pre-Recording Lectures


  • Provides a review resource for difficult material and exam prep

  • Assists ESL students and students requiring a learning accommodation

  • Accommodates students who cannot attend class at a set time due to illness or other obligation

Tools for pre-recording lectures

Yuja (record video and audio, hosting)

Yuja is an all-in-one multimedia management platform with recording, editing, and storage capabilities. Yuja also features:

  • Record your webcam and screen simultaneously

  • Recorded or uploaded videos are automatically auto-captioned (multiple languages available)

  • A robust video player where students can write time-coded notes while watching the lecture

  • The ability to add in-video interactions or quiz questions

  • Yuja integrates directly with Canvas and can be easily added to Canvas pages, Discussions, Announcements, or Assignments

Yuja is available to everyone at UCSC. For more information about Yuja, including instructions and upcoming workshop dates, visit the Yuja page.

Zoom (record video and audio)

If you are already using Zoom to meet with students, it can be very simple to use Zoom to create recorded lectures. The same process you use to record a class session can be used even if you are the only person in the meeting. Simply share and present content from within the Zoom room, and record yourself as you go through your material. See here for more instructions on recording with Zoom.

After recording, upload your videos into YuJa. Once uploaded, you can publish your videos to your students, or directly embed your videos in other areas of Canvas (Pages, Assignments, Discussions, etc.).

Open Broadcaster Software (record video and audio)

OBS is a free and open-source cross-platform streaming and recording program that you can use to record your screen and audio at the same time. OBS is available to PC, Linux, and Mac systems. OBS has more features and is more technical, which can make it more of a learning curve to use than Yuja or Zoom. Approach it adventurously and with the support documentation.

Visit this instructor-written document for more help with setting up and using OBS: Using Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) to enhance your video lectures.

Audio Record with Canvas (record audio)

If you simply want an audio recording, Canvas has a built in tool using the rich content editor to both record audio and to upload an audio file. Visit this Canvas guide for instructions.

Recording Presentation Slides (record audio)

A voice-over narration is a synchronized recording of yourself talking about each presentation slide. This option is best for longer recordings, or for ones that you would like to be able to refine in the future. Unlike Zoom, recordings with presentation software (PowerPoint and Keynote) can be changed in small ways, like editing a typo in a slide, without losing access to the audio that you previously made. This is also helpful if you decide to delete selected content, or add slides with new audio, at some point in the future.

PowerPoint: If the content of your lecture is exclusively in PowerPoint, and you would like to be able to add, delete, or edit slides after your initial recording—or perhaps change the voice-over for one slide—you may want to consider the Recording tab in PowerPoint. This option requires the most recent version of PowerPoint (Office 365), unless you already have the now-retired Office Mix installed on your computer.

Keynote: Like PowerPoint, Keynote (Mac) has a built in audio record tool to narrate slides or simply record audio. For more information: KeyNote - how to add self-playing narration.

Quicktime Player on the Mac may also be used to audio record over a PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Keynote presentation. This step-by-step guide will help you.

Note on Google Slides: To record over Google Slides, you need a screen recording app. There is no built in tool like with PowerPoint and Keynote.

YouTube (hosting)

YuJa is the recommended platform for hosting instructional videos because of the security settings however YouTube is an alternative to host and share videos. Record the video, then upload to YouTube through your UCSC YouTube studio channel. Use this guide for step-by-step instructions to share a private video from YouTube.

Tips for Creating Quality Audio and Video

  1. Find the right space. Look for a quiet room enclosed by all four walls. This will give you the best audio and least distractions. Limit background noise — no people chattering, no coffee maker puffing, no sirens wailing. Turn off all fans, air conditioning, and other electric appliances. You do not want these sounds to end up in your video or audio recording.

  2. Soundproof your space. Sound bounces off walls, creating echoes. Filling the room with soft objects, such as blankets and pillows can help eliminate echoes. Additionally, hanging up blankets and having carpets on the floor will also help absorb sound waves, creating a better recording environment.

  3. Have good lighting for video. Using natural light from a window and/or regular room lights only will not provide the best results. If at all possible, it is be better to block off all natural light with thick curtains since it can be very hard to control. Outside lighting is bound to change throughout the day and can give inconsistent lighting and shadows. Artificial light fixtures and standing lights will give much more control over the lighting situation.

  4. Test. Before beginning your audio and/or video recording take the time to do some test runs to make sure the sound and/or lighting are good.