead to instructors facing multiple security and copyright issues if stored information is improperly disseminated across public domains.

 

 

With an Enterprise Video Library, students and instructors are provided on-demand access to a centralized Video Content Management System (CMS) to store and securely share flipped classroom content and recordings across multiple formats. 

 

2. Content Access at Any Time, Any Place, and on Any Device

One of the core methodologies surrounding flipped classrooms involves the ability for students to access lecture material at anytime, anywhere, outside of the classroom. In some instances, students might only have the means to access technology at specific locations while other students prefer to only learn in specific environments. With an Enterprise Video Platform, video can even be automatically transcoded when recorded and converted to an accessible format playable on any device or browser. As a result, different types of learners are offered a myriad of ways to access content regardless of what device, browser, or player they are using.

 

3. Convenient Search Features

When it comes to publishing online content, students need a way to easily search and find stored lecture material. A ten minute recorded lecture might be easy to upload, but over the course of a semester, many weeks’ worth of uploaded content can build up. By the time an exam approaches, sorting through content that has gradually been stored can be an arduous task. Further, many public domains are confined to search capabilities limited to searching content by its name and description. Without an Enterprise Video Library to easily access content stored throughout the school year, a student looking for a few minutes’ worth of content can be stuck looking through an entire semester’s worth of video content. 

 

 

An Enterprise Video Library offers a school-wide platform that includes advanced content search features that enable quick access to course-wide materials. Students can easily look through content spanning class-specific material – including presentation slides, transcripts, and video captions – as well as search for unique keywords mentioned in specific courses. With the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform, captions can be time stamped for users to instantly skip right to what they are searching for. Ultimately, students can not only quickly find the material they are looking for, but can learn effectively and efficiently.

 

 

Related Post: How to Caption Your Videos at Scale

What Is Micro-flipping?


By now, many instructors in colleges and universities, as well as those specializing in continuing education and even grades K-12 are familiar with flipped classrooms. In a flipped classroom, lecture content is delivered through video, providing additional class time for activities, hands-on learning, discussion, one-on-one instruction and interaction. You may, more recently, have heard about micro-flipping. Micro-flipping uses short lectures, both in-and-out of the classroom setting, providing some of the benefits of a traditional classroom and some of the benefits of a flipped classroom. A micro-flipped class video will typically be five minutes or less in length.

 

The Benefits of the Micro-Flip

Micro-flipping works in both flipped and traditional classrooms, and can help to address some of the challenges found in each type of classroom. The time investment is minimal; instructors can create micro-flipped recordings in just a few minutes while sitting at their desks or even record them using mobile tools.

 

Micro-flipping in the Flipped Classroom

One of the primary criticisms of flipped classroom structures is that they simply don’t work if your students come to class unprepared. When the classroom is designed to function for students who have watched the lecture material ahead of time, and a large number of individuals aren’t doing so, they’re unlikely to be able to complete assignments, join in class discussions or effectively participate in group projects. This can also be an issue if the students have watched, but haven’t understood, the lecture material provided ahead of time. 

 

If you have access to a short, condensed version of lecture material, you can watch this during class time to review the material, provide students who failed to prepare with key information, and to trigger any questions students may have. This can make the flipped classroom function better for all students.

 

Micro-flipping in a Traditional Classroom

Micro-flipping can also offer benefits in a traditional classroom. In this case, the video made available before the class can act as a sort of preview for students of in-class content. This can encourage interest in the classroom lecture or provide additional thoughts or ideas related to classroom readings. Students who miss a class can also rely upon micro-flipping to catch up before the next class, even if full lecture capture recordings are available. 

 

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Managing and Sharing Flipped Classroom Videos


Flipped classrooms turn the traditional classroom structure upside-down. In-class time is focused on projects, interactive learning, and other activities, while lectures are handled via video. For both k-12 and higher education, this means managing and sharing a lot of video content; a single class might require several individual mini-videos per session. 

 

Creating Flipped Classroom Videos

Flipped classroom videos are typically relatively short and focused. They can be recorded in a classroom, meeting room, office, or home office, but can also be recorded using mobile capture at other locations. For instance, an instructor teaching a course in industrial design might record a flipped classroom video at a local company, with their support and consent. 

There are a number of options to create flipped classroom videos.

  • If multiple instructors are recording on a set schedule, hardware-based capture solutions can provide a practical solution.
  • Within a classroom, conference room, office or home office, software-based capture solutions are practical.
  • Outside of normal recording space, mobile capture is an ideal solution; however, browser or software capture can also be used with a laptop and internet connection. 

 

Managing Video Content

Flipped classroom content is typically viewed asynchronously, with students watching the videos for a class on their own schedule before the designated class time. To maximize student attention, shorter videos are ideal. Given that, you can expect that each class period will have several connected videos. The organization is essential!

 

Naming Videos

Smart naming strategies make it simple for users to find the content they need for each class period. Many instructors will reuse content from semester-to-semester or year-to-year. You might find it helpful to think of a structure like CourseName_CourseSession_Subject, so ECON101_Class2_Supply. Avoid using dates as filenames if you plan to reuse content from year-to-year. 

 

Using Folders and Subfolders

In order to make flipped classroom content accessible, it should be well organized. The Platform supports class structures but also allows for subfolders within those class structures. Consider using a subfolder for each class session; this makes it simple for users to find the correct session folder. 

 

Sharing Flipped Classroom Media

Flipped classroom media should be easily available to users, but should be published on a logical and practical schedule to encourage users to maintain on-target with their studies.

  • Rely on scheduled publishing dates to make content visible just a week or so before it is needed.
  • Choose a Platform that allows for mobile viewing to support user learning.
  • Provide users with URLs for media content ahead of time, via a syllabus or other material. 

 

 

Previous article: How to Create and Share Online Presentations

Young man in a plaid shirt sits at a laptop computer. Text reads "benefits to a flipped classroom"

Benefits of Flipped Classrooms


In both k-12 and higher education classrooms around the country, teachers, faculty and administrators are talking about flipped classrooms. In a flipped classroom, the lecture portion of the class takes place outside of the classroom some or all of the time–it becomes homework. Class projects, discussions, and work are completed during class time, facilitating hands-on learning and interactions between students and instructors. 

Why are so many teachers and professors embracing flipped classrooms? Here, you’ll learn more about the benefits of a flipped classroom. When you’re ready to record your first flipped lecture, click here

 

Benefits of the Flipped Classroom for Students

Flipped classrooms benefit students of all ages in a number of ways, from very young children to college students. In a flipped classroom, students have easier access to help, and therefore, are less likely to experience frustration or to have unanswered questions. Flipping a classroom can more effectively meet the needs of different types of learners and students with special needs. Students can watch and re-watch a lecture capture for a flipped classroom if needed.

Student interaction and student-instructor interaction increase when there is more time available and a flipped classroom facilitates deeper subject exploration. When students have more opportunities for hand-on learning and practical application, they are more likely to retain what is learned.

 

Benefits of the Flipped Classroom for Teachers

While the benefits to students may be obvious, instructors also benefit from flipped classrooms. Once a lecture capture for a flipped classroom is recorded, it can be used repeatedly. There’s no need to prepare and present the same lecture content over-and-over again. 

Students arrive in class prepared and with a good understanding of the material, allowing instructors to focus on practical application and deeper understanding. In a flipped classroom, instructors can spend more time with students, meeting their individual needs. This can reduce stress for teachers, and help teachers connect more effectively with both students and parents.

 

Tools to Facilitate Flipping Classrooms

Flipped classrooms require access to lecture capture tools and video content management systems. Instructors need to be able to easily produce lecture capture for a flipped classroom session and to make it accessible to their students via computer, tablet or mobile device. 

As more and more k-12 schools embrace technology, many even issuing laptops to their students, flipped classrooms are likely to become more common. With the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform’s Software Capture application, teachers can record lectures using nothing more than their on-board webcam and an inexpensive headset microphone.

In a college or university, podium computers or hardware capture provide the opportunity for high-quality recording of lecture content. This can be integrated into the organization’s existing LMS to help students access content in a familiar way. 

Whether an instructor is using their own laptop computer for lecture capture or a podium computer, they can integrate Smart Boards, document cameras, and screen recording to produce a full-featured lecture capture for their students. 

 

 

 

Previous article: Fall 2018 Scholarship Winner – Darian Williams

 

Planning and Preparing a Flipped Course


Flipped courses are increasingly popular in colleges and universities. These courses take the traditional classroom structure and turn it upside-down. Course lectures become homework, and projects, discussion, and hands-on activities are relegated to the classroom.

Planning a Flipped Class

For instructors, planning and preparation for a flipped class can be time-consuming, and may take more time than a traditional class. Fortunately, the video lectures and materials created for the course can be used the following semester and for years to come. 

  • Decide what content to include in the course. Make a list of individual topics for the course, then determine which resources are needed to support course topics and classroom sessions.
  • Assemble resources for students for each class period. These can include custom-created lecture capture content, but can also include websites, online video content, or chapters from a textbook. 
  • Organize content for the course in a logical and accessible way. Students should have access to content well before the associated class period. 

Preparing Students for the Flipped Classroom

Flipped classroom structures are not only new for many instructors, but also for many students. Instructors can help to set the tone for a flipped classroom, and to support student success. The key to student success in the flipped classroom is clear and defined expectations. 

Instructors may find it helpful to spend the first class period explaining how the class will function, and how flipped classrooms benefit student learning. During the first class, students should see what class materials look like, understand that the lecture captures and other material should be viewed before the class session, and have an idea of what classroom activities to expect.

Using Time in the Classroom

Since flipped classroom structures reduce or eliminate the traditional classroom lecture or presentation, class time is available for other purposes. 

Classroom time can be used to:

  • Facilitate discussion and collaboration.
  • Respond to student questions and encourage engagement. 
  • Work on assignments, like essays and projects.
  • Engage in problem-solving or role-play activities.
  • Incorporate hands-on learning activities. 

Recording Flipped Classroom Material at Home


While many lecture capture recordings take place in a classroom prepared for video recording, at other times, instructors may need to create lecture capture recordings for flipped classes from home, whether it’s a home office or the dining room table. Minimal equipment is needed for a good-quality lecture capture, even if it’s in a low-key, on-the-spot setting. The ability to record flipped classroom content from home facilitates access, convenience and flexibility for instructors. Instructors can record needed lecture content on their own schedules, preparing multiple lectures at once, or creating video content as needed. Access to home lecture capture allows instructors to do essential prep work for their courses from home, the office, or even while travelling–there’s no need for a classroom recording station.

Recording a Lecture Capture from a Personal Computer

Access to software-based lecture capture solutions provides the ability to produce good-quality lecture capture recordings using a laptop or desktop computer. Lecture captures can be saved to the cloud, uploaded directly to a course, or even streamed for live viewing.

Essential Equipment for Recording

What’s needed for flipped classroom recording depends, to an extent, upon the instructor’s goals and needs. For some instructors, a screen capture and audio will be adequate to convey necessary information. In other cases, a video capture may also be desirable.
  • For audio capture, an external microphone is essential. Inexpensive external USB microphones are quite adequate.
  • For video capture, an external USB web camera is an ideal option; however, internal laptop web cameras may produce acceptable recording quality. The higher the camera resolution, the higher the recording quality.
  • For screen capture, maximum quality is determined by screen resolution.

Using Flipped Learning for Employee Onboarding


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Flipped learning turns the traditional learning model on its head. The classroom becomes a place for discussion and activities, while the lectures take place on-line, in the form of video learning content. Flipped learning is changing university and college classrooms across the country, but it can also reshape employee onboarding at large institutions and corporations, providing an efficient and effective way to get your employees up-to-speed and ready to perform well for your company.

Flipping Employee Onboarding

Flipping your employee onboarding takes a bit of preparation work, whether you’re planning on a single hire for a position or you’re filling multiple positions, as you might in a large-scale call center. The planning and preparation stage should involve your HR staff, any hiring-specific staff and departmental supervisors or managers.

  • Make a list of what the employee should know; skills, knowledge and information.
  • Figure out what you have available already, including printed materials, PowerPoint files, or other information.
  • Create new resources to guide your new employee or employees through the training process.
  • Provide new hires with access to these resources when they’re hired,  and before they begin. They can arrive on the first day with the basics in place, and be ready to move on to meeting new people and learning their job tasks in a hands-on way.

The Benefits of Flipped Onboarding for the Employer

While creating flipped onboarding materials does require a time investment, it’s an investment that pays off in a number of different ways for employers.

  • Reduced staff time devoted to new hires. Since your new hires are more prepared to begin their jobs, staff can spend less time onboarding.
  • Flipped onboarding materials are reusable. Once created, materials can be used by many different employees, and only require occasional updates as processes, procedures or tasks change.
  • Current staff can access materials to answer their own questions or can rely upon newly created onboarding materials when procedures or job skills change.

How Flipped Onboarding Supports Your New Hires

Regardless of whether it’s your first job or your tenth, the first day at a new job is a nerve-wracking experience. New employees often find themselves with a range of questions, ranging from “Where’s the bathroom?” to “Who do I report to?”. Flipped onboarding:

  • Increases employee confidence. They enter the building on their first day knowing some of what they need.
  • Supports their choice to take the job. In reviewing your flipped learning materials, they can see that you’re prepared and interested in helping them to succeed at your institution or company.
  • Reduces time spent on HR-related paperwork. With flipped learning, you can guide your new hires through the employee manual, and they can turn all HR paperwork in before they start.

 

How to Flip your Classroom


High School Students Taking Part In Group Discussion

High School Students Taking Part In Group Discussion

The introduction of widespread video technology has provided instructors with a very different way to teach and students with a new, and more effective, way to learn. The flipped classroom turns traditional college classrooms upside-down. In the traditional classroom, students spend most of the in-class time listening to lectures, with minimal time for discussion. In the flipped classroom, the lecture goes on-line, and class discussions and projects take over the classroom time.

Flipped classrooms provide instructors with additional time to work with students, answer questions, and facilitate discussions. For students, the flipped classroom addresses the needs of different types of learners effectively and provides significantly increased student engagement. In addition, research has clearly shown that the flipped classroom means higher grades and better student performance.

Five Steps to Flipping the Classroom

  1. Make a Plan
    Planning courses can take a bit more time for instructors, particularly initially. Most instructors work from the same sets of course notes and presentations each year. The flipped classroom requires some additional work, at least the first time the class is taught. Instructors will need to plan pre-class video segments, plus in-class activities. For classes taught each year, it’s easy to re-use materials and plans from year-to-year.
  2. Create Video Content
    Once course content is planned, instructors can create video content. Video content can include a variety of materials; shared videos, traditional lecture captures, uploaded content recorded on-site, and different short videos created with lecture capture or web capture technology.
  3. Share with Students 
    Share recorded video content with students. It’s important that students have access to video content on a regular schedule, and with plenty of time available to watch videos before the class period. Course content should be well-organized and accessible.
  4. Learn and Work in the Classroom
    Have a plan for class time that includes activities, discussion topics, and time for questions. In a larger class, you may need to alter activities to accommodate more small groups, use additional forms of technology, or think-pair-share activities. Expect your students to come prepared, but move forward even if students have not watched video content.
  5. Assess Results
    Regularly assessing student learning in low-pressure ways is an effective way to track student understanding and mastery. Online and video quizzes offer a practical way to do this, and provide one way to track student participation and preparation.

Using YuJa in Flipped Classrooms


woman

The flipped classroom offers an alternative to traditional classroom organization. In a traditional brick and mortar classroom, lectures take place in class, with homework following the class. Flipped classes allow students to watch their lectures on their own time, and use in class time for homework, team projects

YuJa’s “connected classroom” technology makes it easy to produce flipped classes, integrating all of your lecture teaching components, including recorded lectures with audio and video, desktop screen shares, and PowerPoint presentation. With the “connected classroom” you can change how you use your class time and make learning accessible to students outside the classroom.

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