Recording lectures using Microsoft Lync Recent blog posts

Recording lectures using Microsoft Lync

Recording lectures using Microsoft Lync

The recording of lectures for students to revisit after a contact session is becoming more and more prevalent. This is especially relevant in South Africa where we have eleven official languages. Many of your students may not speak English as their first language and may struggle with understanding the language, never mind the concept you are trying to get across.

Furthermore, the concept of the flipped classroom is also becoming popular. The idea behind this is that the students view your lecture before the contact session. This will allow the students to ask relevant questions and the lecturer to spend one on one time with each student. It can also come in handy when you as the lecturer can’t make the contact session for whatever reason. There may be many other reasons for you wanting to record your lectures.


A very easy to use tool at our disposal at the NMMU is called Microsoft Lync. You should see it every time you log in. So let’s have a quick look at how this tool can help us with recordings.


There is the obvious functionality of instant messaging. Type in a colleague’s name and chat away on work related topics, of course …


What may not be so obvious is how it can be used as a pretty powerful recording tool. With Lync open you can select the Meet Now option. Note that this doesn’t mean that you have to have other people involved, although you could. You could “meet” with a fellow lecturer and present your recorded lecture together. The guest lecturer could be from anywhere as long as they are using Lync in their organisation! NMMU has also federated its Microsoft Lync infrastructure with AOL and MSN. This means that any lecturer (locally or abroad) using these networks can initiate a video/voice/chat session with our internal network.


Once the Meet Now space has loaded, you have a few options available to you. If you simply want to record yourself speaking, just click on Video and then start recording.


Your webcam display will load.


You could also prepare the presentation area first (before starting the recording). This area will be needed in case you want to share your desktop, have a PowerPoint presentation, need a whiteboard, a poll or want to share a program running on your PC. For this you will need to activate the Stage area. Note that the stage can be used in conjunction with your video (just click on Video as well). A nice built-in functionality is that when you have multiple presenters, the recorder will switch to the camera of the person speaking at any given time. Activate the Stage area:

Once activated, you can decide what to share. You can share multiple options and toggle between them you as you go along. I am going to select the Whiteboard for illustration purposes:


The Whiteboard toolbar can be found at the right of the window:


Once you are happy with the preparation of the Stage area, you can start recording your lecture. For this you have to go to the ellipses (...) bottom right and select Start Recording:


Same actions taken on the Whiteboard during the recording:


Once you have gone through you presentation, you need to stop your recording. Again you go to the ellipses (...) bottom right and select Stop Recording. You can also Pause your recording if you need to:


Once the recording has been stopped, you get the option of giving it a title and destination where to save it to. By default Lync will save it to your profile in a folder called Lync Recordings (C:\Users\shaun\Lync Recordings in my case). You could decide to upload your new video to NMMUTube. You could also save it directly to your module SharePoint site into a predefined asset library. This will mean that access control to your video has been taken care of and only your students will be able to see your recording:


To prepare your SharePoint site, click on Libraries and then Create:


Select Asset Library from the Create options and give your library a descriptive name:


You can now add new items to the newly created asset library from SharePoint. You would typically do that if you have some recordings saved on your local machine. Alternatively you can save new recording directly to your SharePoint site after stopping the recording in Lync:


If you want your recording available to the world, you can save it to the internet. There are a myriad of options here like YouTube, Facebook, etc.


Try to keep your recordings short and sweet. Rather have a few short recordings addressing one concept at a time than one hour long recording. First of all it is going to be huge and will have major bandwidth implications and secondly, probably bore your audience to death!


There are so many possibilities using Lync for recordings. All you need is a web cam and a microphone, both are pretty cheap devices. Most laptops have them integrated. You can of course record without video as well (record only what is shown in your Stage area).




Posted by Shaun Meyer on 13 March 2015 11:24:33

Current rating: 4.8 (5 ratings)

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