Lecture Capture (CourseStream/Camtasia)

What is it?

Lecture capture allows instructors to create and record lectures or live class sessions for students to review and use in courses.  AT maintains two unique lecture capture services that enhance the online learning experience for students in participating courses. 

CourseStream (powered by Mediasite) allows instructors to create audio, video and anything shown during the live class session or recorded in advance by the instructor, such as PowerPoint presentations and document camera recordings. Some classrooms on campus are CourseStream-enabled and ready to record content directly in the classroom. Instructors can also use their own computers to record CourseStream content.

Camtasia is a full-featured screen recording application with advanced editing and highlighting capability. Once videos are recorded and edited, you can publish to your course using iLearn video or upload to non-campus platforms, such as YouTube.  

Support Documents


  • Phone: (415) 405-5555
  • Email: at@sfsu.edu
  • Office: LIB 80

Choosing a lecture capture tool

CourseStream can be used to record a session in the classroom, or can be used to record on a desktop or laptop and publish directly to your Canvas course.

Why you would use Coursestream

  • Lectures are primarily slideshow based (PowerPoint or otherwise)
  • Editing (or light editing) is not required
  • You already use Coursestream in your classroom

Why you would not use Coursestream

  • Lectures are primarily video (showing yourself or a non-screen based demonstration) or audio based
  • You want to record on a tablet or mobile device

Camtasia allows for advanced editing and highlighting capability. Once videos are recorded and edited, you can publish to your course using iLearn video or upload to non-campus platforms, such as YouTube.

Why you would use Camtasia

  • Lectures are primarily screen recording based
  • A full-featured video editor is desired for more advanced editing
  • Screen annotations, highlights and focus are desired
  • You want to share your videos outside of campus

Why you would not use Camtasia

  • Video editing is not required or too advanced
  • You need to record a mobile device or tablet

How to get started

Recording in a classroom:

For faculty requesting semester-based CourseStream-enabled classrooms, 

  • Requests for semester-based CourseStream-enabled classrooms must be made through the respective department’s academic office coordinator as part of the Online Schedule Building (OSB) process.
  • The deadline for requesting a CourseStream room is typically 7 months before the semester begins.

CourseStream-enabled classrooms:

  • BH 28
  • BUS 108
  • BUS 122
  • BUS 215
  • CA 129 (McKenna)
  • CA 132 (Knuth)
  • HSS 130
  • HSS 135
  • HSS 154
  • HUM 129
  • SCI 101
  • SCI 201
  • SCI 210
  • TH 210

Support documents:


Recording on your own with the Mediasite Desktop Recorder:

The Mediasite desktop recorder is available to all instructors teaching courses and provides a simple way to capture your voice, video and screen recording to publish directly to your Canvas course.

Support documents:

Instructors will need to request a license to use Camtasia.  Once a license is provisioned and software downloaded, users can start creating recordings.

Support document:

Request form:

Guidelines and recommendations

This guideline documents operating procedures for the CourseStream lecture capture service at San Francisco State University, addressing the areas of:

  • Content retention, deletion and preservation by faculty
  • Intellectual property and content ownership
  • Acceptable use
  • Student privacy and FERPA

Its purpose is to facilitate effective management of the overall system, efficient use of storage and other resources, and to document usage guidelines.  This guideline applies to recordings created and stored in the CourseStream Recording Library including content produced from classroom recordings and the Desktop Recorder software.

Definition of Terms

  • Academic Technology (AT): Department that administers the CourseStream system and equipment.
  • Classroom Recording: Recorded lectures within CourseStream-enabled classrooms. 
  • Desktop Recorder: Mediasite software that installs on personal computers or laptops from which instructors can record screencasts, webcam-based video and/or audio for upload to the CourseStream system.
  • CourseStream Recording Library: Repository of recordings available for review or viewing within the My Mediasite area in Canvas courses.
  • Recording Retention: The length of time CourseStream recordings will be held in the CourseStream Recording Library before scheduled recording deletion takes place.
  • Scheduled Recording Deletion: The schedule by which recordings will be automatically deleted from the system.
  • Instructor Archiving: The method by which an instructor can download and preserve past recordings onto their own storage device.
  • FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This is federal law protecting the privacy of student education records and applies to any school that receives funds under an application program of the U.S. Department of Education.


Recording Retention Process Overview

All CourseStream recordings will be kept for a minimum of one year after their creation and be available in the instructor’s CourseStream Recording Library. Twice a year, AT will aggregate a list of CourseStream recordings that are a minimum of one year old (365+ days) and that have not been viewed in the last 365 days. These recordings will be flagged for removal from the CourseStream Recording Library in an effort to maintain efficient use of the CourseStream storage system.  Exceptional instances where recordings may be removed at other times are discussed below.

The recurring dates of deletion will be:

Fall – September 15

Spring – March 15


AT administrators will notify each instructor who has a recording flagged for removal that their recording(s) have been scheduled for deletion a minimum of 30 days before the scheduled deletion date. Instructors wishing to retain any of these flagged recordings may download a copy of their recordings to store on their own storage device (ex: computer, hard drive, cloud service, etc.) using the AT Help Center instructions.

The recurring dates of notification will be:

Fall – Early August, Early September, Mid September

Spring – Early February, Early March, Mid march


Exceptional Instances Affecting Retention

  1. Instructors with large CourseStream Recording Libraries may be contacted by AT administrators outside the normally scheduled recording deletion periods and AT will work with individual instructors on migrating and removing content.  These instances will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Recordings that are found to violate local, state or federal laws may be removed at any time. Examples are recordings that violate copyright or FERPA laws.

Ownership of Recordings

CourseStream recordings are subject to intellectual property guidelines for online instructional materials as defined by the SF State Academic Senate.

Please review SF State’s policy for more information.

Acceptable Use

Use of CourseStream should follow all University directives and guidelines for acceptable use of University resources and should be used for legitimate purposes as intended by the University.

Please review the CSU Responsible Use Policy for more information.

Student Privacy and FERPA

Recordings that include student interactions in which it is possible to identify the students constitute protected educational records. If access to the recording is limited to the class from which it originated, FERPA does not prevent or require written consent for its usage. However, if the recording is shared beyond the class from which it originated (with another class or publicly), it requires written consent of identified students in the recording.

We recommend instructors plan recordings to not capture video of students in the classroom and avoid referring to students by name. This can be facilitated by adjusting the zoom settings on the camera in CourseStream-enabled classrooms to focus on the instructor only.

In the case of student presentations, the instructor should obtain the written consent of the student making the presentation. Photography, Visual Image, & Concept Ideas Release Form (PDF)

How are people using this tool?

When used effectively, lecture capture and recordings can enhance teaching and learning in any course. Recordings can also enable different pedagogic strategies.

Creating Effective Recordings 

Keep these guidelines in mind when creating recordings for a course:

  • Condense content into short and concise segments
  • Optimize audio so that the instructor's voice is clear and audible
  • Review recordings as a way to improve them
  • Use presentation slides to add context and clarity, not to distract or repeat
  • Include discussion prompts or reflection questions for viewer engagement

Flipped Classroom

The flipped classroom is a pedagogic model where students view recordings before class, and use in-class time for learning activities. With recording technology, instructors can pre-record content for students to view in Canvas before coming to class. This frees up time in class for in-depth discussions, group exercises and active learning.

Lecture Capture

CourseStream-enabled classrooms can automatically record a class at instructor-scheduled times. These recordings can be managed and edited online, then published to Canvas. Recording and sharing in-class content benefits students in a multitude of ways. Students can access the recordings when they need to catch-up on missed lectures, review difficult concepts or study with classmates. 

Personalized Learning

Both recording platforms make recording content quick and easy. Instructors can quickly create and publish recordings with their own computers. This allows instructors to deliver just-in-time content that is tailor-made to the specific outcomes and specific students in a class section. For example, instructors might use short recordings to respond to an unexpected question that students are struggling with, or connect course content to late-breaking current events. 

Instructor Benefits

  • Create recordings using their own computers or using a CourseStream-enabled classroom
  • Manage their library of recordings online
  • Edit recordings online
  • Publish recordings to Canvas seamlessly
  • Reuse recordings each semester

Student Benefits

  • Engage more deeply with the content
  • Review difficult concepts
  • Catch-up on missed lectures
  • Access content anytime and anywhere

Accessibility and Universal Access

These recording tools are fully accessible to people with disabilities, but equally important, they promote universal access to content for everyone.

Including recordings in a course increases access for everyone in a number of ways:

  • ESL students can watch recordings repeatedly to master content
  • Students requiring flexibility can access recordings on their own time
  • Students with strong auditory or visual learning preferences can engage more deeply