This summer, the Instructional Technology Support team focused on preparing all centrally managed classrooms to support the ability to broadcast live lectures from the classroom as well as reliably support lecture capture using TechSmith.

Frequently Asked Questions

Microphones are available in all centrally managed classrooms. Webcams are also available in the highest capacity rooms.

MXL boundary microphone and webcams in classrooms

We replaced the old Revolabs X-Tag lavalier microphones with MXL USB Boundary microphones. These microphones can be used for both conferencing and recording lectures when using the dedicated PC in the podium (these microphones will not connect to a personal laptop).

These new microphones have a few notable differences:

  1. Since they are wired (not wireless) they are not dependent on batteries and do not need to be charged. This should increase reliability across the academic day.
  2. The microphones sit on top of the podium, rather than being clipped to a shirt or lanyard.
  3. These microphones have a pick-up range of up to 15-20 feet. This provides some ability for the instructor to be mobile while teach. Though as you move further from the microphone, quality may decrease at a certain distance.

In addition to adding the MXL boundary microphones, we are installing small desktop webcams that will be connected to the dedicated classroom PC in as many classrooms as possible. Due to supply chain issues, these cameras will not be available in every room.

The cameras are being installed beginning with the highest-capacity rooms. This camera can be used to provide “instructor presence” in video conferencing or lecture capture.

Note: These instructions focus on using the dedicated PC in the podium. If your preference is to teach from a personal laptop, you will have to use the built-in microphone and camera and may not have the “Classic Recorder” installed.

    1. Log-in to the dedicated PC in the classroom.
    2. Prepare and load any presentation materials on the desktop.
    3. Open the TechSmith Relay App on the desktop.
Techsmith Relay app icon
    1. Click “Log In” in the recorder window.
Recorder Window with the Log In button highlighted
    1. Enter your NetID and Password in the browser window that appears
    2. If your log-in is successful, you should see your university email address at the top of the recorder window.
Recorder Window with a university email address highlighted

Note: Do not use the “Launch Capture” option from your TechSmith Library. The desktop version – also known as the classic recorder – allows videos to process in the background, even after a user logs out. If you log-out of the computer while uploading a video using TechSmith Capture instead of the Classic Recorder, you may lose your content.

    1. Enter a title for your video
    2. If you would like to use an image from the webcam, select “Camera” and _______________.

Note: Due to supply chain issues, not all rooms will have webcams installed.

Note: Unlike TechSmith Capture, the Classic Recorder only allows for a “Picture-in-Picture” option for the webcam; you can not show a full screen of the webcam using the Classic Recorder.

    1. Test audio by speaking near the microphone and watching the “Audio Input Level” meter. You should see green bars appear while you are speaking.
Recording Preview Window with the 'Audio Input Level' indicator highlighted
    1. Once you have tested your audio and have your materials ready, you can hit the record button and begin your presentation.
    2. When you have completed your presentation, select the Relay icon on the taskbar and hit the Stop button.
TechSmith Recording Window with  the 'Stop' button highlighted
    1. You can then preview and submit your recording.
TechSmith Relay Recorder Review Window with the 'Submit' button highlighted
    1. Once your video has begun processing, it is safe to log-off of the computer but DO NOT shut down or restart.
'Media is Being Processed' window in TechSmith

There are two primary mechanisms by which an instructor can share “whiteboards” with their students digitally, either through teleconferencing applications (i.e. WebEx) or lecture capture recordings through TechSmith.

Option 1: Document cameras and vSolution Link

Instructors who use the dedicated PC in a Smart Podium can use the software vSolutionLink to share an image from the document camera onto the dedicated PC in the classroom. This method can be used with either TechSmith or WebEx.

Note: Streaming the document camera in TechSmith can result in increased file sizes. You may want to break these lectures up into multiple parts in order to allow for easier streaming for students with low-bandwidth.

While not all classrooms have Document Cameras, most do! We recommend checking out your classroom prior to the start of classes in order to understand what equipment is in that space.

The video below describes how to use vSolution Link:

Option 2: Using a personal tablet or computer with a touch screen

Instructors who use tablets to teach from, like an iPad or Surface, can digitally whiteboard using WebEx. If the tablet is connected to the podium, using the HDMI cable and an adapter, students in the room can view the digital whiteboard along with those tuned in at a distance.

When teaching from the dedicated PC in the classroom, it is best to use TechSmith “Classic Recorder” to capture your Webex meeting.

While you can also use the “Record to cloud” option in Webex, there were some issues with processing these recordings on the Webex server last semester, which at times lead to delays of up to 2 or 3 days.

To record your Webex meeting from the dedicated computer:

    1. Launch and set-up your Webex meeting
    2. Open the TechSmith Classic Recorder from the Desktop.
Techsmith Relay app icon
    1. Click the Log-in button in the recorder.
    2. Enter your NetID and Password.
    3. Once you have logged in, return to the TechSmith recorder interface.
    4. Select “Audio” and ensure that “Record system audio” is checked.

Note: this will allow you to capture any “remote” participant audio from those called in to your Webex. This can be useful to capture remote student questions and comments. However, if you choose to capture this audio, you should ensure you communicate with these students about best practices for conducting online meetings, as any audio from their microphones will be captured during the recording, including disruptive noises.

    1. Test audio by speaking near the microphone and watching the “Audio Input Level” meter. You should see green bars appear while you are speaking.
    2. Once you have tested your audio and have your materials ready, you can hit the record button and begin your presentation.
    3. When you have completed your presentation, select the Relay icon on the taskbar and hit the Stop button.
TechSmith Recording Window with  the 'Stop' button highlighted
    1. You can then preview and submit your recording.
TechSmith Relay Recorder Review Window with the 'Submit' button highlighted
    1. Once your video has begun processing, it is safe to log-off of the computer but DO NOT shut down or restart.
'Media is Being Processed' window in TechSmith
If you teach from a personal computer or laptop, it may be best to use the “Record to computer” option in Webex rather than running TechSmith. This will reduce the amount of processing power required from your computer to run both applications simultaneously and improve overall performance.

To record to your desktop:

    1. Launch your Webex meeting.
    2. Once you are prepared to start your recording, select the “Recorder” button at the bottom of your Webex window.
Icons at the bottom of the WebEx window highlighting the recorder button (fourth from the left)
    1. From the drop down menu, select “Record on my computer.”
Recorder Window with the 'Record on My Computer' Drop Down menu open and the 'Record on my Computer' item selected
    1. Click the “Record” button.
    2. Select a location on your computer to save the recording.
    3. At the end of your presentation, select “Recorder” and then “Stop.”
Recorder window with Pause and Stop buttons

Once you are ready to upload your recording to TechSmith:

    1. Open a web browser and log-in to montana.techsmithrelay.com.
    2. Click the “Create” button in your library.
    3. Select “Upload Media."
'Create' dropdown menu with the 'Upload Media' item selected
    1. Browse to your file location and drag and drop the media into the window.
'Upload Media' window with an area to drag and drop files as well as a 'Select Files to Upload' button
  1. Allow media to upload completely before closing your computer.

Support

If you need immediate assistance with classroom lecture technology, please call Instructional Technology Support (994-7266).

For questions regarding admin privileges, hardware and software installation requests or related issues, please submit a helpdesk ticket by emailing helpdesk@montana.edu.