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Camtasia Tips

I am in the process this week of recording and editing a series of training videos for Aluka using a proprietary software called Camtasia. Camtasia is a recording device that allows you to create videos of your on-screen navigation for tutorials and training clips.

It is a very good tool and relatively user-friendly. However, after working through it for the better part of the last few weeks (we are developing and distributing 13 videos in all, with more sure to follow), there are a few suggestions I would like to make to those who are contemplating doing the same.

  • Script, script and script some more– write down every last word you plan to say and edit it
  • Rehearse– this sounds rather extensive for a simple training video, but you would be surprised how easy it is to stumble over “antiquarian” or “content available in the digital library” when reading aloud
  • Break the script into pieces– for a three minute video, I recommend recording six to seven different segments. They are much easier to edit and rerecord in small sections. Otherwise, you would have to do the whole thing over again.
  • Record the audio first–it is my experience that syncing the video to the audio is infinitely easier than the reverse
  • Volume levels– find adequate volume levels and document these for later use. You would be surprised as to the variation in volume that can occur from video to video
  • Same time of day– record everything at the same time of day or as much at one time as possible. Another hard lesson learned is that your voice is much lower in the morning than in the afternoon. I personally sound like the old Leonard Cohen in the morning and the young Leonard Cohen in the afternoon. This variation will be evident on your recordings.
  • Sit still- avoid any unnecessary cursor movements. Keep the cursor motionless as much as possible. It will save you a lot of heartache later on when you try to edit dead space out of the recording.
  • Captions- use the caption function on Camtasia. It is very easy and looks professional.
  • Title slide at the beginning and the end– this gives your video some readily recognizable bookends, framing your message.

That should do for the time being. So, save yourself some time and stress by learning from me!

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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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