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Self-Recording Using Zoom

Is This the Option for You?

Zoom is a good option for screencasting (such as demonstrating software), recording narration of a slideshow, or recording an interview with someone in the more traditional use of this web conferencing solution. Using Zoom to make a recorded lecture is appropriate for you if the following are true:

  • You are already comfortable working with Zoom, including hosting a Zoom meeting with your own Zoom account.

  • You have installed the most recent version of the Zoom client.

  • You have a USB headset, Bluetooth earbuds, or other high quality microphone and can produce quality audio recordings.

  • You cannot meet the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) studio recording deadlines or you prefer to create your own recorded lectures.

Note: If you have a licensed account, you can edit your cloud recording in Zoom. However, you can only trim your recording; you can’t adjust the volume, speed, or any other edits such as transitions. Of course, you can use third-party software to edit a local recording (or downloaded cloud recording). CTL cannot edit your self-recording for you.


For faculty and guest speakers who want or need to use this option, we ask that you complete your lecture's Zoom recording at least two weeks in advance of a lecture's opening. This allows CTL to upload the video recording of your presentation to the Lecture Materials section of a CoursePlus lecture page. (Only CTL can upload videos into this module of your CoursePlus site.) If you cannot complete your lecture in this time frame, you will be able to upload the video to your Online Library or link the recording to your course site.

Why Include Your Self-Serve Recording in the Lecture Materials Section of a Lecture Page?

Videos that appear in the Lecture Materials section will have a transcript ordered by CTL. In addition to playing the video online inside of CoursePlus' video player, students also can download the video, text transcript, or MP3 export of the video from the module. Another benefit to having CTL upload your recorded video to the Lecture Materials module is that each time an item hosted in this section is accessed by a student, this action is logged by the CoursePlus reporting features. This will appear in the “Access of Individual Course Sections by Each Student” Report (available from the Faculty Tools page).


Before creating your lecture recording, please take the following steps:

  • Log into Zoom and make certain that you have the most recent Zoom client installed on your computer/device.

  • Ensure that your Zoom meeting room does not have “Record the meeting automatically” selected. (You will want to manually start and stop the recording.)

  • Ensure that your presentation and/or any programs, files, and websites you want to capture in your recording are ready and open. Maximize these resources on your screen. Close all other programs and alerts/notifications that you do not want to be recorded.

  • Launch (start) your Zoom meeting. If this is going to be an interview, make sure the person(s) being interviewed can connect to the meeting room.

  • Check your audio. In the Zoom meeting window, go to the Microphone menu next to the microphone icon. (You can also get to the audio options from the main Zoom desktop client's Settings menu.)

    • Select “Test Speaker & Microphone.” Step through the prompts, adjusting your microphone as necessary.

    • Select  “Audio Settings”. Make certain “Automatically adjust microphone volume” is selected.

  • Check your video. In the Zoom meeting window, go to the Video menu next to the camera icon. (You can also get to the video options from the main Zoom desktop client's Settings menu.

    • Select Video Settings. 

      • Make certain your webcam settings, including the camera being used (internal or external), match what you want.

      • Make sure your camera is capturing you in a good light and at a good angle. (Avoid sitting in a dim room in front of a window letting in a lot of light! And if you are on a laptop, consider propping it up so that you are not looking down at the camera.)

  • Check your recording options. Open Settings and select Recording.

    • Make certain “Record video during screen sharing” is selected, unless you do not want any webcam video displaying in the saved recording of you sharing your screen or whiteboard.

      • If you choose to record the video during screen sharing, decide whether the camera video should overlay your shared screen in the recording.

        • For webcam video displayed alongside the shared screen or whiteboard, select “Place video next to shared screen in the recording.” 

        • For webcam video displayed over part of the shared screen being recorded, do not select “Place video next to shared screen in the recording.” (Note that if you are recording the webcam video and sharing your screen, even though you might not see the webcam video while you are recording, it will appear in the final MP4 and block part of your screen display being shared.)

    • Decide how you want to present the lecture. In the meeting window, select any other recording layout options you prefer.

  • Be familiar with the Lecture Delivery Best Practices Checklist, including developing your lecture into short sections (10 to 20 minutes each). Each section should be its own PowerPoint presentation. A single lecture can easily be composed of several sequential PowerPoint exported videos.

  • Be familiar with CTL's Recording Tips for Independent Recording, and, if you will be sharing a PowerPoint file, the PowerPoint Best Practices toward making an accessible file. 

  • Create a good, clean sample recording before beginning your lecture. Adjust your microphone settings until your recording plays back at a quality that is satisfactory to you. While it may not be as “crisp” as a professional recording, you should be able to listen to your recording at the same volume as any high-quality online audio or video!

    • Recommendation: Use a USB headset, Bluetooth earbuds, or other high quality external microphone. Be in a quiet room, free of background noise. Listen to the intro of an NPR podcast and then listen to your sample recording. If you need to change the volume between listening to each of them, then you need to go back and adjust your microphone settings or even consider moving to another room. (Note that high ceilings and wood floors are both known to produce echoes.)


When you are ready, create the recording of your lecture's Zoom meeting. Start by taking these steps:

  • Unmute your microphone.

  • Start your webcam video.

  • If you are interviewing someone in the recording, make certain your guest has already connected to the meeting.

  • If you want to share your screen or Zoom's whiteboard, select the Share icon.

    • Ideally, select “Desktop.”

    • Make certain that “Share computer sound” is selected if you want to capture any audio coming from the program, presentation, or other file that you are recording as you share your screen.

    • Click “Share.” If you are sharing a screen and conferencing with someone remotely, you may need to select “Show Video Panel" through the More menu. (See Zoom's support site for layout when screensharing.)

    • Switch over to your open presentation or program(s) as necessary.

  • Start your Zoom recording

    • Use keyboard commands or the Record icon, or, if you do not see the icon, expand the More menu.

    • If you have a licensed (formerly called Pro) account, opt to record to the cloud for easier sharing and simple editing.

  • Begin your lecture presentation and/or interview. Create a separate recording for each (10-to-20-minute) segment of your lecture.

  • Finish your presentation/interview.

  • Stop your recording.

    • Use keyboard commands or the Stop icon, or, if you do not see the icon, expand the More menu.

Editing Your Recording

If you have a licensed account, you can edit your cloud recording in Zoom. However, you can only trim off the beginning and end of your recording. Otherwise, you can use third-party software to edit a local recording (or downloaded cloud recording). CTL cannot edit your self-recording for you.


If your recording is longer than 10 to 20 minutes, consider cutting back on your narration or reorganizing some of the content to go into a separate section of your lecture. Don't be afraid to break one recording into two or more files (using a third-party video editing tool), even if one of them is much smaller than the other!

Sharing and Exporting

Once the Zoom meeting presentation is finalized, you should share your recording directly with your instructional designer. 


Follow the instructions from Zoom on sharing a Local Recording or sharing a Cloud Recording

  • Sharing a cloud recording:

    • Share the link for “Shared screen with speaker view” (or other .mp4) directly with your instructional designer.

    • Because Zoom recordings eventually expire (delete automatically from storage), download the “Shared screen with speaker view” (or other .mp4) file to your computer.

    • Transfer the downloaded .mp4 file to another cloud-storage site (e.g., OneDrive, Google Drive, or Panopto) to have as a backup. (You can also share this link with your instructional designer.)

  • Sharing a local recording:

    • Transfer the downloaded .mp4 file to another site (e.g., OneDrive or Panopto) and share its link with your instructional designer. If you are sharing a recording without CTL's help and outside of a video player (e.g., Panopto or Microsoft Stream), you will also be responsible for sharing a transcript to meet the accessibility requirements, in accordance with university expectations of faculty. If needed, faculty can use Microsoft Stream to generate a transcript.

Placement in CoursePlus

Recorded Zoom presentations can be shared with students on CoursePlus in two ways: as videos in the Lecture Materials section of a lecture page or as hyperlinks anywhere on the course site. Ideally, you should opt to share your videos in the Lecture Materials section, which is the most universally accessible option. Here students will be able to view the videos with interactive transcripts inside of the CoursePlus video player. They can also opt to download the video, text transcript, or MP3 export of each video. In addition, each time a student accesses an item hosted in this Lecture Materials section, it will be logged by the CoursePlus reporting features.

  • Sharing videos through the Lecture Materials Section two weeks or more before a lecture opens:

    • You must share the exported MP4 versions of the lecture with your instructional designer at least two weeks before the lecture opens. Most likely, these will be very large files, so you will need to use a cloud service such as OneDrive to share them. 

    • The instructional designer and CTL will convert the videos, order the transcripts, and upload the videos to the Lecture Materials module of the lecture page.

  • Sharing videos through the Online Library:

    • You must upload the MP4 versions (ideally <500 MB) of the lecture videos to the Online Library. For each video that you upload, please give the file a logical title including a section letter, if appropriate.

      • Note: Please do not try and upload a very large MP4 file of your recorded lecture! Instead, consider sharing the link through the Online Library or ask your instructional designer for help sharing the link through the Lecture Materials section of a lecture page. Remember that all videos uploaded to and shared through CoursePlus should be less than 20 minutes in length and 500 MB in file size. ​

    • Any video shared through the Online Library must also have an accompanying transcript (or captions) to meet the university's accessibility expectations of faculty.

    • Link the uploaded lecture file(s) in the Online Library to the lecture page. If you have several videos for a single lecture, consider creating a folder in the Online Library to hold all the videos belonging to that lecture. Then link the folder to the lecture page instead of the individual videos.

  • Sharing hyperlinks to the presentation videos stored in the cloud:

    • Obtain public hyperlinks to the lecture's videos that will point to where they are stored in OneDrive or other cloud service. 

      • Remember, Zoom will automatically delete cloud recordings after 180 days, so it is best not to share the links provided by your Zoom account!

    • Share these hyperlinks to the lecture videos via:

      • the Online Library, and then link these (logically titled) library items to the lecture page,

      • or a custom section on the lecture page, edited to include a logical title for each lecture section that is then hyperlinked to the corresponding video.

  • If you want to share a PDF version of your lecture's PowerPoint(s), you will need to upload the PDF files to the Online Library and link them to the lecture page.

More Resources

An abbreviated version of these guidelines, Zoom Presentation/Interview as a Self-serve Recorded Lecture [.pdf], and Video: Using Zoom as a Self-recorded Lecture (4:40) [MP4] is available to downloading from our Toolkit Shelf.

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