Creating Videos

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.
  • Upload to Kaltura or YouTube and embed or link to video media in Blackboard, rather than uploading video files directly to Blackboard as attachments.
  • For accessibility purposes, all videos should be captioned. Kaltura and YouTube have automatic captioning tools that are useful, but you should plan to edit the automatic captions to ensure a high level of accuracy. For full accessibility, it’s also helpful to describe any images used during your presentation and read/narrate text on the screen.

Tools for Creating Videos

UAA provides several tools and productivity platforms that faculty, staff, and students can use to create and share videos, including Kaltura, ScreenPal (formerly Screencast-O-Matic), YouTube, Zoom, and Powerpoint (Office 365). Please note that students can use Kaltura, YouTube, and the free version of ScreenPal just like faculty can. Read more about each tool below, and use the Video Creation sheet on the UAA Tools Comparison chart to decide which tool best fits your needs.

  • Kaltura Media

    Kaltura Media (Blackboard My Media)

    Kaltura is built into Blackboard Learn and provides the most streamlined and secure process for screen and webcam recording, storing and sharing videos, as well as minimal editing tools. It can be accessed inside Blackboard via Kaltura My Media or outside of Blackboard via UAA Kaltura MediaSpace. Click the button below to learn more:


    Creating Videos with Kaltura

  • ScreenPal (Screencast-O-Matic)

    ScreenPal (formerly Screencast-O-Matic)

    ScreenPal is a tool for recording and editing videos using your webcam and/or a screencast. Faculty, staff, and students can all use the free version for videos up to 15 minutes. UAA faculty and staff can access the Pro version of ScreenPal (Faculty ScreenPal Access Instructions) to record longer videos without a watermark

    To record a video with ScreenPal (free version):

    1. Go to the ScreenPal website. There is no need to log in or create an account.
    2. To record a video, click Record for free. After that, click Launch Free Recorder. The first time, it will prompt you to download and run the program. Once it’s installed, your browser may ask you to confirm that you want to open ScreenPal, otherwise the application should open automatically.
    3. When the application opens, you’ll see a small toolbar with a red Record button, a dialog box with settings options, as well as a box with white and black dashed lines showing you which part of the screen will be recorded. The following settings are recommended:
        • You can choose to record your screen, your webcam, or both.
        • Max Time can remain set to none if you’re using the Pro version, or to 15 minutes if you’re using the free version and want to avoid a watermark on the recording.
        • Size can be set to record your full screen or maintain the default of 720p. If 720p is selected, you should see a box with dashed lines on your screen. Everything inside this box will be recorded.
        • Narration ensures that your recording will have sound. If the microphone is picking up sound, you should see green bars here. It also gives you the option to change which microphone is selected if you’re using a headset or other external microphone.
        • Computer Audio setting determines whether or not the sounds from your computer are recorded. It’s generally recommended to keep this turned off, unless you’re playing a video as a part of your presentation.
    4. When you’re ready, click the red REC button to start recording. Begin presenting after the countdown. While you’re recording, you can pause and resume, and annotate the screen via the pencil icon. If you selected the setting to record your screen and your webcam, you can switch between webcam and screen focus during the recording, or have them both show at the same time. Also, note the timer as you’re recording.
    5. When you’ve finished, click the pause button and then click Done. Then click on Save/Upload.
    6. If you’d like to edit or trim the video at this point, select Edit Video in the Options menu that appears. You can read more about editing in ScreenPal on their website. If you aren’t doing any further editing or trimming, then in the Options menu, select Save as Video File. Give the file a name, browse to the folder location you’d like to save it to, and select whether or not you want the cursor to be highlighted in the video. It’s recommended to leave the other settings as Type - MP4 and Quality - Normal. Then click Publish.
    7. When the video has finished processing, you can upload the video file to Kaltura or YouTube for captioning and sharing.

     For additional help, view ScreenPal tutorials.

  • 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 YouTube Brand Account, so that you can share/manage access with your personal account, colleagues, et al. If you decide to use YouTube to store videos, please remember that UAA IT cannot help you access, edit, or unpublish videos in YouTube if/when you no longer have an account. If that feature is important to you, please store your videos in Kaltura.

    Uploading videos to YouTube

    1. Log into YouTube using your UA username.
    2. Ensure you’re uploading to the appropriate channel by clicking on your profile picture in the top right corner, and selecting Switch Account, to navigate to a Brand Account if you’ve created one.
    3. Click the Create a video and more button at the top (looks like a video camera with a plus).
    4. Select Upload video, then select your file or drag and drop it into the window.
    5. Complete the title, details, and other items. Under visibility choose either Public or Unlisted and save.
    6. Captions will be auto-generated within a few hours. Check back and then edit the YouTube captions


    Sharing videos in Blackboard

    To share YouTube videos in Blackboard via link:

    1. 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.
    2. Faculty can add it using any of the web link options in Blackboard (e.g., on the course menu or by using Build Content).
    3. Faculty and students can add a link in the text editor box. 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. 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 to the text editor.


    To embed YouTube videos in Blackboard:

    1. Copy the embed code from YouTube. When viewing a video, click the Share button under the video, click Embed, then copy the code.
    2. 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 to the text editor.
  • Zoom

    Zoom Recording

    Another option is to record your presentation on Zoom. You can read more about recording a Zoom meeting on their website or visit the Zoom tab on our web conferencing page for more information. When using your account, Zoom recordings are automatically uploaded to Kaltura. Read more about how to manage and share videos from Kaltura.

    • When recording on Zoom the video image quality can be significantly lower than when recording through a program like ScreenPal or Kaltura, because it’s recording over the internet.
    • Videos are deleted from Zoom’s cloud platform after a period of time. Sharing videos from Zoom’s cloud storage is a solution if you don’t intend to use the recording past the current term.
    • If you are using Zoom to record class meetings, please remember that you cannot use any recordings with students outside that section/term, unless you have written permission from all of the students involved.
  • 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 audio recording or an optional webcam insert. The process varies depending on the version of PowerPoint that’s installed and whether you’re using a Mac or PC. If you’re using Microsoft 365 in the desktop app on a Mac or PC, you can use the PowerPoint Cameo feature to insert a recording of your webcam directly on a PowerPoint slide. On previous versions you can record PowerPoint video or audio narration on each slide individually or on your presentation as a whole.

    1. Create your PowerPoint slides.
    2. Add individual audio on the slides or Record Slide Show to add audio, slide transitions, and screen annotations. 
    3. When you save the file, make sure you are saving as a PPTX. Older file formats may not preserve the audio.
    4. File > Export > Create a video. Please follow Microsoft’s instructions for your version of PowerPoint: Turn your PowerPoint presentation into a video.
    5. 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 Capture or ScreenPal to record presentations.

Faculty Development & Instructional Support 
Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence, Academic Innovations & eLearning, and Center for Community Engagement and Learning 
Library 213 • 907-786-4496  Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.