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Asynchronous Online Learning Materials: Best Practices

This guide is for librarians and library staff that create asynchronous online learning materials, primarily videos tutorials.

Software, Programs, and Tools


Camtasia is a software suite, created and published by TechSmith, for creating video tutorials and presentations directly via screencast, or via a direct recording plug-in to Microsoft PowerPoint.

Example instructional videos created with Camtasia can be found on the Music Library's tutorials page.

Learn how to use Camtasia with their tutorials.


Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, posters, documents and other visual content. It is available on web and mobile, and integrates millions of images, fonts, templates and illustrations.

Learn how to use Canva with their tutorials.


Kaltura is an effective tool for uploading and creating video in your Brightspace course. Kaltura is an app that should be used for uploading large video files to stream, creating video quizzes, and creating screen recordings. The Center for Teaching uses and promotes this app because it can interpret and play many file types in different browser environments. This helps ensure that all students can access your media. Kaltura is also able to help you create videos for your students.

If you create a video outside of Kaltura, you can still use Kaltura to import .mp4 files into Brightspace via Kaltura to be sure that remote students, particularly in China, are able to access them.

Learn how to use Kaltura with the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching's Brightspace resources.


Prezi is a presentation software that uses motion, zoom, and spatial relationships to bring your ideas to life and make you a great presenter. It also has video capabilities.

Example instructional videos created by Sarah Dunaway in Prezi are available here.

Learn how to use Prezi with their videos.


Screencast-O-Matic is a screen casting and video editing software tool that can be launched directly from a browser. The software has been widely used in the education sector to support video creation for flipped classrooms, bi-directional student assessments, lecture capture, and student video assignments.

Learn how to use Screencast-o-matic with their tutorials