Video Capture and Production in University Instruction (a report by Professor James Carey)

James Carey James Carey

The following is the preface for Entomology professor James Carey's Video Capture and Production Handbook. Please download a copy of VideoHandbook_JRCarey, note the many video tutorials created by Professor Carey and his colleagues from various UC Davis departments, and follow the links!


This is a first attempt at producing a packet of information (handbook) that brings together links to example (mostly instructional) videos that I have produced, supervised production of, or captured over the past several years, and relevant information for their production including equipment, software and helpful websites. The sampling of videos here represent only a small subset of many possibilities on what can be done with the use of this technology in instruction. One only has to sample some of the MOOCs and other online content offered (see Section 7) to see many excellent models for the use of video in teaching.

The video instructional model that I promote has two features: (1) low- or near-zero cost of production; and (2) instructor empowerment through video fluency (i.e. learn the basics). Although it is certainly possible to go “Hollywood” with sufficient funds and technical assistance, there are two down sides of this strategy. First, most instructors do not have the time, motivation and/or wherewithal to raise these necessary funds. Second, the instructors that opted for this strategy would again have to raise funds a few years later in order to keep their high-tech video sets fresh and current.

High tech is not what this packet of information is about. Rather it is about purchasing a $50 webcam and $200 video recording/editing software such as Camtasia to get started recording and producing one’s own videos. High quality video content for instructional purposes (as distinct from Cannes Film Festival premiers) can be produced with basic video equipment, software and knowhow as you will see by viewing some of the videos in the first part of this handbook. After my initial $250 investment I produced virtually all of these at zero-cost.

James R. Carey UC Davis


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