Recording Whiteboard Teaching

Creating & Recording a Remote Whiteboard Session

Many faculty use a chalkboard or whiteboard when teaching in a face-to-face classroom setting. Reproducing this tool in an online session can be challenging, especially a live session taught remotely using Zoom. Below we discuss several possible approaches to capturing the benefits of a whiteboard online. All of these will require adjusting your teaching methods. While these options might feel uncomfortable at first, they typically become more natural with practice.

Using the Whiteboard in Zoom with a Tablet

Zoom includes a virtual whiteboard that can be shared when a physical chalkboard/whiteboard cannot be used. The whiteboard function is built into Zoom and requires no extra equipment or applications.

Although you can write on the whiteboard with your mouse, it is much easier to use a tablet. While you do not need any tools to use the whiteboard function, we suggest using a stylus. It is also a good idea to practice using the stylus before using the Zoom whiteboard live in a course.

Getting started using the Whiteboard in Zoom

  1. Start the Zoom session on your computer
  2. Join on your tablet as well
  3. “Share Content” from your tablet and choose “Whiteboard”
  4. Draw on the whiteboard
  5. Open a new whiteboard as needed (option available at the bottom right). NOTE: You may want to save your whiteboards to your photos for sharing with students.
  6. Swipe down from the top of the screen and choose “Stop Share” when done with the whiteboard (All whiteboard content is erased when you stop sharing).

Using PowerPoint with a Tablet

Rajesh Bhaskaran, Swanson Director of Engineering Simulation in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, provides a short video tutorial on using PowerPoint with a Tablet to create a virtual whiteboard.

Using the XP-Pen with a Tablet

Some departments at Cornell are experimenting with using the XP-Pen with a Tablet as a relatively inexpensive yet effective whiteboard tool that can be shared with Zoom.

One faculty member who tried it out says, “The software was easy to install, and it works great!”

Allen Ward, Lecturer Support and Student Services Support in the Department of Statistics & Data Science, created a video demonstrating how to use the XP-Pen with Zoom.

Alternative Virtual Whiteboard

Mathew Ford's Simple Cell Phone Document Camera

In addition to a digital whiteboard, there are a range of creative ways you can record your teaching using a cell phone camera.

Here is a creative video recording model for creating a document camera that requires only a cell phone and a stack of books. This video was created and shared by Matthew Ford, Postdoctoral Associate in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Thanks to Matt and the MAE department for sharing his great work.