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Topics Map > Software Guides > Screencast-O-Matic
This document contains tips for successfully creating screencast videos. Consider using Screencast-O-Matic (faculty/staff) or OBS to create screencasts.
- Always write a plan of action before recording. Make note of the screen actions, clicks, etc. that need to happen during the screencast. Script or outline the narration.
- Practice first! Record test takes before the real thing and check for audio/video issues.
- Choose a quiet space that’s free of distractions and noise.
- Be aware of what appears on the screen, as everything will be recorded.
- Clean up icons on the computer desktop.
- Close out of all unnecessary programs.
- Check if personal or private information viewable, and close windows as necessary.
- If using a webcam, record in a space that has a lot of light. Natural light, such as from a window, is ideal lighting. Make sure to face the window or light source so your face is well lit.
- Pace screen actions so that they’re not too fast, and not too slow.
Delivery & Presentation
- Introduce viewers to the topics that you'll cover.
- Keep it short. We recommend aiming for 5 minutes or less because attention plummets after watching videos for just a few minutes. If you have a long presentation, such as a lecture, consider breaking up the content into multiple videos.
- Speak clearly and concisely.
- Don’t fret over mistakes. It’s easy to get caught up trying to perfect screencasts. Try to treat it like a live presentation.
- Consider using a webcam so that your students/viewers can see you. This will add a personal touch to the video.
- Scroll smoothly and minimize mouse movements.
- Utilize the "Pause" button if you need a break. Click "Rec" again when you're ready to continue recording.
- If the material you're recording includes text or small details, consider zooming in within the program so that it's easier for students/viewers to read.
- If recording a web browser:
- Use a clean web browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc.).
- If multiple web browsers are installed on the computer, use one that you don’t normally use for the screencast. That way, there will be no bookmarks or excess toolbars cluttering the browser.
- Close out of all unnecessary web browser tabs.
- Use an external USB microphone, instead of built-in computer mics. Mics are available for checkout at the Help Desk.
- Consider using annotation tools, such as overlays, to add emphasis and directing the viewer's attention.
- Trim the beginning and end of the video. The video should start when you start speaking, and end promptly when you're done.