Lecture Capture at MSU - FAQ
FAQ for Camtasia Relay Lecture Capture Resources on the MSU Bozeman campus
Last updated August 18, 2014
What is it
Lecture capture allows you to save a video of a lecture or presentation that your students and others can view later on their own time, place, and using their own playback device (PC, Mac, iPod, etc.). At MSU you can easily capture what is on your computer screen (such as PowerPoint), plus audio from a microphone or other audio source.
Why use Lecture Capture?
Making a lecture or presentation available after the live event provides many benefits - for review, reinforcement, or in case they missed the original presentation. For example, for many students, it means they can pay closer attention in class, be more engaged, and not worry about taking detailed notes.
Similarly, you can use these tools to create short supplemental videos for content review or remediation, among other uses.
About the Tools
What software are we using at MSU:
At MSU we are providing lecture capture capability using a program called Camtasia Relay. This program allows us to have only a small program on the computers, and a central server that processes and makes the captured sessions available to students.
Do I need an account to use this software?
Yes, in order to access the server and download the free client software you will need to contact ITC Helpdesk at 994-1777 or firstname.lastname@example.org to establish a Camtasia Relay account.
What do I need to get started?
From the users perspective, Camtasia Relay basically consists of free recording client software that you load onto your computer. The recording client captures anything that is on your computer screen, plus any audio, and saves it into a video file. If you wish to use audio, you will need a microphone or other audio input device.
NOTE: A growing number of lecture halls and classrooms have the client software (and in some cases wireless microphones) installed if they have a smart podium in the room.
Do I need to own the Camtasia Studio software to use Camtasia Relay?
No. Camtasia Relay is a separate application. The recording client is free to all users. But note that if you own the full Camtasia Studio software, you can edit some of the files that are produced by the Camtasia Relay server.
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 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. If you plan to use a room that does not currently have the software installed, contact Brad Haderlie (information below) to schedule installation.
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 50 minute lectures takes approximately one hour. More use across campus will mean longer processing times, so you should plan 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 the presentations?
When processing is complete you will be mailed a URL (web page address) that you can click on to view the presentation. You can supply this same URL to students, including by pasting it into you Desire2Learn course.
What do the students need?
Students only need a computer with a Flash-compatible browser and a network connection to view the video captures. (If they want to view it on a mobile device they will have to download the video files and load them onto their mobile device in a compatible format.)
When and How to use it
Camtasia 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.
In addition, you can capture sessions on your networked computer in the comfort of your office or home - either full lectures, or shorter modules that deal with review or difficult topics that some students may need additional help with, for example.
Special considerations, thoughts, concerns
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. Of course, it is incumbent on the instructor to make the classroom sessions as engaging an informative as possible, 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, a 5 minute “how to” recorded in your office, some simple tests just for you or colleagues, or anywhere in between.
Do I need to edit my captured lectures?
Not necessarily. Many instructors choose to simply hit the submit button and let the server process and upload the lecture "as is". Others who have more time (and editing software) may choose to edit their lectures to shorten them or break them up into short chapters. Either is appropriate and at the discretion of the instructor.
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.
Getting started - I want to try it. What next?
Contact the Information Technology Center (ITC) to set up an account:
Camtasia Relay Help: There are plenty of help files at
You can start with this:
then look at:
Additional Resources about Lecture Capture
- Educause, Feb 2008: 7 Things You Should Know....
- 29 Resources: http://www.educause.edu/node/645/tid/34358
- Campus Technology June 2009 Article: http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2009/06/10/Lecture-Capture-Is-Getting-Campuses-Talking.aspx
- Feb 2009 Northwestern Univ Survey and discussion: