Lightboard Studio

Academic staff have access to a Lightboard for producing videos that can be used as an effective means of complementing flipped classrooms and hybrid learning models. The Lightboard is essentially a whiteboard-sized sheet of glass that we can write and draw on as we are being recorded. Using a Lightboard means that you can draw and annotate concepts as you explain them, whilst still being visible in the frame.

What is it?

The Lightboard is a video-recording tool that allows instructors to face their viewers while writing on a transparent surface concurrently. The image is digitally reversed so that, in the actual recording, students see the instructor facing them and writing that is oriented towards them. The first Lightboard was created at Northwestern University and since then has been adopted across various institutions.  

An example of a video made using the Lightboard is given below:

How do I book it?

To use the Lightboard, please ask the Library staff to book the studio.

Preparation before you arrive

  • Plan your message
    • Keep your message generic to ensure your video is reusable. Don’t include dates/times (of assessments for example) as these will make your video single use only.
    • Aim for your recordings to contain shorter snippets of information (<= 7 minutes if possible). If a concept takes longer to explain, find natural breaks and create multiple videos.
    • Construct your presentation with a beginning, middle and end to make sure your message flows. Explain the ‘why’ as well as the ‘what’ and, where possible, provide real examples to further support deeper learning.
    • Consider adding questions or prompting reflections within your video, giving the appearance of 1:1 dialogue, making the video more personal and possibly promoting deeper level thinking.
    • Keep your videos short so that your topic can fit easily on a single board. It is a good idea to practice on a whiteboard ahead of time.
    • Ensure any resources you did not create yourself are copyright compliant and can be rebroadcast (eg a YouTube clip cannot be recorded and then published in FLO). You can submit a 'Copyright for my teaching material’ or a 'Copyright for research' request in Service One if you have any questions about your material.
  • Dress for success
    • Consider what you wear to ensure it works well in the studio.
    • Solid colours of medium hues work best.
      • Don’t wear black or dark clothing as you will blend in with the background.
      • Light colours will make the writing hard to read.
    • Try not to have any written words/logos on your clothing as these will get reversed.
    • Avoid patterns, thin stripes and plain white (it’s too stark under the lights).
    • A centre-button shirt will make it easy to attach the mic.

Tips for producing a professional recording

  • Engage your audience
    • The camera is the connection to your audience – good camera interaction is important.
    • Use body language and expression to connect and engage with your audience.
    • Show enthusiasm for your subject through facial expressions, voice and hand gestures and include humour where possible (making sure it is culturally inclusive).
    • Motivate your audience by explaining what they will get out of watching your video.
  • Don't be a distraction
    • Speak clearly at a consistent volume and moderate speed.
    • Don't constantly move around – stay in position in front of the camera so that your audience can focus on you and read your body language. Although moving back and forth across the stage can add to the entertainment value of your recording, try to avoid overusing this stage effect.
  • Create visual engagement
    • Use explanations of concepts that have worked well with your students in the past, preferably with strong and relevant visuals as support.
    • You can use annotation and animation within your presentation to add to your explanations and the visual engagement.
    • An alternative to always being in shot is to have some slides where you leave the stage (get out of shot completely) so your slide is the focus. When ready you can step back into shot and continue your presentation. This allows the audience to focus on different things, and not on you constantly.
  • Don't rush
    • If you muddle your words, start the sentence, or even the whole section, again. You can edit the mistakes out later. When restarting, compose yourself and leave a few seconds of silence and no movement before starting to speak, to facilitate the editing process later.

Edit your recorded video

Depending on the number of mistakes and out-takes (scene/sequence) in your raw video recording, you will need to allow time for the editing and upload process. You do not need to be a perfectionist; if the video demonstrates passion and provides a clear explanation, students will understand and accept the odd word stumble, ‘umms’ and ‘errs’. 

My Media (Kaltura) has a simple built-in editor that allows easy trimming of the start and end of a video to remove the bits where you are getting into position, and when you finish your recording and have to walk to the wall mounted control panel in the studio to press the stop button. Your video will look much more professional if you edit out these parts.

If you need more extensive editing within a video, you may need to do so at your desktop PC using desktop video editing software such as Camtasia. The TechSmith tutorials will guide you through this process or your local eLearning support team can provide training with Camtasia.

If you are not confident with the video editing process or software, review the help guides and videos available before making changes to the original raw video. Make a copy of your video before you begin any changes. Make your edits to the copy of the original file, never overwrite the original.

Always play back the entire final edited version of your recording before publishing to your FLO site to check for errors or glitches etc, and if possible, ask another person to review the final edited video before making it available to students on FLO.

Add captions to your video
The Kaltura video platform in FLO allows you to request machine-generated captions. Once you make a request, the captions are added to your video within approximately 30 minutes. 

Upload your video to FLO
Ensure your students can view/play your video via FLO from a variety of devices, platforms and browsers by uploading to My Media (Kaltura), then embedding your video within a FLO activity in your FLO site. Avoid using YouTube or other video streaming services to house your video, as they are out of the University's control and may not play on all platforms and personal devices or may require special browser plug-ins or add-ons.

Take care where you put the videos within your FLO site. Make sure they are in a logical place. If online discussion or reflection is encouraged after viewing, ensure students can easily access the location in FLO where this activity will occur.

Whenever possible, upload a PDF 'handout/notes' version of the presentation (PowerPoint etc) to the FLO site which students can download/print and/or use to add handwritten notes while viewing the video.

» How-to glossary