Free Resources for Creating Lecture Videos (for Faculty)

Aug. 25, 2021

If you’re looking to record your lectures or short tutorials to include in your course, there are multiple free tools available for faculty. 

Here is a step by step checklist to create lecture videos for your course:

  1. Create your presentation slides/materials. Watch this short presentation for easy graphic design tips. 
  2. Record your narration and (optional) edit your video using one of the free tools below.
  3. Export the video to an MP4 file. 
  4. Upload your video to YouTube and embed that video in your Blackboard Course. Instructions available here.

Important Note: Do not upload MP4 or MOV video files directly to Blackboard, as it will cause a storage error for your course. 

Please read the steps above and then skip ahead to the section that is most appropriate for your video style. 

Depending on the complexity of your edit, you may wish to use a full fledged video-editing software to record and edit your video. Please choose from the two options below. 

For complex editing:

CUNY SPH Faculty and Staff have FREE access to Camtasia screen recording software. Camtasia is available for Windows & Mac computers. The program comes with a range of features to create, edit, and share videos online. With this application, you can record your screen, your voice and you have the option to also record yourself on video. This can be a powerful tool for online lectures and class demos. Camtasia also allows you to import audio tracks and video files, making it easier to include your existing projects into your current project. 

To gain access to Camtasia, please email to request a free license. Our friendly helpdesk representatives will send you a link to download the software on your computer along with a license key. Once installed, please take a look at the following tutorial video to get started with using Camtasia. 

For more advanced features and additional help, visit the following page for access to Camtasia tutorials.

For simple screen sharing or narrated slides with little to no editing:

If you have created your slides already in Powerpoint, Google Slides, or Canva, and want to add narration, here are some options for quick and easy free tools for recording:

Microsoft PowerPoint

CUNY provides access to Office 365 (including PowerPoint) for all SPH faculty. To gain access, please visit this link.

To create a lecture video using this tool, you can record your PowerPoint presentation—or a single slide—and capture voice, ink gestures, and your video presence. Then, you can save the presentation as a video file, upload to YouTube and embed it in your course. Use this tutorial for detailed instructions on using the slide show narration feature in PowerPoint


Formerly known as Screencast-o-matic, ScreenPal is a free tool that lets you share your screen while narrating. Please note that free accounts are limited to a maximum video length of 15 minutes. Use this link to access ScreenPal directly in your browser.


Since CUNY offers free access to Zoom accounts for faculty, you may already be using Zoom to host your synchronous class sessions. Did you know you can also use Zoom for pre-recording your lectures? Just open up a meeting, choose your microphone and camera settings, share your screen and hit record.

Optimize your recording quality by selecting these settings prior to hitting record. When you’re in a meeting, select Preferences- Recording. Make sure to check the following boxes:

      • Optimize for 3rd party video editor
      • Record a separate audio file of each participant
      • Record video during screen sharing
      • Place video next to the shared screen in the recording. 

The other settings on this page are optional. 

If you need to trim the beginning and end of your Zoom video recording, for example, you can do this on YouTube using these instructions. 

Need Assistance?

The Office of Online Learning can assist with uploading lecture videos to the CUNY SPH YouTube channel, for faculty who have a large number of videos to upload. Once you’ve created and edited your video, please add it to a Sharepoint or Dropbox link and use this form to request assistance with uploading. We can add this video to our YouTube Channel, and send you a video link that you can embed in your course. 

For additional assistance or questions about creating lecture videos, please feel free to reach out.

Find more resources and tips for faculty from the Office of Online Learning, including multimedia and other tutorials