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How to Record Online Classes

Online courses are now wildly popular. In response to the popularity, more and more people are creating courses. If you are a teacher or instructor, you can make the best use of the internet to teach your students. But, when it comes to creating online courses, there is a little learning curve. 

The goal of this post is to show you how to record online classes. Here you will learn the subtle intricacies of making videos that can help you grow your audience. 

Things You Will Need

You are going to need some equipment to record your classes. Before you get started, it is important to make sure that you have access to the necessary equipment. However, it is not necessary to buy expensive tools. What you need is some technical knowledge. In this post, we will focus on the tools that are absolutely necessary. Let’s begin with cameras. 

Webcams

Yes, you will need a good webcam to create some good videos for your course. If the specifications of your computer are standard, the built-in webcam should be good enough. But don’t worry if the built-in camera is not good enough. High-end webcams are really affordable these days.  

But what should you look for in a webcam? Here are some important things to consider: 

  • Resolution – To put it simply, the clarity of the image depends on the resolution. When choosing a webcam, make sure that the resolution is at least 720p.
  • Field of View – Generally speaking, the field of vision of a webcam is the area the webcam can observe. If the field of vision is broad, the camera can observe a wide area.
  • Microphone – No matter what type of webcam you choose, it will have a built-in microphone. You can record decent audio with a monophonic microphone, but a stereo microphone is a better choice.

You can even use a mobile device to shoot video footage. Some smartphones come with really good cameras, and many course builders are using smartphone cameras to record online classes.

Lighting setups

Poor lighting can ruin a video. Remember, it is almost impossible to fix bad lighting in post-production. However, for lighting, you do not have to buy fancy equipment. It is more about the technique. To know how to record online classes, you must have some knowledge of lighting setups. Lighting setups can be two-point setup, three-point setup, or the four-point setup. You have to choose a setup depending on the complexity and requirement of the project.

And what factors should you focus on when choosing a lighting setup. Well, here are some of them:

First, pay attention to the temperature. Studio lights are different from household lights. For interior shots, light bulbs with 5,500K are used. You can also use regular bulbs of around 65W.

Studio lights are usually larger than household lights. To control the intensity of the lights, these bulbs have attachments. If you are going to create online courses, a tabletop studio light is probably the best choice for you. They can be as powerful as free-standing lights.

External microphones 

To make your online course, you may also need to consider getting an external microphone. This is not an essential piece of equipment, but it can certainly make your life easier. In order to learn how to record online classes, choosing the right external microphones is of utmost importance. Microphones come in hundreds of different models, but they are basically of two types:

Dynamic microphones

Dynamic microphones are used by TV reporters and news anchors. These microphones can record sound coming from all directions. But they have a disadvantage: to record sound, you always have to hold them. They are suitable for pop-style interviews, but they may not be good for instructional videos.

Condenser microphones

Condenser microphones come in two different types: boom mics and lavalier mics. You can affix a lavalier microphone to a jacket lapel or shirt collar. These microphones are very useful when you want to remove background noise.

Lavalier microphones are used in studio environments and news broadcasts. They are small in size. It can easily be concealed under a collar.

How to Record Online Classes: 6 Easy Steps

Now we are going to discuss the exact procedure of recording online classes. Assuming that you are going to make video tutorials, we will discuss the procedure of shooting videos. The steps are as follow:

1. Prepare your lecture

In order to improve student engagement, it is important to plan the content of your lecture. You also have to prepare slides. To help students get the most out of your classes, you have to structure the content of your presentation in the right way. Make sure you do not repeat anything in your video tutorial. Make the presentation as interesting as possible.

2. Download software of app to capture your lecture

If you already do not have lecture capture software, download it. Use a mobile app in case you use your smartphone to capture your classes. There are many apps that are used for this purpose. You can do a little bit of research to find the best one that meets your requirements.

3. Optimize video quality

If you want to learn how to record online classes, you have to learn how to optimize video quality. To improve the quality of your audio and video, you can use some extra devices. To some extent, it depends on your recording environment. Record your class in a well-lit and quiet room. Position the webcam in such a way that it covers your head and shoulders.

If the environment is well-lit, you can possibly get the job done with the built-in camera and microphone on your smartphone or laptop. When recording your class, you should also be careful about the following things:

  • Backlighting – Make sure there is not much light behind you. If you are not careful about it, there may be a shadow in your video.
  • Background noise – Background noise may come from loud fans, machines or air conditioners. Be careful about background noise, because it can ruin your video.
  • Low lighting – If you make your video in low light, your video might look grainy or choppy. Make sure there is not sufficient light in the room.

4. Check the quality of your video

Once you have all the setup for recording your class, you can consider making a test video. You can practice your presentation in this video. Make sure the video quality, lighting and sound are satisfactory. This video will give you a clear idea of the final outcome.

5. Edit with your capture software

Once you have a clear idea of the quality of videos you are going to produce, start recording. Until you complete your presentation, you should not press stop. If you happen to make a mistake, stop talking for a few seconds and then start again. This silent pause will help you edit the section easily. Click upload once you have completed your recording.

6. Share it to your LMS

This is the last part of the process. Once you have recorded and edited your video, you have to share the lecture video with your LMS. No matter what lecture capture software you are using, probably it comes with video analytics. Your recordings are evaluated by the analytics. Once you have uploaded the video, see if it is playing smoothly.

Mistakes to Avoid 

When recording online classes, people make some mistakes too often. If you know about these common mistakes, you can try to avoid them. If you want to learn how to record online classes, you should know what mistakes you should try to avoid. Here are some of the most common mistakes, and how to avoid them:

Camera white balancing

To capture colors in their accurate forms, all video cameras rely on white balancing. This function basically interprets what true white is, and thus captures colors accurately. This is why it is very important to set the white balance. This is a very easy problem to avoid, but many people nevertheless make this mistake.

When adjusting the settings, make sure you are shooting in the same environment. If you adjust the settings indoors but shoot outdoors, you will not get the expected results.

Poor lighting

When recording online classes, you have to be careful about light temperatures—apart from lighting setups. For a videographer, light has to be measured in degrees Kelvin, not just in watts. The reason is simple: temperatures vary in different sources of light.

For example, the temperature of candlelight is very different from the temperature of the light of the sky on a bright day. While video cameras can detect the colors of different types of lights, our eyes can not.

 When shooting indoors, make sure there is no competing external light. The lighting of a scene can be greatly affected by a brighter external light source.

Audio problems

When you are shooting an online course video, make sure you are also recording good audio. You can not learn how to record online classes without being aware of audio problems.  This is an aspect overlooked by too many course builders. As we have already mentioned, the built-in microphone on your laptop may be a good one. But if it is not a good one, you must choose a good external microphone.

Be careful about volume problems. The recording level of the microphone should never be overlooked. Before you actually record your class, you can consider recording a short audio clip.

Framing and composition

We have so far discussed technical problems only. However, there is one common mistake too many course builders make: shot composition or poor framing. What is composition? In photography or filmmaking, it is basically how you frame a shot. The focal point of an image is affected by this framing.

Depending on the object of your emphasis, your shot can be composed in different ways. Before you even start rolling, you have to consider composing. It also depends on what type of online course you are going to build.

Conclusion

The success of an online course, to some extent, depends on how the classes are recorded. Even if you are providing great content, your poor technical knowledge can ruin everything. We have tried to explain how to record online classes, and we hope you have learned something new from this post. If you are a bit careful, you can produce amazing, professional-looking videos.

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