Tips for Improving Lecture Capture Audio Quality
Audio quality is essential for capture functionality; users need to be able to hear what you are saying. Poor audio quality makes captures less useful, and may leave users feeling discouraged and frustrated.
There are multiple components to the overall quality of an audio recording, including the space in which you’re recording, the equipment you’re using, and the settings for your microphone.
The Recording Space
The physical space and ambient noise present can impact the overall quality of the audio in your recording. Consider the differences between a small conference room and a large lecture hall full of students. In an empty conference room, you may have few audio issues. In a full lecture hall, there is likely to be a great deal of ambient noise. While you cannot address all aspects of background noise, you may be able to control some of the following:
- Turn off ceiling fans and additional, unused appliances and phones. Close your windows to block out vehicles and other outside noise.
- Position microphones away from the classroom computer. Computer fans can be a significant source of additional noise.
- Ensure there’s no echo. Typically, a smaller recording space is better to reduce echo, but carpet, furniture, and acoustic foam tiles in a space can all help reduce echo.
The right microphone is essential to good-quality audio recordings. In a small space, like an office, the built-in microphone in a laptop computer or headphone microphone may be adequate. There is little background noise in a small space, and fewer audio challenges. Still, if you choose this method, ensure you have access to editing software that can help enhance the audio.
In a larger lecture hall or auditorium, it’s recommended that you choose a uni-directional microphone, which picks up sound only from one direction. This means the noise of the classroom or conference space will not be picked up on the microphone, while the speaker’s voice will be clear and audible.
Ideally, the microphone should be placed 3-5 inches from the speaker. A stand, or a lapel microphone if you need to move around the room, can help keep the microphone the same distance from the speaker throughout the recording. It also ensures the speaker can use their hands for visual demonstrations.
The Sound Check
In addition to preparing the space and making smart microphone selections, it is helpful to take a moment to check your sound and assess sound quality. Do a test run to check that audio is clear, crisp, and balanced.
If there are two speakers, it’s helpful to record on separate tracks so they can be adjusted separately. Each speaker should wear headphones to avoid picking up the other speaker’s audio as background noise.
YuJa Software Capture enables you to test your audio feed before you begin recording. Check the monitor to assess your volume levels. You can also opt for a short on-demand recording to check and review your audio quality.
YuJa’s HTML5-based Video Editor also allows instructors to edit audio to remove pauses, adjust audio gain adjustments, amplification and re-normalization capabilities.
Choosing a Lecture Capture Solution to Meet Your Needs
Lecture capture provides opportunities for study and review, increased flexibility and serves different learning styles. When you choose a lecture capture provider that offers ease-of-use, practicality, and functionality, instructors and students will embrace the technology. Simplifying the lecture capture process will help every instructor to embrace new technology and find their way from the classroom podium to the student’s smartphone.
Choosing a Solution to Meet Your Needs
YuJa offers three distinct options for lecture capture. All three leverage the YuJa Cloud for transcoding, streaming and management. Designed to meet the needs of any size class or lectures on any subject, the YuJa Lecture Capture tools easily integrate with your existing classroom technology.
Hardware Appliance: The YuJa Lecture Capture Hardware Appliance is a hardware-based solution that easily equips a classroom for ongoing lecture capture. Once installed, the YuJa Hub can capture every lecture in the classroom, auditorium or lecture hall. The YuJa Hardware Appliance integrates with other input and output devices to deliver high-fidelity audio and video recording.
Software Capture: YuJa Software Capture can be installed on a laptop or podium computer and offers increased access to lecture capture, as well as versatility. Any computer with the software can be used for lecture or presentation captures in any space. Instructors can record videos both in and out of the classroom. Applications are available for both PC and Apple devices.
Browser-Based Capture: The YuJa In-Browser Capture Studio is a HTML5-based browser-based capture solution that provides instructors and students with the ability to create lectures on-the-go using any computer with an internet connection. YuJa’s In-Browser Capture Studio allows you to share files, access an integrated whiteboard, and invite others to join you in recording a lecture or presentation.
Simplify the Process with YuJa’s Lecture Capture Tools
No matter which method you choose, the lecture capture process is simple for instructors. Recording times can be pre-scheduled, making the lecture capture process hands-off, or a session can be started on-demand with the simple push of a button.
Once your recording has begun, viewers can tune in and watch the livestream of your lecture capture on their computers or mobile devices. When the recording is complete, the file is automatically uploaded to the YuJa Cloud, where it is auto-captioned for accessibility and searchability. Within minutes, it becomes a part of your Media Library, and is ready to watch, access and search.
Nine Factors to Consider When Choosing a Lecture Capture System
We’ve outlined nine factors to consider as you research lecture capture systems. These factors are not specific to a single vendor, giving technologists a fair look at what matters when selecting a lecture capture solution.
What is Lecture Capture?
The ideal lecture capture solution should help educational institutions enable a rich learning experience both inside and outside the classroom. Students should be able to learn as if they were in class, no matter where they choose to watch lectures.
Lecture capture is defined as the process of recording an instructional lecture for consumption after class. More specifically, it enables students to watch, skip, and re-watch the video, just as other modern streaming video applications allow.
If you consider all the elements of a modern lecture today, there’s often much more needed than a simple video recording. Lecture capture solutions should and can capture webcam video, digital whiteboards, and even computer screens used during a lecture. In addition to lecture capture, an ideal solution also provides for comprehensive video content management.
The ideal lecture capture solution should help educational institutions enable a rich learning experience both inside and outside the classroom. Students should be able to learn as if they were in class, no matter where they choose to watch lectures.
1. Choose a Lecture Capture Solution that Integrates with Existing Technology
Naturally, lecture capture isn’t the only technology that educational institutions need to provide an interactive learning experience. Because other software tools are typically used, it’s imperative that your lecture capture solution meets LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) standards.
By meeting these standards, your video capture solution will integrate with other learning systems. SSO (Single Sign-On) integration also makes it easy for students and teachers to use one username and password to sign into all learning systems.
2. Seek a Solution that Captures Video in Multiple Ways
As institutions grow, their lecture capture needs change. Look for a solution that offers multiple ways to capture video, including the option to select from a hardware appliance (premise-based solution), software-based (cloud), mobile, and browser-based solutions. With the entire suite of options available, technologists can choose the one that will best serve students based on their specific learning scenario.
3. Select a Multi-Camera Lecture Caption Solution
Find a solution that allows multiple cameras to capture an in-classroom event, like a medical procedure, along with documents. This is also helpful in large lecture halls where it’s difficult for students to see a demonstration or other visual material. These students may miss key aspects of the visual lecture from a single angle.
4. Ensure Encoding Enables Video Playback on Any Device
Without proper video encoding, the media may not play on a variety of devices. Because students often consume video on mobile devices—whether it’s a smartphone or a tablet—it’s critical that your lecture capture solution enables captured video to play on any device. Look for a solution that utilizes adaptive bitrate streaming and network-sensing technology, which aids in an uninterrupted, smooth user experience.
5. Opt for Easy-to-Use Video and Caption Editing
It’s important to find a lecture capture solution that allows for multi-stream, non-destructive editing within a web browser. Because no additional software has to be downloaded, this makes video editing a breeze. Ideally, sequenced image thumbnails support easy editing. Smart workflows make it easy to trim, cut and insert video. Text or image overlay is also widely used by instructors to emphasize key ideas. Finally, it should be easy to insert metadata, including inline caption editing or a table of contents.
6. Seek out Scheduled Recordings to Make Recording Easy
For live-streaming events as well as lectures, your solution should make it possible to schedule a recording ahead of time. This frees up the instructor or additional support staff to focus on the live event itself or on students, instead of on the recording process. Recordings should be able to be initiated from a web browser, allowing for remote monitoring of the recording process. In the event a lecture runs beyond the pre-recorded time, instructors can extend a recording with just a click of a button.
7. Choose a Lecture Capture Solution that Is Easy to Use for All Skill Levels
Even less computer-savvy users should be able to initiate and use lecture capture systems. With automated recording, instructors can focus on knowledge transfer versus pushing the right buttons to start a recording. Instructors should also be able to pause or extend a recording with a click of a button. Once a lecture recording is complete, the video should be easily publishable in minutes to an institution’s Learning Management System (LMS).
8. Find a Lecture Capture Solution that Scales as Your Organization Grows
As usage and adoption of video increases at your educational institution, the lecture capture solution you choose should grow with you. Be sure to understand the cost of your solution whether you have 100 users or 10,000 users. If the solution you choose becomes too costly as users are added, it might offer scalability, but at a high cost.
9. Focus on Media Recoverability
In the event there is an issue with recording, like a failure to end the video or a loss of power, you should have the option to recover and edit the video. This ensures problem-free recording and protects against the potential loss of content.
If you’d like to learn how YuJa can provide the technology needed for lecture capture and more, click here to schedule a demo.
How to Get More Out of Your Lecture Capture Platform
We are all aware of this change; in fact, lecture capture solutions are already quite a mainstay in many learning institutions. In a survey conducted by Peter Reed, over 92% of students utilize lecture capture to clarify aspects of lectures that they are struggling with and 87% utilize them to prepare for upcoming exams. Distance-based learning accompanied by visual tools has made it more convenient for students to learn and continues to spread.
Here are five ways to make the most out of your lecture capture platform.
1. Flip Your Classroom
As one of the biggest education trends, the flipped classroom environment utilizes video to expose students to new materials outside of the classroom. Instructors have the luxury to record various lectures in or away from the classroom to share with their students for viewing at any time. According to a LearnDash study, 90% of instructors have noticed a positive change in student engagement since flipping their classrooms. The ability to record lectures anywhere allows for more class time to be focused around discussions and increased student engagement.
2. Enhance Your Presentations
The utilization of presentation software to share information with fellow classmates or colleagues remains ever-present. By being able to access your presentations from any device with the reduced risk of presentation difficulties, online presentations are a convenient way to share presentations both in person and through video. Whether you prefer Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint, your presentation skills can be showcased publicly or with a limited group of registered users.
3. Make Use of Student Recordings/Video Assignments
In the event that an instructor assigns homework involving visual and/or auditory requirements (e.g., student speeches), student recordings are a helpful tool to assist students in honing their presentation skills. Professors can assess student performance and provide feedback while students can continue to develop their presentation skills anywhere with any device. If you are studying law, business, or are in the sciences, video assignments can deliver instructional workflows for students that fit the needs of any subject or classroom structure.
“Professors can assess student performance and provide feedback while students can continue to develop their presentation skills anywhere with any device.”
4. Apply Social Learning
A positive environment that facilitates learning and growth requires many strategies to thrive whether you are dealing with a classroom or corporate setting. With your lecture capture platform, recorded lectures and presentations can be viewed at any time for instructors to improve on their teaching style and even distribute best practices among fellow instructors. Students can even share notes or study guides to prepare for upcoming assignments and exams. By providing staff and students with the necessary tools to effectively share knowledge, you can ultimately maximize efficiency and productivity.
5. Live Stream Your Lectures
Thanks to the advancement of technology, students are continuing to leverage live video to supplement their learning outside of the classroom. By leveraging the lecture capture’s live-streaming functionality, institutions have the ability to live stream events campus-wide and via the internet. Instructors can even host drop-in and small-scale live office hours within their LMS with nothing to download or install.
Using YuJa Lecture Capture to Aid in Test Preparation
Incorporating Lecture Capture Into Study Preparation
With lecture capture and file uploads, students can easily locate materials and hone in on areas they feel need the most attention. Whether you record test preparation sessions or upload course notes and presentation materials, there are a variety of methods to help streamline test preparation:
- Create several short videos to help encourage students to spread their study time over several days. This also may help students retain information and drill down on various topics.
- Create a video library that links related videos and topics.
- Use in-video quizzing to assess whether students are absorbing the material.
- Create sample tests using the quiz feature on YuJa to allow students to practice multiple choice questions and receive immediate feedback. Results from these tests can be used to guide instructor’s in their test preparation.
Lecture Capture Supports Various Learning Types
In addition to helping students prepare for tests, video helps support varied learning modalities among students, along with increasing engagement, interactivity, and knowledge transfer. If instructors routinely use lecture capture, students can access past lectures, rewind and re-watch sections or classes as needed. Some benefits of using lecture capture include:
- Lecture Capture makes it easy for students to watch only portions of lectures they need to review, as well as pause, look up information or add to their notes during study sessions.
- Lecture captures also allows students to make up for missed class time, so a missed day does not mean missed knowledge.
- Because lectures can be replayed on mobile devices, taking lectures on-the-go allows students to maximize study time, or to use lecture capture during in-person study groups.
The bottom line is that tools like lecture capture can help students succeed both in an online or physical classroom. Student surveys have shown student satisfaction with lecture capture and online test preparation using tools like those available in YuJa’s Video Platform.
YuJa Lecture Capture Supports Every Learner
Lecture Capture Benefits All Students
Lecture capture isn’t just a tool for virtual learning. While it is helpful for students who can’t attend class, all learners can benefit from access to recorded classwork.
- Lectures are available on-demand when it’s convenient for students. Lecture capture makes content accessible to students no matter where or when they choose to learn.
- Students have the ability to download lectures for offline viewing. While many students don’t have issues with getting high-speed internet to stream content, there are large swaths of people in rural areas or who otherwise have limited access to quality internet connections. With YuJa’s Enterprise Video Platform, students can download captured lectures for offline viewing when they may or may not have WiFi or network connectivity.
- Lectures can be viewed on any device. Whether students want to view lectures from their Android or Apple phone, tablet, desktop or laptop computer, YuJa offers flexible viewing on any device and dynamic storage solutions.
- Reviewing content is easier than ever. Because videos are saved and archived in a central video repository, students can easily go back and review lectures to gain clarity on a topic or study for a test.
Tips for Instructors to Support Students With Lecture Capture
Instructors also can use lecture capture to help students learn more effectively.
- Concepts no longer have to be theoretical. Instructors can use the Personal Capture tool to make the world their classroom, recording videos when and where they make sense for students to learn.
- Increase learning potential for students with disabilities. While compliance is always a concern, expand accessibility for all students by taking advantage of tools like auto-captioning with Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) or external human captioning services.
- Boost engagement through the creation of higher value content. Implement in-video quizzing to quickly assess if students are grasping the material and to allow students to apply their learning right away. Encourage collaboration through chats, dynamic discussions and group projects.
YuJa Lecture Capture provides students an opportunity to engage with the classroom in a way that fits their needs and enables students who are unable to attend class the same opportunities as those who were there. Whether learning is taking place in a brick-and-mortar classroom, a hybrid class or an online-only class setting, students are able to benefit from the technology offered by YuJa, which is compatible with all major Learning Management Systems.
Simplify Lecture Capture Workflows with Automation
While some instructors happily embrace new technology even with the extra steps, others may be more reluctant to add to their responsibilities. Fortunately, there is an easy, accessible solution that brings lecture capture to every classroom 一 automation.
What Is Automated Lecture Capture?
Automated lecture capture is exactly what it sounds like; lecture capture technology starts and stops on a schedule. Lectures are live streamed, published to the course, or saved on a day-to-day basis without any effort from the instructor aside from the initial setup. You might think of automated lecture capture a bit like setting up a calendar event. Once the parameters have been set, no one is required to do anything. Management and maintenance of lecture capture is simplified, and there is no need for regular instructor involvement in the process.
How Does It Work?
YuJa’s software is able to automate lecture capture in three ways: using the Auto-Scheduling Sub Panel, APIs, and Room Scheduling integration.
- Auto-Schedule Sub-Panel: YuJa’s Device Scheduler automates the recording process using Software Capture applications within the Admin Panel. Instructors or IT teams can create a one-time or recurring schedule for Lecture Capture in a few simple steps.
- APIs: An Application Programming Interface is essentially an intermediary between applications that allows them to work together. YuJa provides a series of RESTful APIs (representational state transfer) to provide seamless scheduling and management of video capture content.
- Room Scheduling Integration: YuJa has partnerships with Ad Astra and Scientia, which allows institutions to pull room schedules and auto-schedule, making YuJa’s Lecture Capture even more valuable.
The Benefits of Auto-scheduling for Instructors
Auto-scheduling offers a number of benefits for instructors. With automation, instructors can:
- Control recordings using any web browser
- Capture and live stream
- Adjust schedules
- Publish seamlessly to their LMS
When lecture captures are automated, there is no need to take time at the beginning of the class session to start recordings, or to take attention away from students at the end of the class session to stop and save or publish a recording.
For Tech-Savvy Instructors: Instructors who enjoy new technology can still use on-demand lecture capture for impromptu or scheduled review sessions, study groups, or even mobile captures; however, auto-scheduling eliminates any risk of human error.
For Less Tech-Savvy Instructors: For instructors less comfortable with new technology, auto-scheduling provides a hands-off approach to lecture capture. Their lectures are captured without any effort or involvement from them.
All instructors benefit from knowing that their students have access to high-quality lecture captures for review and reference. This can limit the need for in-class review, and provide a useful resource that instructors can refer to on an ongoing basis.
The Benefits of Auto-scheduling for Institutions
While students and instructors can benefit from automation on a day-to-day basis, the benefits of auto-scheduling technology are even more significant for institutions.
- Students have expressed a strong interest in lecture capture technology, and many even have an expectation of the availability of lecture capture. For institutions, being able to provide reliable and widespread lecture capture is an important marketing opportunity to attract and retain a quality student body.
- Automated lecture capture provides consistency. There is no need to expend additional effort and expense to train instructors or to work to encourage instructor compliance.
- Automation requires little time for set-up, and can be completed before the semester begins. Smart scheduling technology even allows for vacation periods.
Using Lecture Capture for Self-Assessment
At Bronx Community College of The City University of New York, Albert Robinson, Associate Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology said that while the primary use of YuJa’s Enterprise Video Platform is to create, store and manage media content, an unexpected perk he’s heard instructors laud is the ability to self-evaluate.
“I have heard from several instructors that when they began recording lectures, they saw areas they would like to change in their teaching or lecturing style,” Robinson shared in this case study. “Several had revelations about how they could better serve students, maybe by shortening or breaking lessons into parts, and that has helped them change the way they’ve been doing it for years.”
Using Recorded Lectures to Assess Your Teaching
While student feedback is helpful, it’s also highly subjective. Student grades might shine a light on instructor effectiveness, but they’re far from painting the full picture. The ability to watch, re-watch and assess your own lectures enables you to become better at what you do, reach your students and use your class time more effectively.
Lecture capture accurately records what students see in the classroom and provides a clear record of the students’ experiences. Traditional course observations by a supervisor or department head only provide a look into a single class period and do not allow the instructor to review class video. In contrast, lecture captures can record every lecture on a consistent and ongoing basis.
How to Use Lecture Capture for Self-Assessment
Use lecture captures to assess all of the following about your own performance in the classroom:
- Check your speaking volume and speed. Is your speech clear, audible and well-paced?
- Were the objectives of your course made clear to students?
- Listen to your tone. Do you maintain a varied and interesting tone throughout your class?
- Think about note-taking. Could you take notes from your lecture?
- Look at your course structure. Do you sound well-organized and prepared?
- Consider your visuals. Are you maximizing your use of technology and other tools?
Pay special attention to:
- Adequacy of classroom procedures
- Enthusiasm for teaching and knowledge of subject matter
- Stimulation of cognitive and affective gains in students
- Relations with students
Ask yourself if you’re satisfied with your lecture style, determine strengths and weaknesses, and consider what you might change to improve the learning experience.
Lecture Capture is One Tool in Your Toolbelt
Lecture captures allow you to take a virtual seat in your own classroom and to put yourself in the role of a student. You have the ability to think about your lecture style, make sure your class can see and hear, and make yourself a better lecturer.
It’s important to note that lecture capture is just one way of self-assessment and improvement. Other methods, such as peer review, self-assessment rubrics, student feedback and evaluations, engagement analytics, and annual goal setting and tracking can all benefit instructors as they work to hone their craft and continue on a journey of self-improvement.
Join Our December 8 Webinar: Optimize Your Lecture Capture With YuJa and Pearl
Join Our Webinar to Learn More
- Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021
- 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET
- Register Now
Tune in to learn how you can streamline your lecture capture with Epiphan Pearl hardware and the YuJa Content Management System integration, including:
- How to make your lecture capture more accessible
- The advantages of hardware
- What’s possible with YuJa and Pearl
Moderators will include:
George Herbert: Epiphan’s Technical Support Manager and Training Guru
Isaac Kingsmith: YuJa’s Director of Business Development and Partnerships
Our Partnership with Epiphan Pearl Makes Lecture Capture Easy
Epiphan Pearl is our newest partnership. YuJa and Epiphan provides your institution a flexible, reliable and fully-integratable solution, with automatic file uploading, event schedule synchronization, built-in confidence monitoring and other workflow enhancements to make your lecture capture experience seamless from start to finish.
Epiphan’s Pearl-2, Pearl Mini, and Pearl Nano hardware encoders integrate directly with YuJa. Once paired, Pearl can access your YuJa calendar to automatically start and stop recordings or streams at scheduled times. Even better, Pearl will automatically push event recordings to YuJa, minimizing administration time and ensuring your content makes it to the right place.
No matter your application, there’s a solution to meet your needs.
YuJa’s Lecture Capture Solutions are Simple and Scalable
YuJa Lecture Capture Has Something for Everyone
Long-term scalability of an enterprise media solution is critical to universities and colleges looking to get the most for their investment. Your lecture capture solution is no exception. It should be flexible and adaptable enough to meet diverse and changing needs.
YuJa offers a variety of lecture capture options to address an array of institutional needs:
- The In-Browser Capture Studio allows instructors to create a variety of capture recordings with minimal setup or additional equipment directly from their web browser. The studio is compatible with most browsers, from Chrome to Firefox, Safari, Edge and Opera.
- The YuJa Software Capture works on any desktop, laptop or podium computer and enables full integration of various presentation media. Software Capture is available for both PCs and Apple products.
- The YuJa Hardware Hub is an appliance-based hardware solution for lecture capture. Room capture is combined with the cloud-based end-to-end video platform to facilitate capture of all lectures in the classroom.
YuJa’s Enterprise Video Platform is Easy to Scale
Being scalable enables institutions to start where they are, but quickly shift gears to increase or decrease the scope and scale of their lecture capture solution. There are a number of different ways to begin integrating lecture capture options, both on institution-wide or a departmental level.
- An institution could opt to integrate lecture capture technology in courses that already have a significant online component. Students and instructors in this situation are already familiar with online technology and can adapt easily to the use of new lecture tools.
- A department or institution could introduce lecture capture in larger, freshman level classes before integrating it into smaller classes. Introducing new technologies provides students with increased learning opportunities.
- Lecture capture technology can be deployed to address issues with overcrowding or scheduling challenges by providing the option to broadcast lectures in a secondary space.
- Hardware can be installed in a single classroom or a few classrooms to initialize the use of lecture capture at an institution.
When lecture capture solutions have been successfully deployed, they can easily be expanded to meet the needs of any institution. The YuJa Video Cloud expands to meet institutional storage needs, and the in-browser, hardware and software solutions facilitate widespread classroom access to lecture capture technology.