Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Technology Guides for Faculty and Instructors

The purpose of this guide is to provide resources for technologies used in teaching and learning--all in one location!

The resources in this section provide guidance regarding options for creating multimedia presentations.

If you do not find what you are looking for in this section, please contact coursehelp@viterbo.edu.

Getting Started

As indicated in the previous section, the key to effectively using multimedia in your teaching is to start small... and make sure your tools work! Before you start recording your voice or use a camera or webcam, be sure to make sure your tools work and they are set up correctly.

Make sure you can be heard.

Your computer may have a microphone on it, or you may have an external microphone, headset, or webcam that includes a microphone. Regardless, when you actually record yourself, be sure to do a test recording to make sure that the volume levels are high enough. If you cannot hear yourself or the volume is too low to hear well, check your recording volume settings to make sure that you have selected the correct recording device and that the volume is turned up.

 

Make sure you can be seen. (if you are using a camera)

The same rules of using a microphone apply to using a video camera. You may have a webcam on your computer, external webcam, or separate video camera. When you get started, be sure to run a test to make sure the camera is capturing what you intend it to capture. If you are capturing yourself (so your students can see you), make sure the lighting is appropriate and that any other aspects of your environment are not distracting to the viewers.

 

Know your resources.

Ensemble Video logoEnsemble: If you need help, help is available! Viterbo uses an online video management tool called Ensemble to upload and share videos. This tool, available via http://ensemble.viterbo.edu (access using your Viterbo ID and password) allows you to upload and share video files privately to your courses. It even integrates with Moodle, so sharing the videos stored in Ensemble only takes a few clicks. For information on how to use Ensemble, go to http://libguides.viterbo.edu/technologyguides/ensemble.

Technical Resources: There are also resources for trying these options for multimedia. We have the following resources available for instructors:

  • Media Production Suite, right next to the Learning Commons in the library, where you can use webcams, microphones, and specialized software (or just work uninterrupted).
  • Multimedia hardware for checkout at the library, including microphones with headsets, webcameras, video cameras, voice recorders, and iPads.

People: If you would like someone to walk you through the process, no problem. Please contact Cari Mathwig Ramseier for questions about instructional design and technology, Mark Seitz for questions or assistance with classroom video recording, and Vicke Denniston for questions about Moodle.

The Importance of Social Presence

When teaching online, it's easy to feel removed from your students, as it is easy for your students to feel removed from each other. In order to engage and retain students, social presence is key to foster instructor-to-student interaction as well as student-to-student interaction. Creating an instructor social presence helps students get to know you better during your online course, and forming learning communities allows students to get to know each other.

See this article on the three types of interaction that foster student engagement to learn more.

Creating an instructor social presence is an important aspect of online courses where students will not interact with you on a regular basis in a face-to-face setting. It is important to intentionally build a social presence and social aspects into your online course that will help engage students, reduce feelings of isolation, and foster social community building among students and the instructor.

Strategies to Increase Social Presence

There are many easy ways to increase social presence in your online course:


Note: Instructions are included via hyperlinked text.


  • Include your picture in Moodle.
  • Have introductory discussion boards to introduce yourself to your students, and for them to online communicationintroduce themselves to their peers.
  • Use "ice-breaker" strategies to get students engaged early on (in addition to or instead of the introductory discussion board). See http://www.onlineteachingtips.org/icebreakers.html for more information.
  • Have a general Q&A forum for ongoing questions or discussions about the course.
  • Weekly updates - you can use the announcements feature in Moodle to post and send messages to everyone in the class. Updates can include reminders or clarifications about upcoming assigments, offer words of support and encouragement to your students.
  • Some type of resource that injects your personality into the course—narrated presentations, audio clips, short videos, etc.—all let students hear and/or see you engage and extend their learning. See the section on Increasing Social Presence with Multimedia for tips and tools.

Strategies to Foster a Learning Community

Strategies to get students engaged in the course:

  • Have students do peer reviews of other students work. By having students post presentations or papers on the discussion board, other students can then view, critique, and ask questions of the student.
  • Group projects (wikis or assigned smaller group discussions in Moodle) or debates on assigned topics
  • Be a guiding presence on discussion forums. Instructors should be involved in discussion boards and should add input that keeps the discussions on track or stimulates further discussion. However, be careful not to overwhelm the discussion - you don't need to reply to every single student post.
  • Have an on-going discussion forum where students can post recent news topics that relate to the course material - a great way for students to interact and relate course material to their lives.

Increasing Social Presence with Multimedia

Instructor video imageUsing multimedia (images, video and audio) are easy ways to inject your presence into a course. The following sections include strategies and tools for using audio, video, and recorded presentations in your online classes.  When you try out these strategies, keep the following in mind:

  1. Start small: It can be overwhelming to think of creating content items for your entire course.  Start with a few lectures or announcements, and see what happens.
  2. Don't be perfect: Presentations that are perfectly polished can be really boring.  Just be yourself, and don't worry about laughing, saying um, or stumbling over a word or two.
  3. Get feedback: Find out what your students think of the tools, not just by asking, but by checking the course logs.  You'll see which items are most popular very quickly.
  4. Get help: You can reach out to Cari Mathwig Ramseier, Vicke Denniston, or Jen Sadowski to get started or get unstuck.  Be sure to also look at our Moodle help site or stop in the library to check out equipment.

The following sections identify easy, intermediate, and advanced ways to increase your social presence.

Viterbo University does not recommend uploading a "voiceover PowerPoint" directly to Moodle. There is no way for students to view the presentation without downloading it, which takes time and a version of PowerPoint that corresponds to the way it was recorded.  Students can also modify/change raw, narrated PowerPoint files.

Please consider and use the following options for recording and sharing a PowerPoint Presentation with students:

If you have already recorded within PowerPoint:

Webcam and Screen Capture Options

Instead of just posting the course items for the week in the News forum, you can share a quick video to give your students a flavor of the week ahead. These don't have to be polished, and can give your students a sense for your teaching style and personality. You can also choose to share short video lectures, especially if there are visuals you'd like to use to explain concepts.

A few options:

  1. Use Ensemble Anthem

Ensemble Anthem allows instructors to record videos, screencasts, and audio at their computer. Ensemble is also convenient to store and share videos, since it is integrated with Moodle and does not take up file space. Click here for instructions on how to upload videos to Ensemble and add them to Moodle.

Ensemble is accessible via http://ensemble.viterbo.edu. Bookmark this site so you can easily log on when you have a video to upload.

To record, go to http://ensemble.viterbo.edu and log in using your Viterbo Username and Password. If you have difficulty logging in, contact helpdesk@viterbo.edu.

In Ensemble, you should see a “record button.” If you do not see a record button, please email coursehelp@viterbo.edu.

  1. streamUse Microsoft Stream

Microsoft Stream is new to the recording arena as of May 2020, but is part of Viterbo's Office 365 suite, thus very easy to use and share videos with others at Viterbo. Click here for more information on recording via Microsoft Stream.

To record, go to https://web.microsoftstream.com/, and click the "Create" menu item.

  1. Microsoft Teams

TeamsViterbo users who already use MS Teams for web conferencing might want to consider Microsoft Teams for recording presentations as well. In addition to web conferencing, Microsoft Teams can also be used to record webcam, capture your screen (such as a document or presentation), or both. Recorded videos are saved in and can be shared via Microsoft Stream. Click here for more information on Microsoft Teams.

  1. Zoom

ZoomViterbo users also already use Zoom for web conferencing, but it also works well for recording presentations. User the Share Screen option and then record; the same as if in a web conference with others. Zoom recordings are saved to Documents --> Zoom. Share your video by uploading to Ensemble (instructors) or Microsoft Stream (instructors or students).

  1. Screencast-o-Matic

Screencast-o-Matic is free and quite flexible. It can record your face (webcam), your screen (screencast), or both together (picture-in-picture). The only catch is that it may not work as well on Macs, though the currents specifications indicate it should work on OSX 10.7 or later. Recording is as simple as going to https://screencast-o-matic.com/home and clicking "Start Recording" on the home page.

When recording, you can select what you want to record (screen, webcam, or both). There is a 15 minute maximum for recording using the free version. When finished, select how you want to publish the video. You can publish to YouTube or download an MP4 of the video that you can use to upload to Ensemble or Microsoft Stream.

For more information on how to use Screencast-o-Matic, see the following tutorial:

  1. Techsmith Captureundefined

Capture is a free tool from Techsmith, the folks who make SnagIt and Camtasia.  It lets you record five minutes of on-screen video, and takes screenshots too. You can either save files or upload them to Techsmith's site Screencast.com.