Creating Videos

person on laptop in the snow


Recording and sharing video presentations or demonstrations can be an effective way to deliver content or assess student learning. UAA faculty, staff, and students have a variety of tools to choose from for recording, editing, captioning, and sharing videos.

Best Practices

  • Multiple short videos are better than one long one. Try to stay under 10 minutes.
  • Record in a quiet space and use a microphone or headset, if possible. Do a test recording first, to make sure you can record and upload.
  • Your presentation doesn’t have to be perfect. Your students can benefit from seeing you as a real person!
  • Screencast videos record your computer screen with voice narration. You can use slide presentations, demonstrate Blackboard and other platforms, and create step-by-step walkthroughs.
  • Instead of uploading video files directly to Blackboard as attachments, use Build Content > Kaltura Mashups (see the Tools tab for more) or Build Content > Web Link (for YouTube videos).
  • Plan to edit the automatic captions. For full accessibility, describe images and read/narrate text on the screen.


Tools for Creating Videos

UAA provides several tools that faculty, staff, and students can use to create and share videos. Kaltura (My Media) was adopted by UAA for this purpose. Kaltura is built into Blackboard Learn and provides the most streamlined and secure process. Use the Video Creation sheet on AI&e's Tools Comparison chart to decide which tool best fits your needs.

Because many faculty like ScreenPal’s simple interface and editing tools, AI&e provides instructor access to the Pro version. Both faculty and students can use the free version, which works well for videos up to 15 minutes. UAA's core productivity platforms include other tools that can help with creating and sharing videos: YouTube (Google) and PowerPoint (Office 365).

Please note that students can use Kaltura, YouTube, and the free version of ScreenPal just like faculty can.

  • Kaltura Media

    Kaltura Media (Blackboard My Media)

    Kaltura is built into Blackboard Learn and provides the most streamlined and secure process. It can be accessed from inside Blackboard or outside of Blackboard. Click the button below to learn more:


    How to Use Kaltura Media

  • ScreenPal (Screencast-O-Matic)

    ScreenPal (formerly Screencast-O-Matic)

    This is a free tool for recording and editing videos up to 15 minutes long that works great for students, staff, and faculty. You can record via your webcam, screencast, or a combination. For help, view ScreenPal tutorials.

    • Go to ScreenPal. There is no need to log in or create an account
    • To record a video, click Start recording for free. The first time, it will prompt you to download and run the program. After that, click the Launch Free Recorder button or open the program on your computer (usually the Downloads folder). Your browser may confirm that you want to open the screen recorder launcher
    • Settings: Try to keep the recording window size to the defaults of 480p or 720p. Change the settings to include your screen, webcam, or both. Talk to be sure the narration area shows green. If not, adjust the narration/microphone setting
    • When you’re ready, click Record. Begin presenting after the countdown. You can pause and resume, switch between webcam and screen focus, and annotate the screen via the pencil icon. Note the timer
    • When finished, click pause and done. It will prompt you to Save and Upload. Choose Save as Video file. Edit the options and click publish
    • Upload video to Kaltura or YouTube for captioning and sharing

    UAA faculty and staff can access the Pro version of ScreenPal (Faculty ScreenPal Access) to record longer videos without a watermark.

  • YouTube


    YouTube is an easy way to manage and share videos. UA faculty, staff, and students can log into YouTube using their UA username and password because it is part of our Google Suite of tools.  

    If you want to use YouTube as your primary space for video storage and sharing, consider creating a brand account so that you can share/manage access with your personal account, colleagues, et al. UAA IT can help you access videos in Kaltura if/when you no longer have an account, but not videos stored in YouTube.

    Uploading videos to YouTube

    • Log into YouTube using your UA username.
    • Click the “Create a video and more” button at the top (looks like a video camera with a plus).
    • Choose Upload video, then select your file or drag and drop it into the window.
    • Complete the title, details, and other items. Under visibility choose either Public or Unlisted and save.
    • Captions will be auto-generated within a few hours. Check back and then edit the captions.

    Sharing videos in Blackboard

    To share YouTube videos in Blackboard via link:

    • Copy the URL from YouTube. You can do this from the video details in YouTube Studio or, when viewing a video, click the share button under the video and copy the link.
    • Faculty can add it using any of the web link options in Blackboard (e.g., on the course menu or by using Build Content).
    • Faculty and students can add a link in the text editor box (more information below). To link to the YouTube video, type the video name, highlight that text, then click Insert/edit link on the toolbar (chain link icon). Paste the URL in that box, select Open link in: New Window, then click Save.

    To embed YouTube videos in Blackboard:

    • Copy the embed code from YouTube. When viewing a video, click the Share button under the video, click Embed, then copy the code.
    • Faculty and students can embed a YouTube video into Blackboard using the text editor. Make sure the text editor shows the expanded tool set; if not, click More (three dots icon). Click the Source code button on the toolbar, paste the embed code, and click Save.

    The text editor is available in many Blackboard items (Item, Assignment, Discussion, Test, etc.). In a Blackboard assignment, students will need to click Write Submission to get the text editor.

  • Recording Slide Presentations

    Recording Slide Presentations

    Best Practices

    • Avoid course/semester/section/date-specific info, so you can reuse easily.
    • Keep the slides simple with large text. Use high contrast (e.g., dark text on a white background). Minimize distracting visuals.
    • Consider writing a script to help you focus on educational content and eliminate redundancies.
    • Try to limit each slide to one main point. Lead with the main idea, so students can put the information into context.
    • Make images large and describe them as part of your narration. Remember that students may be viewing your videos on small phone screens.

    Microsoft Powerpoint

    PowerPoint can be used to create a screencast video with an optional webcam insert. The process varies depending on the version of PowerPoint. We recommend that Mac users not try this route without creating a short test video (PowerPoint 2016 does not support this feature for Macs).

    • Create your PowerPoint slides.
    • Add individual audio on the slides or Record Slide Show to add audio, slide transitions, and screen annotations. 
    • When you save the file, make sure you are saving as a PPTX. Older file formats may not preserve the audio.
    • File > Export > Create a video. Please follow Microsoft’s instructions for your version of PowerPoint: Turn your presentation into a video.
    • When your video is saved, upload the video file to YouTube or Kaltura for captioning and sharing in Blackboard.

    Google Slides

    Google Slides does not have a built-in recording feature. Both Google Slides and PowerPoint can be used with a screencast tool like Kaltura Personal Capture or Screencast-o-Matic to record presentations.

Faculty Development & Instructional Support 
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