When CAEN’s Lecture Capture Service is not an option, or when faculty want to make a video for students outside of the classroom, screen recording software can be a good tool for publishing video content, especially when it may be the only important visual element of a presentation. Recordings can be made anywhere with access to a computer with the recording software installed, including the instructor’s home or office. Camtasia by TechSmith is a popular screen recording application that offers the ability to perform extensive editing and post-processing of recordings where desired.
How to Obtain a Camtasia License
CAEN provides educational licenses for Camtasia to interested College of Engineering faculty. Licenses are only available to faculty members whose administrative home is within the College of Engineering. These are individual computer licenses, so each may only be used once on an per-computer basis, but they will never expire once installed.
To request a license, submit the Camtasia License Request Form. This request form can only be accessed using your U-M Google account, and you will need to provide the name of your department’s administrative contact.
If you are not eligible for the College of Engineering license program, you must contact TechSmith directly to request educational pricing.
Improving Screen Recordings
The following tips may help you increase the production value of your Camtasia screen recordings:
- Use a quality microphone: A head-worn (headset) or USB microphone will generally be better than the built-in microphone of a computer. Popular choices include the Blue Snowball and Snowflake external microphones.
- Use the zoom/spotlight feature: Many screen recorder applications, like Camtasia, provide the ability to zoom in-and-out of portions of the screen to highlight what is important to the presentation. Taking advantage of this feature when editing a video will focus attention to the specific area you want the viewer to see.
- Optimize your export settings: Changing the framerate, keyframe settings, and/or target bitrate can help fix “blocky” artifacts you may see in a recording. Look for these to especially appear in portions of a video that contains a lot of motion.
- Clean up your desktop: Before recording, check if you left unnecessary, or even private, documents or windows open. Remember that, unless you specify a specific region, anything visible on your screen will be recorded.
Although they both offer the same core screen recording and editing functionality, the Windows and Mac versions of Camtasia are not identical, so make sure to use the TechSmith Help Options for the version you are using. If you have further questions about using Camtasia at the College of Engineering, contact CAEN.