How do I create videos?

There are a number of tools and resources at Duke that will enable you to make high-quality, lasting content from anywhere. Before making the commitment to video production, be sure to consider if it is necessary to create videos at all: When should I make videos?

Before recording, get the right equipment

Audio is the most important part of a recording. No matter what type of video you will be making, you will want to make sure that you capture high quality audio. Mostly, this just means having a microphone that is not your laptop’s built-in microphone. An affordable option would be a USB lavalier microphone (“USB lav mic”) that could be clipped to your collar as you record.

The built-in camera on your computer is sufficient for most recordings. If you need better resolution, we recommend recording with a webcam capable of 1080p video, as well as a tripod, so that you can have footage of yourself giving the presentation, in addition to whatever screen capture you may be using.

If you need to annotate slides or write on a tablet, see our recommendations in the resources box below.

NOTE: These products are in high demand, and may not be available in time for your needs, making it difficult to recommend a specific microphone or webcam. As long as you meet these minimum criteria, you should be equipped to create videos for your course. It’s a good idea to look for equipment as soon as possible once you’ve decided to create videos.

General recording tips

Regardless of the equipment you use, the following guidelines will help ensure that you capture better audio and video:

  • Record in a well-lit, quiet location. Avoid light sources directly above or behind you.
  • Do not be afraid to change your recording location to add variety.
  • You do not have to be perfect. If you make a mistake, pause for three seconds and then resume your presentation, leaving yourself space in the recorded video to edit.

Choosing the appropriate software

There are several factors to keep in mind when deciding between tools: what quality of recording do you need and how much editing do your videos require? The topic of where to store your recordings is covered in more depth in How do I share videos with students?

Collaborate is appropriate for short videos that don’t need editing. Using Collaborate’s cloud recording and screen sharing features, you can create video lessons that show your slide presentation or other materials from your computer screen. Collaborate does not have the ability to edit out mistakes, which means short (i.e., five to eight minute) videos, which you can re-record, work best. Generally, the more you practice and adhere to a script the less you will have to edit later. 

Collaborate has limitations. The video quality may be of a lesser quality than recording with other tools, and keeping track of your Collaborate cloud recordings can be difficult if you are creating a lot of videos. Finally, Collaborate cloud storage should not be considered a permanent archive. If you need to keep your videos beyond this semester, you need to download them and upload them to another streaming service, such as NIU's Kaltura media platform.

Recent versions of PowerPoint have built-in audio voiceover and subtitling tools. If you are working with slides, it is a good option. Plus, it is not necessary for you to appear on screen, so it might be a more comfortable way for you to record content. 

If aiming for the ability to edit, Kaltura is a good choice. Faculty can download and install Kaltura Capture for easy screen recording and uploading to Kaltura. If you use Kaltura to record a video, then editing is easy, as Kaltura has a built-in editor. Because Kaltura records your slides and your camera at the same time, students will be able to view both simultaneously. Editing video can take as much time as you are willing to put into it, but you can minimize the effort required by planning carefully.

Kaltura is not appropriate for recording live online sessions. Use Collaborate to host and record online synchronous meetings.

Collaborate Kaltura
Recording quality Good Better
Editing your videos None Basic
Organizing your videos You need to keep track of your Collaborate recording links All your class videos within your Kaltura media library, easily searchable and can be organized into playlists or channels for sharing with classes or reused

MacOS and Windows have built-in video editors. The default media players on a PC QuickTime Player (on older PC systems) or Photos (Windows 10), plus iMovie on the Mac, have basic editing capabilities. You can download a video you create in Collaborate (or elsewhere) and edit it in these applications. You will need to upload the edited videos to Kaltura and share the links with students.

Camtasia or Adobe Premiere Pro are two options for advanced editing. For the most part, it is not required to take the extra step when producing videos. These are not supported by NIU, but educational discounts are available. NIU faculty, staff, and students have free access to LinkedIn Learning, which is a resource for technology training. 

Creative Commons License

Flexible Teaching guides were developed by Duke Learning Innovation and adapted for NIU by the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. They are shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


Didn’t find what you were looking for? Need more information? Contact the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) with your feedback and questions about this resource.

Workshops & Support

CITL staff are available to answer your questions about Flexible Teaching. Give us a call or text 815-753-0595 or email for assistance. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our staff.

View CITL upcoming events to view available upcoming workshops offered or to register.

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