Creating Custom (Talking-Head) Videos with MediaSite

A recent email from Caroline El-Khoury, PPS director, noted, Classes are held unless the University closes. During inclement weather some faculty members may choose to cancel their own class and send a lecture capture link to the students rather than rescheduling.In this update, we want to give you an option that will allow your class to “meet” even if all of you can’t be on campus. In particular, these following tips will help you create your own custom talking-head videos, which you can then provide to students on Carmen.

(For completeness’s sake, you can also perform a custom capture using one of the college’s capture-equipped rooms, and requesting a link from VIS.)

At the very least, you should have the following tools available (recommendations not meant as product placement):

  • A webcam – We have used the Logitech C920 and we like it; you may also have one already built into your monitor or your smartphone/tablet
  • A microphone – We have used the Blu SnowBall for various custom caption solutions; if you have a headset with microphone, such as the Apple EarPod (free if you are an iPhone user), it may also be a good option. 

Many laptops come with a microphone built-in, but we have found that these usually do not yield clear recordings.

Using MediaSite

MediaSite is the university’s solution for video capture and consumption. What’s nice about MediaSite is that it can give us in-depth analytics on areas such as who’s watched a video, how much of the video an average viewer watches, and popular segment(s) of the video. With MediaSite, you have the option to create content with a combination of video, audio, slides, and desktop recording. MediaSite is the system that is being actively investigated for use in the Clinical Skills Lab.

(Before you start, here are 10 tips to record yourself with a webcam, written by Laura Schmitz for the UniCast blog.)

Custom talking-head videos can be created on your own PC/Mac device using the MediaSite Desktop Recorder application. Here are some tips to get your started:

If you are using a smartphone or a tablet, such as the iPad:

Finally, you can share your media by Adding a Presentation to Carmen, or by Linking a MediaSite Presentation elsewhere. 

In the next installment of this series, we will show you how Top Hat can be used as more than an in-class audience response tool!  As always, please feel free to reach out to for ideas and/or assistance.

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