How to Record Your Online Course Videos with Zoom (for FREE)

Record online course videos with Zoom

Planning, preparing, and presenting an online course can be extremely profitable, but it can also take time and effort. We provide your course content, ready to customize, which saves a huge chunk of time. However, the next challenge is how to record online course videos without tearing your hair out!

Your course videos need to be professional to show your audience that you’re serious about helping them, and this can be tricky if you have to start learning a lot of technology. The good news is that there’s a tool that will help you, and which anyone can use: Zoom.

Zoom is a “Freemium” product. This means there are some aspects of Zoom you can use and not pay a cent, so long as you stick to under 40 minutes. Other parts of the service, like webinars, are a paid feature.

Watch the video below where I walk through how to record videos using Zoom ‘meetings':

Here are the course recording steps from the demo (scroll down for infographic):

Step 1 – Join Zoom

Go to the Zoom website and on the top right, click the button that says Sign Up, It’s Free (or similar wording.) There are limitations, but meetings under 40 minutes (just like the videos we are going to make) are free.

Step 2 – Schedule a Meeting

> Sign in and select Schedule a Meeting from the dashboard . Alternatively, you can go to your Personal Meeting Room and just click 'Start' to immediately launch a meeting.

> If scheduling, fill in the name of your video and at the bottom of the page click Save.

Don't worry about the other options available because you are going to start setting up and recording the video right now.

> Click on Start the Meeting. At this point, if you don't already have Zoom on your desktop, you will be asked to download it now.

Don't worry if you're not quite ready. Nothing will get recorded until you hit ‘Record'.

Step 3 – Set Up Your Equipment and Documents

Next you will see a control panel for your meeting.

> Start the set-up by unmuting your microphone and turning on your camera by clicking ‘start video' (if you are using it).

Before you hit record, make sure you have your notes ready and any other documents you want to share in your video.

Remember to turn off phones, notifications and anything else that might cause unwanted background noise.

Step 4 – Start Recording Your Video

Your mic and camera are already set up and now its time to share your screen.

> Click the Share button on the control panel and select the document you want to share on your video. Adjust your document to fit inside the green outline.  Note that the control panel is minimized at the bottom of the screen for when you need it.

> When you are ready, take a deep breath and hit the Record button.

Take your time and don't rush through it. Pause if need to and use your notes for guidance.

> When you're done recording your document, go to the control panel at the bottom of the screen and click the square 'stop' button to end the recording. (You can also use the Pause button at any point to pause recording and re-center yourself or find documents to screenshare.)

> When you are finished completely, go the control panel menu, select More… , End Meeting and End Meeting For All.

Step 5 – Save Your Video

Zoom will now convert the meeting to a recording and you will be taken to your Zoom desktop folder where you will see your recording has been saved for you, both in MP4 and Audio only files. You can use the audio only files for your course as well. Some people like to learn on the go and having the audio makes their life easier! You'll also find the Zoom audios increase the value of your online course when you include them.

Step 6 – Edit Your Video (if you need to)

It is not necessary to edit your videos if you keep them short and get a clean recording. Lots of people go all the way through without any problems.

However, if you do find you need to edit or cut out parts of your videos, you will need to use another tool outside of Zoom. There are many free video software programs available such as VSDCHitFilm ExpressVideoPad or iMovie which will get the job done.

Some of our favorite paid options include Camtasia and Screenflow which offer all in one video recording and editing packages.

Record course video with Zoom

Alternatives to Recording Course Videos with Zoom

Zoom is certainly not the only option to record your course videos. It just happens to be easily accessible and simple to use. If Zoom doesn't work for you, try one of our other favorite free tools for recording:

  • PowerPoint – You can record your slideshows with audio in Powerpoint itself and export it as a video. My favorite method is to record my audio first and then import it into the slideshow. You can learn how to Record Slides as Video here.
  • Other free tools include Facebook Live or Youtube Live – where you can use your slides to run a live video and then download the recording afterwards.

We also really like the following tools as well, and even though you have to pay for them, they include a free trial so you can download it and make sure it's right for you before you commit.

  • Snagit – Screen and video capture tool with free trial available
  • Camtasia – Screen recorder and video editor all in one with a free trial available
  • Screenflow – Screen recorder and video editor specifically for Mac users


Want a quick, step-by-step guide to using Zoom for recording your course videos?

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Let me know if you have any questions!

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