Eric Kunnen\’s GRCC Blog

Lecture Capture in 3 Easy Steps = Open, Record, and Submit
June 24, 2009, 11:19 am
Filed under: Work Activities | Tags: , , ,

One of the best parts about working in instructional technology is the ability to work with faculty to identify a need and then working with the infrastructure team to target and find solutions to meet that need.  The ultimate goal at the end of the day is the students’ and their learning.

Enter in the need for easily and effectively capturing a lecture and delivering that lecture (audio and video) to students.  Presented with this idea, back in 2006 we met with the team at Techsmith Inc. in Okemos, MI.  Many of our faculty were already users of their Camtasia Studio product, but we realized that we needed an ultra-easy recorder that would allow nearly any faculty member to capture their lecture and their screen on-the-fly without needing to worry about codecs, frame rates, timelines, trimming, output formats, ftp, and all sorts of other technical jargon.  After this meeting with Techsmith, we entered into a pilot, beta, and case study on using a new product called Camtasia Relay.

Throughout this pilot it became clear that one of the most important factors in selecting a lecture capture tool for the campus was not only the cost of the software, but more crucial was the ease of use.  In other words, the big idea here was to search for and acquire a tool that had the potential to be transformative to our campus in that the tool would be effortless to operate for a wide array of faculty.

Enter Camtasia Relay.  From the screen shot below, you can see that the client recorder is exceptionally easy to use.  Faculty need only to open the Relay client, click the “big red” record button, and finally when finished, they click the submit button.  Everything else is done for them.  The recording is sent to the Relay server where it is encoded based on a predefined profile, and then published to a server.  No FTP for faculty to worry about.  No selections for output options, codecs, frame rates, etc. for faculty to be confused with.  Once the recording is published the faculty member receives an email with a link to the recording.  From there, the faculty member can insert the link into an email, add it to Blackboard, or place it on their personal website.  (Additionally, Relay can output to Blackboard automatically via a Blackboard Building Block, and also to iTunes U.)


So as the Fall semester approaches, we will be working to fully deploy Camtasia Relay to our faculty.  This tool will undoubtedly be an effective way to:

  • better reach our distance learning students,
  • provide an easy way for faculty to create video lectures,
  • enable students to review a classroom lecture again while studying,
  • expand the student’s learning experience.