Micro-lectures: How do I get started?

First of all, what is a micro-lecture? A micro-lecture is 6-8 minute video that is a breakdown of a typical lecture and is limited to 1-2 topics. Micro-lectures are very appealing to students since in today’s world of social media (think of YouTube) videos are usually short, concise, and palatable.

So, you have a vison to create content for your students that emulates a similar experience as they would have in a classroom setting, but you don’t know how to get started. Well, in today’s blog we will break it down for you step by step, so that you feel confident and prepared for when you turn that camera on!

Alternative Text: Planning Process

Step 1: Identify your topics

During this process think about what content you want to film. Is there an assignment that you want to discuss to clarify any doubts or questions your students may have? Then a micro-lecture could help reduce not only confusion, but the emails in your inbox. Below, we have compiled a list of possible micro-lecture topics that you can use while planning out your content.

  • Assignment clarification
  • Mini Chapter reviews
  • Post Assignment review
  • Post Exam review
  • Announcements
  • FAQs

Step 2: Create your script

When planning out your micro-lectures, it may be helpful to have a script or an outline drafted up just in case you need something to refer to when recording or to just keep on track of what you’re talking about. Remember! We speak on average 150 words per minute so ensure that your script is concise to fit within the micro-lecture timeframe.

Alternative Text: Selecting Appropriate Equipment

Step 3: Select your equipment

Ok, so, when you start selecting your technical equipment keep in mind what fits within your budget and the quality of your video if you decide to record your face for your lecture. Below we list equipment that will help you get started with recording your micro-lectures!

Computer:

You will need a computer for your setup, especially if you are going to record supplemental materials on your screen. Depending on the computer you have, some will have a built-in camera and microphone, but if you’re not satisfied with the quality you can always attach external microphones and cameras.

Mobile Devices:

If you don’t have a computer/laptop, no fear! You can still use your mobile devices when recording your micro-lectures, such as your cell phone or a tablet.

Microphone:

Microphones whether built-in or external are essential for your micro-lectures as they will record your voice/audio.

Headset:

A headset is a set of headphones with a microphone attached, if you prefer more mobility while lecturing, then a headset is the option for you.

Camera:

If you are planning on recording your face to go along with your lecture, you will require a camera. As previously mentioned, there are laptops that come with built in cameras; depending on your preference of quality, you can upgrade to an external webcam with HD quality.

Alternative Text: Recording Options

Step 4: Select your software

Content planned? Check. Equipment? Check. Now you are finally ready to sit down and record your micro-lecture! But wait… where will you record your content? In this section, we will explore the recording options that are available to our faculty/staff through UTRGV.

Panopto

This lecture capturing service located on Blackboard and App stores will record not only your face but your screen as well! Panopto also includes automated captions and editing features. For information on Panopto visit our Panopto Knowledge Base .

Adobe Premiere

This video editing software is available to faculty and staff through the UTRGV IT Portal. For information on Adobe Premiere please visit Adobe Creative Cloud .

Alternative Text: Hear From Faculty

And now let us introduce our featured faculty Professor Kim Garcia! She is a faculty member from the Department of Health & Biomedical Sciences and she will be sharing her experience with micro-lectures.

Additional Tips

You might also want to think about when to upload your content, do your students log in to your course in the morning, afternoon, or evenings? Although your students may view your micro-lecture regardless, it would be best to reach your students when your course has the most activity. For more information on how to check when your students log in (Blackboard LMS), please visit Are your students checking Blackboard? Find out how to check .

Don’t mention dates, (ex. Don’t say next week).

Be spatially descriptive, (ex. In the upper left-hand corner click ‘files’).

And, most importantly, be yourself! Don’t worry about mistakes, they make you relatable to your students.