Online Pedagogy: Video Production 101

User-Generated Video

1. Any video object that is created by an instructor or students which enhances the social presence of an asynchronous course, in particular:

  • course welcome and syllabus overview.
  • short, personalized feedback on assignments.
  • icebreaker introductions by students.
  • regular weekly overviews of course content.
  • instructor check-in on course progress as needed.
  • multimedia lecture materials.
  • discussion posts by students.

Check this out: Five Tips for Creating Effective Learning Videos

Video Production Tips

Physical Space

  • Background should be boring but not sanitized
  • A modest, uncluttered bookshelf conveys "academia"
  • Outdoors can add flair, but lack of control can cause problems (wind, loud trucks, etc.)


  • Do not record in the dark
  • Use real lights; do not rely on sunlight
  • Light should be even, with minimal shadows
  • Light should come from in front and above; light behind you will never illuminate your face!
  • Reduce computer screen brightness to avoid "glasses glare" reflections


  • Face should be positioned 2/3 – 3/4 from top of video frame
  • Adjust laptop screen angle to avoid “peeking” from below
  • Move your chair further back from the computer to create proper framing
  • Avoid "vertical video" if recording with a cellphone camera

Lighting, Location, and Framing Examples

Bad: Lighting

Example of dark video with glasses glare reflections

Recording in the dark (presumably late at night) results in "ghostly" appearance. Glasses reflect screen glare; turn down laptop brightness setting.

Bad: Location

Example of cluttered background

Cluttered, unattractive background could be distracting. Good light though!

Bad: Framing

Peeking and poor light

Recording in front of window makes face too dark and bright light is distracting. Laptop angle is also too low, resulting in "peeking" and unnecessary view of ceiling.

Very nice!

Good light, good framing

Good front light. Uncluttered background. Nicely framed pose.

Video Software Tools

1. Canvas Course Web Sites

Canvas video recorder

Tool icon located nearly everywhere a text editor appears.

  • Videos are recorded and stored directly within Canvas, no intermediary software required
  • Videos cannot be played outside of course
  • Closed captioning not available (include a typed transcript below video for all videos requiring accessibility compliance)

Canvas recorder

Panopto Recorder

Another choice for recording and embedding right on a Canvas page. Learn more about Panopto and Canvas.

  • Videos are stored in the Panopto recording library for the course
  • Videos can be shared outside the course
  • Speech recognition captions can be added to the video after processing

Panopto recording interface

2. Slide-Based & Screencasting Tools

For information about these tools, please vist the Technology Tools page.

Video Production Assistance

Don't have a good place at home or in your office to record videos?  Need advice on how to make them look better?  Or, would you just rather someone else handle all the technical details of recording your delivery?

OIT's Learning Services department has a professional-grade studio at your disposal, along with staff to help you every step of the way toward making your videos look great.  Contact Jerry Anderson or Kevin Gassaway to get started!

Next: Frequently Asked Questions