Throughout the spring of 2018, I have been supporting a cohort of outstanding faculty at Muhlenberg who are preparing online courses to run throughout this coming summer.  We began this learning community by carefully considering the Community of Inquiry model, and particularly building Social Presence within online courses.  Video production for students, from short lectures to daily messages, is one important area of focus.  But video production by students – as a means for students to co-create and collaborate with their instructors and fellow learners – is also emerging as something in need of support and experimentation.  This post will address use of Kaltura’s CaptureSpace Recorder tool available to all students and faculty at Muhlenberg.  I’ve begun this exploration with CaptureSpace Recorder because it is available for Windows and Macs, fairly easy to install and learn, and offers a tight integration with our Canvas LMS.  But I hope to continue this exploration in future posts where I will consider PlayPosit, VideoAnt, WeVideo, and wrap up with VoiceThread.  If you have other suggestions, please let me know and I’ll try to work them in, also.

CaptureSpace Recorder

Essentially, anything on your desktop can be recorded.  Our Zoom application has some similar affordances, but the real strength of CaptureSpace Recorder is likely how easily it integrates into each individual My Media area of Canvas.  Many of us have used VoiceThread as a way to collect and deliver personal introductions.  I’d be curious to see if CaptureSpace Recorder might serve a similar purpose.  The presenter could select a single image to place either as a desktop wallpaper or opened within a simple image viewer (Preview for Macs, Photo Viewer for Windows, Web Browsers, Skitch).  The explication could happen over the image either as voiceover, or with the talking head situated in a corner by utilizing a webcam.

This personal introduction can serve to acclimate participants to the tool, which could then be used to present practically anything from slide decks to video commentary.

Here’s a quick walkthrough with screen shots.  Please take a minute to install the desktop client.  Practice opening something on your workspace and recording yourself.  Again, I’m really curious to learn how this might be incorporated into your courses.

Setting it up

First, click on the My Media area of a Canvas course.  Then the blue Add New button, and then select CaptureSpace

This will present the option of either downloading the Windows or Mac desktop client OR launching the CaptureSpace Recorder if the client is already installed.


Once the software is installed, recording your screen with your microphone and/or camera is pretty easy.

You’ll see a short countdown, and then you have the ability to pause and resume your recording.  There is also a whiteboard option for diagraming and sketching.  Whatever you have active on your desktop will be recorded.  This could be YouTube or Netflix, or a slide deck, or just about anything.
Warning:  Whatever you have active on your desktop will be recorded.  I have a trick for easily disabling alerts, email, etc., and I’ll share it if you like.

When you’re done, you click the Done button and the video will render.  Then, it’s an easy matter of uploading the video to your My Media space in Canvas.

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This is a personal store.  In other words, these videos aren’t shared with the Canvas class yet.  That happens in the next step.

After the video has been uploaded, and is listed in an instructor’s or student’s My Media area of Canvas, you can insert the video from the text editor tool that is common across many aspects of Canvas.

There is a small blue chevron in the text editor, right beside the YouTube button.  This expands the menu, and here you’ll find theEmbed Kaltura Media option.  Once selected, an instructor or student can pick from the videos stored within their My Media.​  This can be done in assignment submissions, in Discussion Board posts, or even on Canvas pages shared to the entire class where students are given edit permissions (I’ve used this a lot).
Reach out and let me know how this goes, if you like.  I’ll work up similar posts for the other video platforms mentioned above in the coming days.