Video Platform Support at the FMC

During COVID-19, any faculty member at UCF has the option of either using Panopto or Zoom for their classes. Both are capable of live lectures and recordings. The FMC can provide any training or support for these online video platforms. Please see below for more guides, resources, and best practices on these different platforms.

Technical Assistance

For assistance using Panopto or Zoom, please contact the UCFIT Help Desk. You will be directed to the department that can assist you depending on whether you are in the classroom or at home.

BlendFlex Faculty Training

The Center for Distributed Learning in partnership with the Office of Instructional Resources created a public-facing, online, self-paced course that takes less than an hour to complete. This course will give you an overview of how the BlendFlex Model (a flexible attendance strategy) can be used at UCF, addresses technologies in the classroom, and identifies considerations in teaching practices. It also contains a helpful guide of tools, technologies, and strategies for successfully applying this model in your course. This course serves as a resource but does not provide any faculty development credentialing for teaching an online course.

Guides & Resources for Panopto & Zoom

Not sure of what video platform to use for your class? Review the comparison of features between the Panopto and Zoom video platforms.

Video Best Practices

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when you are recording from home versus in the classroom.

Lecturing from Home

Place Your Camera at Eye Level or Slightly above Eye Level

Placing your camera at this level, will make it feel more natural for you to look into the camera. This will give the students the feel that you are looking at them, making it more engaging. It is also more flattering for your camera to be at this position, so as not to be looking at you from under your chin.

Pay Attention to Your Background

Zoom does have the option to use a virtual background. However, if you cannot do this or are using Panopto, you want to make sure that your background is clutter free. Remove any items that could be distracting or that you don’t want anyone seeing. The more simple it is, the better it is to keep the focus on you.

Lighting is Key

Natural light is always best if possible. You want to make sure that the light is in front of you, as not to create any harsh shadows on your face. Never sit in front of a window because the light will be too bright and will darken you and your room. If there is no natural lighting, making sure to have lighting that illuminates your face and that there is a background light of some kind to give your room some lighting.

Check out this video from the CDL Video Team with helpful tips for lighting, camera placement, and more.

Check Computer Desktop

Since you will be recording your desktop, it’s best to make sure that you don’t have any information on your desktop that is sensitive or private. You can create a folder on your desktop to keep everything.

Lecturing from the Classroom

Repeat Questions

Because some of your students will not be physically in class, it’s important to always repeat questions or any pertinent dialogue spoken in class. It can be frustrating not to be able to hear information spoken in class.

Be Aware of Your Microphone

While some classrooms may have a mic to clip onto your shirt, others will have a mic that sits on the desk. If you are recording with one of these mics, be aware that you do not want to stray too far from the desk so that your voice can be heard loud and clear from students online.

Be Aware of Camera Field

You want to be familiar with how wide of a view the camera shows. This is mostly important for anyone that walks around while teaching. It’s important to do your best to stay on camera for better engagement with students.

Don’t Use Whiteboards

With live video lectures and recordings in a classroom, it’s best to try and use the computer or doc cam. Anything on a whiteboard is not easily captured from a camera, therefore online students will not be able to see what is written.