Talking Heads: Blended Learning using online video


Talking Heads: Blended Learning using online video

Giving students the opportunity and flexibility to engage with learning material at times and locations that suit their own needs is often a challenge, especially if such material needs to correspond and repeat learning content within ‘live’ classroom / lecture environments.

To address this challenge, Senior Lecturer Karl Bentley has devised a series of ‘talking head’ videos that allow students to access learning material online that both allows students to access and revisit learning material, whilst also providing virtual face-to-face guidance and learning cues.


Beginning with an initial lecture presentation, Karl has used Camtasia, a video capture software (see resources below for alternative options), and a process of green-screening (a method whereby a person can film themselves whilst removing the background to allow an underlying presentation to appear), to give students access to both a tutor discussion of learning themes, as well as the presentation of learning content.

After the green-screen ‘talking head’ of Karl’s discussion of learning content was mapped on top of the learning presentation, the Kaltura video software was used to edit and embed the video into the university’s Blackboard VLE (virtual learning environment). Kaltura can also be used to embed chapters into a video presentation so that students returning to learning material can quickly access the information that is most relevant to them. Kaltura allows the software to be embedded in any VLE or website and is not necessarily restricted to an institution’s own VLE.

Play the video above to view an explanation and example of this strategy in action. The resources below will provide guidance and advice on how to create this strategy for your own pedagogic practice.


This strategy provides the following benefits for teaching and learning:

  • It allows flexible access to learning material at times and locations convenient for a student’s own needs.

  • It allows students to revisit learning material to deepen and confirm their understanding. This is particularly advantageous for those students that either struggle creating effective and comprehensive lecture notes during the initial delivery of learning content, or for those learners that have missed lectures (for genuine reasons).

  • The strategy allows students to access the tutor’s discussion of learning material in which to put a learning presentation into context – this is a benefit that many online learning presentations neglect.

Resources and support

The following tools and resources offer guidelines for the implementation of the above strategy within your own pedagogic practice. The tools and resources are separated into three categories: Easy, intermediate or advanced.


How to use Kaltura to edit online video and add learning chapters

Kaltura is a video editing and distribution software for Blackboard (VLE) that allows the user to record themselves discussing learning content in relation to relevant presentations used for teaching. The videos and materials below will guide you through the process.

The basics of using Kaltura

Click here for a text-based guide for using Kaltura.

Recording screen based presentations using Kaltura

Click here for a text-based guide for recording screen based presentations using Kaltura. The video below will give you a visual explanation of the process:


How to use ‘Screencast-o-matic’ to generate ‘talking head’ video presentations for learning

Screencast-o-matic is a free online alternative to Kaltura that allows you to simultaneously film both yourself and any on screen presentation, whilst discussing the learning material.

The software is very easy to use – watch the short video below for an explanation of the process:


How to use Camtasia to generate ‘talking head’ video presentations for learning

Camtasia is a pay for use video editing and distribution tool designed for education. Camtasia contains a wide variety of editing features and options. The following videos and material will guide you through the process of creating video presentations and adding green screen ‘talking head’ facilities.

Recording video presentations with Camtasia

Green screening using Camtasia studio

Further support

If you need further support implementing this strategy, or you would like to know more, contact either the Senior Lecturer in Blended Learning, Lee Hazeldine (, or the Learning Technologist, Sam McFarlane ( to arrange a discussion at your convenience.

April 7, 2017 | Karl Bentley: Senior Lecturer

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