Preparing and Sharing Lecture Video Content

When recording a lecture for online students, planning and delivery are the keys to success. Sharing online content with students can become a challenge while working on a screen with limited space. In order to convey concepts to students who cannot be in the room with you takes extra planning.

Keep in mind that lectures do not need to take the entire class time. Consider a mini-lecture of 5-10 minutes. Scenarios, working on problems, group work, case studies and similar authentic experiences help students get a better working understanding of concepts.

  1. Preparing your lecture recording content
    • Design with course objectives and outcomes in mind
    • Be as concise as possible
    • Organize logically and time-weighted according to the importance of the concepts you’re trying to convey
    • Illustrate with images, link to videos or show applicable software programs when possible
    • Provide good examples; authentic real-world examples are best


  1. Slide text and colors:
    • Use dark text (preferable black) on a white or very light background (no red or green)
    • Borders/design should not be distracting or compete with content
    • No more than 5-7 bullet points and keep sentences short
    • Use Arial, or Helvetica, Tahoma (sans serif, web safe and good for cross platform) and avoid changing font type/size in your document
    • Titles and headers 36-40 pt; no text smaller than 32 pt.**Adapted from IEEE Online Presentations Best Practices, NIU Teaching with PowerPoint


  1. Visuals:
    • Graphs and diagrams should be simple; too much information is difficult for the learner to process
    • Make use of white space
    • Any accompanying text should be large and legible
    • Provide after class via Canvas or other means if students need it for review


  1. When recording your screen – Do:
    • Use a pen tablet and stylus to make annotations; it will make it easier to communicate concepts to your distance students.
    • Show applicable software, equations, documents, etc. so students can view authentic, practical applications of the concepts being taught.
    • If using an ELMO, take care to ensure your text, symbols or diagrams are large enough and that you have a dark pen like a black Sharpie. Prepare PPT slides or other materials ahead of time to make it easier for students to read or view. These can be re-used another semester.
    • Share only a single document or browser window at a time. Documents should be full size in the application window and preferably zoomed in on the specific content (in Word or Excel, change this on the View menu).
  2. When recording your screen – Don’t: 
    • Don’t write on a whiteboard or point to a projector screen (if live capture); it will be difficult for online students to view the material.
    • Don’t write everything down that you say. Written text should be simple headers and should help students to organize concepts.
    • If possible, don’t use an ELMO as your primary mode of delivery if you are mostly sharing text. It is important to keep text limited and to the point; keep sentences short.
    • If text/images simply can’t be made bigger (for example a font used within a software demo you are showing) find another way to post materials for online students to view through Canvas or Cybox.