Graziadio eLearning

Supporting Teaching and Learning

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VoiceThread – Closed Captioning

There’s news going around about an effort to make learning materials more accessible to students with disabilities. This may seem like more work, but these efforts help more than individuals with special needs. Have you ever missed a line in a television program and had to rewind to hear it again? I certainly have. I even use the closed caption feature on my TV for those moments, maybe even whole episodes if the characters have accents (Outlander comes to mind here).

How nice would it be if that feature was available for our online course materials? Knowing what the professor is saying during a video lesson is more important than knowing the punchline to a Louis C.K. joke, wouldn’t you agree? Youtube already has a closed captioning feature (although, their transcription software is not that great) and now VoiceThread has it too. It does require more work from you, but if you work off a script then it’s not so bad.

Here is a video provided by VoiceThread on how to add closed captioning to your VoiceThread presentations:


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TechSmith Relay Webinar 4.12.17

Stay Organized with Folders and Groups

If you were unable to attend the webinar, here are some resources from the session. All links open to a new window or tab.

  1. Webinar Recording = (51:12)
  2. Presentation Slides =
    a. If you prefer PowerPoint slides, you can download these Google Slides as a PowerPoint from the File menu. Here’s how …
    b. Also, additional information, or talking points, are included in the Notes section below most of the slides.
  3. ChatLog from the webinar = (PDF Document)

If there are any topics you would like to see covered by TechSmith please leave them in the comments below.

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TechSmith Relay Webinar 3.21.17

Best Practices for Creating Effective Videos

If you were not able to attend the webinar, Ryan Eash (the host of the webinar) provided some resources below. Please feel free to watch the webinar recording, look through the ChatLog, and view the presentation slides.

  1. Webinar Recording = (57:40)
  2. Presentation Slides =
    • If you prefer PowerPoint slides, you can download these Google Slides as a PowerPoint from the File menu. Here’s how …
    • Also, additional information, or talking points, is included in the Notes section below most of the slides.
  1. ChatLog from the webinar = (PDF)

If you have any topics you would like addressed in future webinars, please leave them in the comments below.


One Button Studio Handbook

Location & Operation Hours:

WLA 420

Monday – Friday  11AM – 6PM


  1. What is a One Button Video Studio?
  2. Who Can Use the Studio?
  3. What Types of Projects Can be Filmed?
  4. I Have a Project Idea, What Do I Do?
  5. Meeting With Studio Director. What to Expect?
  6. What to Expect from a Training Session?
  7. How to Record a Video?
  8. On-Camera Tips
  9. What to Expect on Studio Day?
  10. Script Appendix

What is a One Button Studio?

The One Button Video Studio is a resource for faculty to create quality course-related video content. The purpose is to make the recording process as efficient as possible by allowing the user to simply press a button to turn on the equipment and begin recording. After some training in video production, certified faculty members will be able to produce and edit video content worthy of the Pepperdine standard.

Who Can Use the Studio?

The studio is for faculty use to create course-related projects only. It is not for student use. If student assistance is required for a project, the faculty member must be present for the whole recording session.

The studio is not available for staff members outside of eLearning unless given approval by Shelley Stewart, eLearning Director.

What Types of Projects Can be Filmed?

  • Lecture Vignettes – A fully planned out series of pre-recorded lectures for a course being taught in an upcoming trimester. It requires 4-6 months (start to finish) to plan, film, edit, and transcribe.
  • Pre-recorded Demonstration – A properly planned and scripted demonstration to be added to a course and can be completed in 4-6 weeks.
  • Professor Introduction – A brief video introduction that is posted on the course. It must be recorded before the course goes live and can be completed in 3-4 weeks.
  • Session Introductions – Brief summary videos for each session in a course. Requires one overall project approval from an instructional designer and the filming timeline can be agreed upon by the professor and Studio Director.
  • Guest Speaker or Interview – A video including two or more people. This can be completed in 3-4 weeks.
  • Special Projects – Professors are always welcome to pitch ideas to an instructional designer or Shelley Stewart. The Studio Director will work with you on how to best present your project and which resources are most appropriate as not all video projects require studio equipment or time.

I Have a Project Idea, What Do I Do?

  1. Make a pitch to your Instructional Designer or Shelley Stewart. An instructional designer will work with you to determine if the content fits well in your course and if it will be engaging to students. It is important for all course content to be the best representation of you, as the professor, and the quality of the program. The idea must be approved before scheduling a studio session.

2. Write a script. We want you to make the most of your studio time and having a script is the most efficient way to do this. It helps you organize your thoughts ahead of time and gives the Studio Director an idea of how much recording time you will need. In addition, your script can be imported to a teleprompter for smooth delivery. Scripts also ensure that accessibility standards are met. Please take a look at the script templates in the Script Appendix to help you get started.

3. Schedule studio time. With an approval from your Instructional Designer or Shelley and a script ready you can schedule your studio time with the Studio Director. Make sure to email a copy of your script to your Instructional Designer, Shelley Stewart and Channell Walker.

4. Quality assurance check and meet with the Studio Director. Your script will be routed to our Quality Assurance Coordinator for proofreading. The final draft of the script needs to be approved no later than 3 business days before the studio session otherwise your session will be postponed. At the same time, you will plan your studio session with the Studio Director.

Meeting with Studio Director. What to Expect?

The role of the Studio Director is to guide you through the video production. Together, you will discuss edits to the script as well as compile a list of shots and props. The Studio Director will schedule a studio equipment and operation training session which will certify you as a qualified studio user.

What to Expect from a Training Session?

The purpose of the studio equipment and operation training session is to familiarize you with the studio equipment, operation and production process. It will be hosted by an eLearning team member and it will cover:

    • Hardware Startup and Shutdown
    • How to Record a Video
    • On-Camera Tips
    • Time-Slot Mindfulness

How to Record a Video?

  1. Turn on the Mac Mini in the cabinet and the camera. This will also turn on the computer monitor.
  2. Turn on the mouse and keyboard.
  3. On the screen, open the ‘Volumes’ folder.
  4. The One Button Studio App (the blue screen) will appear on the screen in fullscreen mode.
  5. Insert your USB drive in the dock. It must be FAT formatted to work with the software. The studio lights will turn on and you should see a video feed on the screen.
  6. Switch on the Green or Blue Screen. Left for green, right for blue. This is optional.
  7. Press the BIG silver button to start recording. The computer will count down from 5 before the recording begins.
  8. Record your video.
  9. Press the BIG silver button again to stop the recording.
  10. Remove your USB drive. This will turn off the studio lights.
  11. Begin the shut down process:
    1. Turn off the Green or Blue Screen by pushing the switch to the middle position.
    2. Shut down the computer by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner. Select ‘Shut down,’ The click ‘OK.’ This will also turn off the monitor.
    3. Turn off the mouse and keyboard and place them in the drawer.

On-Camera Tips


  • Bring Positive VibesExpress the emotion you want your audience to feel while watching the video. If you want them to be engaged then be enthusiastic when you share your content.
  • Wear Nice, Comfortable ClothesWe want you to look your best, but we also want you to feel comfortable.
  • Practice Good PostureGood posture looks good on camera. Sit up straight with your shoulders back.
  • Speak up and Speak Clearly We want you to be heard. Audio is just as important as video. It should be smooth, evenly paced and at an appropriate volume.


  • Wear Green or Blue – Your body will disappear if your wear these colors while using the green or blue screen effect.
  • Wear PatternsChecked, pinstripes and plaid flicker on camera and causes a distraction. We want the students to watch you, not your clothes.
  • Wear GlassesBe warned that glasses may reflect the green or blue light. Remove your glasses or try to wear contacts, if you can.
  • Wear Chunky Metal Jewelry or Noisy Bangles Big, chunky jewelry can reflect the light and noisy bangles are distracting if you talk with your hands.
  • Go on Camera with Unruly HairThis can also be distracting to viewers due to the green or blue highlights that can peek through the tiny gaps in your strands.

What to Expect on Studio Day?

  • Show up on time and stay on schedule. It is likely your shoot is not the only one on any given day. Be conscious of time and considerate of others.
  • Come Prepared – Bring your USB drive, laptop, and any props you may need.
  • Multiple Takes – Expect to record the same thing at least 2 or 3 times.
  • Bright Lights – The studio lights are bright and if you sit under them long enough you may start to sweat. Plan accordingly and drink plenty of water.

Script Appendix

Meet the Instructor Writing Frame: An Introduction for Learners

Who Am I?

Brief highlights about myself personally and professionally:

  • Talking point…
  • Talking point…
  • Talking point…

What Is This Course About? 

A short statement about the “big ideas” presented in this course and their relevance to the program, applicability to the workplace or discipline more widely, and to your learners specifically:

  • Talking point…
  • Talking point…
  • Talking point…

How Is This Course Structured? 

A summary of the learning approach by which the course is organized:

  • Talking point…
  • Talking point…
  • Talking point…

What Are My Expectations for my Learners and What Can My Learners Expect From Me?

A brief outline of expectations about online communication, learning requirements, and other important things to know for learner success:

  • Talking point…
  • Talking point…
  • Talking point…

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Graziadio eLearning Presents

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The One Button Studio

We in eLearning are pleased to announce the grand opening of The One Button Video Studio. This is a special resource for faculty that has been in the works for two years.

If you are attending the faculty meeting on March 14th, you will have the opportunity to tour the studio space from 1pm to 5pm. An eLearning team member will be there to answer questions and perform demonstrations.

With all the excitement over this new installment we want to go over some basic studio policies and procedures:

  1. The studio is exclusively for our Graziadio faculty’s course related projects. This is not a student resource.
  2. Any faculty member that wishes to use the space must complete a training in order to become a certified user.
  3. Video projects must be proposed to, and approved by, their eLearning Instructional Designer in order to reserve a recording time.
  4. The studio must be reserved two weeks in advance with the Studio Director. No last minute projects will be approved for studio time.
  5. A workable script must be submitted when you make your reservation (after approval by an Instructional Designer). Templates will be provided in the One Button Video Studio Handbook.
  6. A Studio Director will work with you on how to best present your project, and guide you on which resources are most appropriate (as not all video projects require studio equipment).

More information and a Handbook will be provided on March 14th at the faculty meeting.


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How to Create Groups in VoiceThread


Create a Group in VoiceThread:

  1. Log into (link opens in new tab/window)
  2. Click on the drop down menu next to your profile picture and choose ‘Groups and Contacts’
  3. In the pop-up window, click on the small ‘+Group’ button
  4. Give your group a name and description then click the ‘Create Group’ button
  5. You can now choose a header banner for your group page. Click ‘OK’ when you are ready to move on.


Invite Group Members:

  1. Copy the group link and paste in an email, Sakai message, or Sakai announcement.
  2. Make sure to highlight the URL and turn it into a clickable hyperlink by selecting the button with a chainlink icon.


You can now create groups within VoiceThread and invite members.

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VSI: Your Time to Interact with Students

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Virtual Synchronous Interaction sessions — those mandatory blocks of time that need to be filled with something.

Many times the VSIs are filled with lecture sessions where the professor talks at the students and asks for any questions at the end. These sessions are boring. There is low student participation, lukewarm group discussions and a decrease in attendance due to the dragging experience. This can make a VSI seem like a waste of time to not only the students, but the professor. Why have these sessions if students are not getting anything out of them?

Well, the words “student engagement” get thrown around a lot in conversations about online learning. Everyone wants it to be interactive and fun for students, but not every lesson can be fun. Sometimes students have to learn the boring basics. So, here are these mandatory sessions no one seems to know what to do with, just to make the course more appealing for the sake of student engagement. Now what?

VSIs is your opportunity to interact with your students similarly to an in-person classroom setting. Here are some things to consider when planning your next VSI:

Flip the Classroom – Instead of doing a lecture, have the students read the material and prepare for a group discussion before the VSI. Then, when you have all your students online it is the perfect time to do knowledge checks and go more in-depth with real-life scenarios.

Use Polls – To gauge student understanding of the week’s material, use a quick poll to find out which topics the students feel they have mastered before starting the new discussion session. The topics that receive the lowest rating can now be covered in the VSI.
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Host a Q&A Session – Have students submit questions in the Adobe Connect meeting room Q&A pod throughout the week. When you login, you will be able to see all the questions, but the students will only see the questions he/she submitted. As you answer questions, you can delete them from your list. This will not affect the student’s pod view.
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Make It Personal – Being an online student is an isolated experience. Make the most of your time with students. Greet them as they enter the meeting room, answer the dumb questions to encourage conversation, and hang around a few minutes after the meeting in case people linger to ask questions like they do in on-campus classrooms. Showing that you care about your students increases student engagement without all the bells and whistles. Even if you do not change a thing with your VSI style (if it’s not broken don’t fix it, right?) then showing that you care about your students will make all the difference.

Making small changes to your teaching style could have a bigger impact on the way your students retain information and improve the overall experience of a live online session. You do not have to use all the tips in this post, but try one out and see how it goes. It doesn’t hurt to experiment a little.