Class video recording

Common reasons for having a class recorded include

  1. Sharing the video with students – for review or when students have to miss class
  2. Improving your teaching
  3. Building a teaching portfolio

An instructor of record may arrange for a videographer from the OIT to record a daytime class at no charge. Use this as an opportunity for self-examination, a way to document student presentations, or an addition to your teaching portfolio.

The university can’t feasibly provide enough videographers to record a semester’s worth of class sessions for many different courses. The OIT has been exploring “lecture capture” technology that can do this unattended.

The Kaneb Center offers a “Collaborative Teaching Reflection” service. First an OIT videographer records one class session, then a Center staff member observes a different session and reviews course materials, including the syllabus. The final step is to meet for an hour with the Kaneb staff member to discuss what is working, as well as potential areas for improvement.

At Notre Dame

[updated June 2015]



Use PowerPoint to create, organize, deliver, and update presentations with images, links, videos, and more. When used well, it can be very effective, but you’ll want to mix it with other strategies. Use images to help pose a thorny question or explain visual relationships. Clear a slide after discussing it and blank the screen during long pauses. Limit your use of animation and sound effects.

Prezi is a popular browser-based alternative to PowerPoint. Use it to create a canvas of text, videos, and visuals. Then identify a path from one item to another. As you view the presentation, Prezi zooms in on each successive item. If something is placed at an angle, the canvas rotates.

Use SlideShare to share and deliver presentations on a web page or integrate them into Sakai. Here’s an example from a workshop on Presentation Zen.

At Notre Dame

Learn More

[updated June 2015]

Video conferencing

This allows groups of people at two or more locations to interact live via two-way video and audio transmission. Desktop videoconferencing can be done with a low-tech webcam for little or no cost. High-end conferencing facilities provide better quality sound and video. Some systems allow conferees to share computer screens as well as live video and audio. Here are a few ways you can use videoconferencing with a class:

  • Guest speaker – interview an expert alumna or invite a poet to talk to the class — ask multiple colleagues in different places to participate in a discussion.
  • Field trip – ask a docent in a museum or an archaeologist at a dig to show what they are doing and seeing.
  • Language practice – line up volunteers from another country for conversation.
  • Performance – show a student presentation, skit, or speech to an expert evaluator.

At Note Dame

  • OIT videoconferencing – Contact Jeff Miller (631-6850)
  • Skype Kit – includes a laptop, webcam, and ClearOne speaker-microphone unit.
    • Contact: 115 DeBartolo Classroom Building (631-8778)
    • Skype is also available on classroom podium computers.
  • Sakai Meetings tool (BigBlueButton) – communicate and share content remotely — requires Flash (HTML5 client under development).
  • Google Hangouts – available through the Chrome browser or as an app.

Learn more

[updated June 2015]

Classroom technology

The OIT’s Learning Spaces group manages the technology in classrooms controlled by the Registrar. In those rooms you will find a well-equipped presenter station with a computer (Windows), projector, speakers, Blu-Ray/DVD player, and document camera — managed by a touch-screen control panel. An instructor can also bring in a laptop or tablet and connect it to the projection system.

Software installed on the computer includes the Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud suites, as well as other titles (complete list).

crestron classroom controller screen

Use the in-room phone to call Classroom Support (631-8778) with any questions about the equipment. If they can’t help you over the phone, someone will go to the room – usually within five minutes. You can also call that number to arrange a tour of the technology in a classroom before the semester starts.

Portable devices are also available for classroom checkout use. Inquire at 115 DeBartolo about borrowing a laser pointer, wireless microphone, PowerPoint remote “clicker”, video adapter, and more.

At Notre Dame

Classroom support: 631-8778

[updated June 2015]

Document camera

wolfvision document cameraA document camera is a digital camera mounted on an arm and connected to a projector or other display. The camera can zoom in on a flat object (e.g., a magazine) or three-dimensional one, like the flower in the photo at left. The camera on some units can be pointed away from the stand. Many classrooms at Notre Dame are equipped with the unit shown in the image or one like it.

FYI: this device is also referred to as an image presenter, visual presenter, digital visualizer, digital overhead, docucam, or Elmo.

Creative ways to use a document camera in a classroom include: project a printed math problem on and work it out; have a student annotate a copy of a text; manipulate pieces of paper to create a room design;  project sheet music and have students sing along; or act out a scene with clay figures, finger puppets, or tiny dolls.

At Notre Dame

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[updated June 2015]

Polling and clickers

Student response systems enable an instructor to pose a question or problem and have students respond. The instructor’s computer analyzes the responses and displays a summary. Some of the systems use a clicker, a device that resembles a TV remote control, and most of them integrate with – but do not require – PowerPoint.

At Notre Dame, we encourage faculty to use the online service Poll Everywhere, which allows students to respond with a cell phone or laptop instead of a clicker.

Potential instructional benefits include the ability to gauge student comprehension, to encourage class participation, and to keep students engaged. The instructor can pose impromptu questions or conduct an opinion survey. Questions posed with Poll Everywhere can be embedded into a web page.

At Notre Dame

Learn More

[updated June 2015]