FAQ for TechSmith Relay Lecture Capture Resources on the MSU Bozeman campus


What lecture halls are equipped?

Currently, most of the larger lecture halls and classrooms, such as EPS 103, Gaines 101, and Linfield 125 are fully equipped with microphones to support lecture capture using TechSmith Relay. These rooms have all the necessary software and hardware installed, and are monitored regularly by technical staff for support and swift resolution of technical issues. The other registrar classrooms in Gaines Hall have the software and microphones, and there is a growing number of smart podium-equipped rooms across campus with the software installed.

Are these the only rooms I can capture lectures or presentations in?

No - You can capture in your office or in any location that has a network connection, and a computer with a microphone and the client software installed. The difference is that the rooms noted above are intended to be fully supported in terms of audio.

How soon are the presentations available online?

Processing time depends upon the length of the recording.  For instance, a 10-minute recording would take approximately 10-15 minutes before it is available, while a 60- minute recording can take longer, one hour or more.  More use across campus will mean longer processing times, so you should plan on creating the presentation at least a day in advance of when you want to make it available to students and colleagues.

How do I (and students) access these recordings?

When the recording is done processing, you will receive a link to the recording in your email or you can go login into your TechSmith Relay account at montana.techsmithrelay.com to access your recording. 

To add your recordings to a Brightspace course for students to view, create a Module or select a Module where you would like the recording to be accessable.  Then, click on Existing Activities located next to Upload/Create and below Add a Description, scroll down and select TechSmith Relay from the menu of options. This will bring up your TechSmith Relay library, select Add Media next to the recording that you want to add.  If your recording is located in a folder, then you will need to open that folder.  See pages 23-24 of the How-To Guide for TechSmith Relay for step-by-step screenshots of this process. 

What do the students need?

Students only need a computer with a Flash-compatible browser and a network connection to view the video captures.

When and how to use it?

TechSmith Relay can be used to capture lectures - either entire presentations, or just the segments that you think are most important. You can start and stop the recorder at any time during a presentation.  With that said, a best practice for making them the most effective in terms of student learning and making them more likely to watch the recordings is to record smaller chunks of presented content targeting 1-2 concepts at a time.  See Best Practices for Recorded Lectures.

In addition to recording face-to-face lectures, you can capture sessions on your networked computer in the comfort of your office or home - either full lectures, or shorter chunks of content that target 1-2 concepts or focus on difficult topics or concepts that some students may need additional help with as an alternative to creating recordings for all content covered. 

See Additional Uses for Teaching & Learning.



Won’t students stop coming to class if they know the lectures will be available?

Studies show that student attendance is largely unaffected by the availability of lectures online with students citing the opportunity to interact with other students and the instructor. Of course, it is incumbent on the instructor to make the classroom sessions as engaging as possible with active learning, whether lectures are available online or not!

Should I make my lectures available immediately after the session?

How these presentations are made available is up to the individual instructor and program, and how they choose to use lecture capture in their own curriculum.

Do I need to capture all my lectures for a semester?

No, begin at whatever level you are comfortable with - a single lecture focusing on one topic or concept, a 5 minute “how to” recorded in your office, some simple tests just for you or colleagues, or anywhere in between.  A good strategy is to start with recorded lectures for areas that students tend to struggle in because it will have the most impact there by allowing for repeated views, then build from these recorded lectures. 

Do I need to edit my captured lectures?

Because TechSmith Relay is a basic-level lecture capture tool, it has limited editing capabilities that can only be applied to the front-end and back-end of recordings.  Camtasia, also owned by TechSmith, is a more robust editing lecture capture software that allows for trimming in the middle, combining recordings, adding effects and annotations.  Camtasia licenses will be available soon.

Is this limited to capturing lectures?

No, you can capture anything you can do on a computer screen, for any length of time, with or without audio, including videos, walkthroughs, software or website demonstrations, and annotated images or drawings such as artwork, maps, scientific or mathematical formulas.

See Additional Uses for Teaching & Learning.