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Preparing a PPT Screencast

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Some instructors prefer to compose a PowerPoint slide show and then record themselves speaking about their course, while advancing the slides, effectively creating a short movie; that is, what the students SEES are the slides, and what the student HEARS are the instructor’s voice.  Many of the recommendations for this type of video are similar to those for filming your own video, but there are some differences.

As with filming your own video, keep in mind that video should be no longer than 2 minutes.  Frontload the most important and catchy information to the beginning.  In addition, in your voiceover narration, be sure to use keywords like "writing," "rhetoric," "research," "presentation," and "argument" as appropriate to help students understand that the primary focus of your course will be writing and rhetoric, not the theme itself.

Recommendations for Designing Your Screencast

  • Write a script out ahead of time, practice it, and read directly from it as you record your presentation.  While you don’t need to say it word for word, it’s important to do a few run-throughs for timing. We need all videos to be 2 minutes or less; it’s very easy to go longer, but you want to avoid large file sizes (that you  might have trouble sharing with us) and lengthy videos and students won’t watch.
  • Also, don't use your written course description as your script; the video shouldn’t just be a you reading your course description with slides attached.
  • Don’t mention the day or time your class meets next quarter in your video. In case you end up using the video for future quarters, you don’t want to change it because your schedule changed in a different quarter.
  • In terms of content, try to address the questions noted above as “Interview Questions.”
  • If possible, use a headset and microphone (even an iPhone headset works!) to minimize ambient noise in the video.
  • When selecting images to use in your slides, please keep copyright policies in mind.  See our tips for finding public domain b-roll images.

Recommended Software

For voice over narration of PowerPoint, Quicktime probably works the best. Alternately, Camtasia offers a free trial period – be sure to export it as a .wmv or .mov file.

How to Submit

Please create a Box account if you don’t already have one, upload your video, and share it with, and Please also send us an email separately to confirm that we received the Box link.


Here are examples of screencasts that instructors have made on their own (please note – not all of these follow our current recommendations about copyrighted images):

See Also

  1. Filming your own video. 
  2. Providing a representative image.