Video record an entire three day course? Are you mad? It seems not. I have on numerous occasions been approached with the task of video-recording entire "training" courses (sometimes 3 or 4 days) for any or all of the following reasons:

  1. to enable non-attendees to catch up
  2. to enable particularly remote course stakeholders to view the results of their course design
  3. to widen access to events which have already taken place.

After initial consultation with the client some of these needs get filtered out as another way is found, or agreement is reached that only segments of the course are chunked into individual videos for later re-use, or they simply realise what work is involved for very little end result.

What does the network do? If that request to record the whole three days is just not "going away", how would you tackle it? I am particularly interested in:

  • equipment used to record video
  • equipment used to record audio if different from above
  • method by which "video" is captured (miniDV / hard disk recording / live streaming
  • Is there a rapid deployment route to getting this video (potentially 20 hours +) up and available to learners / watchers

Footnote: Currently I use Canon MiniDV for all in house video, which means 1 hour footage takes one hour to record, one hour to download from camera and one hour to edit / post prod / and host. So 20 hours would be all that and much more probably. I'm looking for the lowest cost fastest route to satisfy these particular needs.


I'd be very interested to hear from the community especially if anyone else is experiencing this or has any advice to offer.


Many thanks!








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Here's my suggestion ....... I believe the key point is to get the balance right between push and pull. A 3-day course is 100% push; but to replicate it in a multi-modal delivery, you need the majority of it to be in an environment in which the learner pulls what they need at the point of need. So by all means keep the key learning content, but chunk it into a content repository from which learners can pull, and, if you need to give them some stimulus to do it create work-related assignments for them to complete by accessing it. Hope that helps.

We're used to this kind of request and I have to say, when the client wants it's difficult to get them to think outside of the box. Personally I don't think it's the best use of video as a medium. We film using HD equipment such as Sony EX3 or EX1 cameras which record on memory card. They're professional cameras and are costly to purchase but deliver great results. We always film with two cameras, to get audience reactions and capture on screen presentation material. A radio mic for the presenter and an ambient shot gun mic for the audience is the bare minimum. Ideally, you'd have make sure that everyone who speaks is near to a mic otherwise you just don't get good quality sound - unrealistic if you haven't got a sound recordist with a boom to swing into the audience. 

Editing does take days, especially where two cameras need to be synced and cut together. In short, even with non-tape based media, it's a long process and there isn't a short cut. 

When editing, it's worth breaking this into sections so that the audience/learners can pick and choose what they want to view. We usually make a highlights film also which pulls out the key learning points.

There are a number of issues here not least of which is the type of video equipment to use.

As David indicates doing what in education circles they call 'lecture capture' (its big in many US universities) does require some decent equipment and editing facilities to get the balance right between presenter and visuals (I assume you train with PowerPoint slides as visuals).

However as Alan points out a better approach from an online learning perspective is to re-purpose your course for effective online access. This also requires considerable time and effort but the result is much better for learners. Just imagine having to watch a video that lasts 20+ hours to see what I mean!

Of course the big question is will the online version make your classroom based version redundant? If it's done well then the answer is probably a yes...if done badly then probably no.

I am currently working with a number of training companies who want to provide an online alternative to their 'high value' classroom based offer but simply videoing three days of a trainer in a classroom is probably not the best approach.

Hi Brian,

I would echo the thoughts of the other responders and would add that how you manage a video production largely depends on why you're doing it. The old adage "you had to be there" can be true of a three day seminar etc., where more is gained by being there than just watching the presenters. If done badly it can be like watching 3 days of CCTV footage, and given that peoples attention span tends to be limited to short periods I could well see people hitting the FF button on the remote.

I would always go for bitsized chunks, which, as others have said, means more of an investment of time and energy, but the rewards are much greater. It just depends how much you wish to invest - do you want a verbatim record of proceedings or a documentary about the content. Documentary film makers use a variety of stimulii to maintain our interest for an hour, so if you take that approach it'll take some effort. This has to be a balance based on longevity of your product.

I did this for twice for a conference/seminar for new medical consultants, the first was just unusable and the second time round I just got a professional crew in to do it and edit down to use in multi-module, really good guys to work with I would unashamedly recommend bradleyTV, drop an email

Recording a lecture (or days of them) as is would get you a fun CCTV action as Dave Giblin said. Why not repurpose the content totally? Use a reworked version of the PowerPoint presentation (if that's what you ARE using already) and let the lecturer record narration to that. That recording can be exported in HD format... Encourage people to actually watch these in pairs/groups and have each bite sized piece end with "Discuss (question related to subject X) with your neighbor before moving on to the next subject". 

Hi Brian,


I would agree with other proposals to chunk materials.  We have been asked to do this on occasion - not 3 days but certainly long presentations/demonstrations.  We recorded everything - sound and vision and then using storyboarding, edited to bite-sized chunks.  Worked well and is loaded to our LMS for future referencing and also as core training material.  Recorded using SONY HD equipment.

Best of luck




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