University of Wisconsin–Madison

Why should I invest in or borrow external microphones and webcams?

There are many factors outside of your control that influence the quality of a video a student receives, including the student’s listening and viewing environment, cognitive abilities, language, and need for captions. Audio is the most important element in your videos and podcasts.

When you are recording evergreen content–that is content you want to reuse–or demonstrating something captured by your webcam, aim for high quality audio and video.

Even in synchronous videos, students should get a crisp video of you with good lighting. Particularly in an online environment, students need to know what you look and sound like. Think of your microphone and webcam as a means for making your lectures feel as personal and digestible as face-to-face class sessions.

Teaching & Learning has media kits available for checkout. Email teaching@wsb.wisc.edu to check out a media kit. Include your office number, desired check-out date, and anticipated return date in the email. Media kits include a microphone, webcam, and light with a single USB connection. You can find instructions for configuring your laptop or computer’s webcam and microphone settings here.