Recording Videos in a Pandemic

Hello WPI Community! This post will cover options for creating educational videos during situations – such as the current COVID 19 pandemic – where it’s not possible to come to campus.

WPI has two primary tools which allow for communication with students via video. One is Echo360 and the other is Zoom.

Both of these tools have areas of overlap and well as differences. It’s worth considering what is the right tool for your purposes.

If your goal is to create video learning objects that stand the test of time, then use Echo360. Echo360 is integrated into Canvas and you can read how to download it and create videos here. It’s easy to record from home and then share the videos with students via Canvas.

Echo360 can also be used in a classroom. To learn the basics of recording a lecture in a classroom, check out this post. In both scenarios – at home or on campus – Echo360 lecture captures can be streamed live. When done, they are saved to the Echo360 cloud and shared via your course website.

Zoom is WPI’s web-conference application. Zoom allows for live engagement via audio/video participation. It also works well  for classes where the instructor might want to share the time with a guest speaker or have a discussion. Like Echo360, it also records, but you will have to take some steps to connect the videos to your Canvas site. You can learn more about Zoom here.

So given that both tools record, what’s the best tool to use?  If the primary goal is to create a video learning object with good resolution and ease of sharing, choose Echo360. If your goal is to record a live discussion-based event featuring audio and video from multiple participants, choose Zoom and run from your home or office computer. You may be wondering if you can combine the best of both worlds and use Zoom in a classroom. If your goal is to record, then the answer to this question is no. The classrooms are equipped with Echo360 technology for recording lectures and instructor audio. We do not recommend Zoom for in-classroom use as the classrooms do not have built-in, Zoom-ready hardware.

This post was just a basic overview of Echo360 and Zoom as tools for recording your course-related videos. As always, WPI’s Technology for Teaching and Learning group welcomes your questions. If you’d like to contact us, please email: And don’t forget to check out this site for links to the ATC’s micro-trainings!