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Desktop capture refers to video (and usually audio) capture of computer screens. The audio is commonly in the form of a voice-over from a microphone. So it is commonly used to capture speech over PowerPoint slides - much like in a lecture.

Ideas for use

  • Providing short lecture materials and using lecture time for discussion and answering student questions - checkout the Hot Question activity in Moodle for a good way to focus on the most pressing questions among a large cohort of students.

Related articles and information

Desktop Software

For a lecture (basic topping and tailing and editing out mistakes):

  • Mac & PC: EchoCapture Personal -  allows you to capture the screen and yourself (if you have a webcam) and make basic edits. You can then upload it to UCL's Lecturecast system:
    please note that support for the desktop capture system is on a best-efforts basis (due to differences in local machine configurations).

For capturing video that may require further editing (titles, images, transitions etc.):

  • Windows: BB Flashback Express - a free unlimited length screen capture program (for Windows), which is easy to use and exports to avi for import and editing in Windows Movie Maker.
  • Mac: 
    • QuickTime Player (for Mac) allows you to capture your screen and yourself (if you have a webcam). Go to File > New Screen Recording.
    • You can also initiate screen recording by pressing command-shift-5. Ensure you choose a mic input as it may default to 'none'.

Editing process

  1. Once you have captured your video, save it as an avi file (or similar).
  2. Use Windows Movie Maker (Windows), or iMovie (Mac) to edit the video, add titles, images and any transitions.
  3. Save as an mp4 file for uploading to Lecturecast or Moodle - avoid Flash as it is not smart phone compatible.


  • Jing - free screen capture tool to create (up to 5 minute) videos and images directly from your laptop
  • Snagit - low cast basic screen capture tool to create videos and images directly from your laptop
  • Screencast-o-matic - free online (or downloadable) screen capturing software - start recording immediately!

Tablet Software

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