Here’s a common scenario: You will be teaching a course online that you normally teach face-to-face. Since you’ve taught the course before, you have lecture notes and ideas for what you want to cover each week. What are the options and best practices for delivering your lecture in an asynchronous online format?  Let’s have a look at a few methods instructors use to help us think through the pros and cons of each.

First, a note about courses with no instructor-created lecture materials: In this class, students might read a textbook and/or access materials created by others but the instructor doesn’t provide any distillation of the subject from her professional point of view. This may be appropriate for some seminar-style classes where an active discussion forum is in play. The majority of face-to-face courses include lecture content delivered by the instructor, so, in those cases, the online asynchronous version should as well.

If you use PowerPoint or a similar program to help illustrate your lectures or if you write and draw on the board, using a screencast can be an effective technique for lecture delivery.  Create screencasts with live drawing by using an iPad with the ExplainEverything app, or a similar product. Use Screencast-O-Matic or Screencastify to create a video where your voice is overlaid with the presentation slides or anything else you can show on your computer.  Some screencasting software also allows for annotation and visual cues on top of the presentation.

If you don’t use visuals, you can simply record a video of yourself speaking to students. Record yourself using your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or video camera or, eLearning designers can help record your lectures in our professional studio.  If you record yourself, remember first do a test to make sure your background is not cluttered, the angle at which you are recording looks good, the lighting is adequate and the audio comes through clearly.

Both screencast and talking head videos should be as concise as possible. We recommend staying under 10 minutes (max) per video. This might mean you make a series of short videos covering a few important topics in a lesson.  For either method, it’s helpful to work from a script, which you can use later as a transcript for closed captions.  Also, videos should always be uploaded to a streaming service such as YouTube or Google Drive before embedding in Blackboard.

Using services such as SoundCloud, you can embed audio recordings into your online course.  Students will have an idea of who you are through listening to your voice.  Include a transcript of your audio content in order to be compliant with accessibility standards.

Sometimes only text is provided to students for lecture material. If you use this method, providing links and the occasional multimedia element embedded in the text can help make the learning experience more engaging and inspiring, which will help cement a more enduring learning experience.

We invite you to join us at our regularly scheduled Open Lab events if you would like to learn more about any of these methods: .