CSE 007 has been equipped for lecture recording.  In preparing this room we have followed the guidelines provided by support.coursera.org so that recordings can be easily targeted for Coursera.   The room may be reserved by CSE faculty and staff using the room reservation system.

Coursera Recording Quick Start

Shared Account

There are a number of configuration settings in PowerPoint and Camtasia that are specific to the current user.  To simplify setup for new users, we provide a shared account on the studio computer.  If you would like to use this account, get the credentials from us.  Alternatively you may use your normal CSERESEARCH account.  In this case, review the documents at support.coursera.org for specifics about software configuration.


To avoid glare on the tablet, adjust the room lights such that the light directly over the workstation is off.  The room has studio lights which can be controlled using the switch on the powerstrip on the table just to the left of the computer.  Turn the studio lights on.

Setting up PowerPoint

Coursera recommends recording at 1280x720.  If your slides use a 4x3 aspect ratio, there will be black bars on the left and right edges of the recording.  To avoid this you may want to set your deck to use 16:9.  The setting is found in PowerPoint under View tab: Slide Master: Page Setup.  If you prefer to keep your slides at 4x3, after recordings are completed you can edit them with Camtasia Studio so that the slide is moved all the way to the left.  This leaves room in the black area on the right for webcam video.

A standard way to create recordings for Coursera uses Picture In Picture (PIP).  A common practice is to show the video from the webcam for a minute or so at the beginning and end of a segment, but otherwise to show only the slides.  This editing is done in Camtasia Studio after the recording is completed. You may want to plan your slides keeping in mind when and where you want the webcam video to appear.

The recording software will capture the image displayed on the Wacom tablet, so we will normally want the slideshow to appear on that display.  This setting is in PowerPoint under SlideShow Tab: Set Up Slide Show.

You can of course use any sofware you want to construct your presentation.  There is no requirement to use PowerPoint.

Starting a Recording

Camtasia is the name of the recording software.  It is installed under the 'TechSmith' folder.  Start the Camtasia Recorder.  There are three inputs to verify before clicking the record button: screen capture, webcam and audio.

Screen Capture

The screen capture should be set to capture the entire tablet screen.  You'll see white square "handles" around the edges of the screen capture area.  If you click one of them an icon will appear in the middle of the area that you can select and drag.  If you put the capture area mostly on the tablet, then click the full screen button, it will auto-resize to the screen.


The workstation has a Revolabs xTag microphone which should be in a dock connected to the computer.  Pull the microphone out of the dock and press the mute button once such that the light flashes green at regular intervals.  The mic is now unmuted and if you talk you should see graphical evidence in the Camtasia recorder UI.  For better quality audio, we recommend the audio capture be done at a high sample frequency such as 48kHz.  This setting is available from the options dialog.  Clip the microphone to your shirt


Check that the webcam is on, and that you are correctly framed in the picture, and that the backdrop is positioned appropriately.

Using the Razer (gaming keypad)

The keypad has been programmed with keyboard shortcuts to allow you to easily pick pen colors and navigate in PowerPoint.  (If you are using your CSERESEARCH account, consult the documents at support.coursera.org to do this configuration before you use it the first time).  Put your PowerPoint presentation in slideshow mode, tap once on the slideshow to set focus, then you can use the keypad.  The erase key selects the eraser tool.  The track wheel or the start button can be used to navigate in the deck.

Start the recording

Move the keyboard out of the way and place the tablet in a comfortable writing position.  When you are ready to begin, click the record button.  A few seconds later it should begin recording.  Be sure to tap the slideshow to put the focus back there before attempting to use the keypad.  Be sure to look at the camera frequently while you are recording.  We (and Coursera) recommend recording short segments, perhaps around 10 minutes each.

After Recording

When you stop recording, a preview window pops up, and begins playing the recording.  You can review this if you like.  Assuming you want to save the recording, click the save and edit button.  Name and place the .camrec file in an appropriate folder, and save.  Next the Camtasia Studio (editing) app pops up and attempts to open the file.  We have found that it frequently hangs at this point.  If it does, just quit Camtasia Studio, open it again, make a new project and use "File Menu: Import Media" to open the .camrec file.

It will ask you for resolution:  Select the native recorded resolution 720x1280.

A Few Camtasia Studio Features

Camtasia files include .camrec and .camproj file types.  These files contain the raw recording and the customizations you have done to it, and are the most important files to preserve.  With these files you can always go back and edit a recording and re-export mp4.

If you have newly imported media, you can drag it to the timeline to include it.

If you want to cut a section out of your recording, use the control at the top of the timeline that allows you to drag the play head around.  The tab on the left can be pulled out to separate it from the rest of the control and thereby select a section.  The scissors icon cuts out the selected section.

By default the video ends up in the middle of the frame, but you will probably want to place it elsewhere.  To do this. select only the video track in the timeline, then you can drag the video in the upper right pane to the position you want.

Adding the CSE Intro

There are brief intro video clips showing the CSE logo that you should consider adding to the beginning of all UW CSE coursera videos.  The video clips should normally be found on the desktop (if you are using the shared account), and have a name like coursera_open.mp4.   If not found on the desktop, get them here:  (5 second intro, 2 second into, 2 second intro v2).

Just before your video is ready to export, drag the intro video into the clip bin.  Right click it and "add to timeline".  Then move the "real" video 3 tracks over to start after the intro.

Exporting mp4 from Camtasia

 To export your video, use the "Produce and Share" button on the top of the Camtasia Studio UI, then select Custom Production Settings and MP4.  This is a wizard with several screens. The things you need to change are to disable the controller, and make sure audio compression is set to a reasonably high bitrate (192kbps at least).  The export is CPU intensive and takes a little time to complete.  For this reason you may find it convenient to arrange your workflow so that the export occurs at a different time, possibly run by a different person (such as a TA), perhaps on a different system.

Video Quality vs. File Size

Captured video can cause both .camrec and .mp4 files to become large.  In some cases it may be possible to reduce the file sizes without noticeable loss of quality.  If the webcam video in your final output is rendered as a small picture-in-picture and does not occupy a large part of the frame, you can economize both on the capture resolution and the video compression bitrate.  The webcam capture resolution can be set in Camtasia Recorder before recording to a smaller size such as 320x240.  This will keep the .camrec files smaller and speed up rendering.  When exporting to mp4 we have found that setting the video export quality to 50% produces a good looking mp4 that has a reasonable size.  If your webcam video will occupy a larger part of the frame at times, then this advice does not apply.  In this case you should use a higher resolution capture, and you may need a higher video bitrate export.

Backing up your work

When you have finished your recording session be sure to save your work.  At this time the local disks on the recording workstation in 007 are not backed up.  Some simple options for backing up include putting files on the Z: drive, or bringing a USB stick and copying the files there.  When backing up be sure to save .camrec and .camproj files.  These files will allow you to go back and edit the details of the recordings later.

Using Google Hangouts 

Coursera has suggested using Google Hangouts on Air for on-line office hours.  Their notes about this are here:


While you can do this from just about any location, it can be easily done from room 007.  You can do this with your own Google+ account, or if you prefer, we have a UW CSE Coursera Google+ Page that you may use.  To use the UW CSE Coursera Google+ Page, first set up your own Google+ account, then contact us and we will send you an invitation to manage the UW CSE page.  Log in to your G+, then use the left tool bar to select Pages, and select the UW CSE Coursera page.  Once in the page, you can add a circle for your class.

The first time you start a Hangout On Air you'll need to specify a YouTube channel.  It seems that you must use your own channel for this.  There exists a UW CSE Coursera YouTube channel where we can move your video after it has been posted.  The UW CSE channel is here:  https://www.youtube.com/user/UWCSECoursera.  

To start the hangout, use the Home button, then find the start hangout link over to the right.  When starting the hangout, be sure to click the 'On Air' option.  

When using Google hangouts, be sure that Camtasia Recorder is NOT running.  The AV devices will not work in the hangout if it is.

Use the screen sharing and chat features to enhance the hangout.  The screen sharing button causes the outgoing image to toggle between the video camera and the screen you select.  You may want to run PowerPoint or Classroom Presenter on the Wacom tablet screen to allow the use of digital ink.

A short time after your hangout on air is completed, the video archive will appear on YouTube.