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PACT Video Support

August 31st, 2016

Hello Student Teachers and Interns (and Seminar Instructors)!

Please read this important information about making your video for the PACT or Preliminary Teaching Event.

There are several types of support available:

    1. Camera Checkout

      The Oviatt Library’s Teacher Curriculum Center (TCC) has a set of video cameras reserved for Secondary Education Department candidates who are making a video for a PACT or Preliminary Teaching Event. Some use mini-DVD's while others use memory cards. You can also check out a wireless microphone and tripod. These cameras may be checked out in the TCC at the Oviatt Library, Garden Level (enter through Library), during Library hours ( with your CSUN ID card. You may keep the equipment for up to 5 days. You are responsible for returning this equipment on time. You will also be responsible for returning the equipment in working order or you will be assessed replacement costs. You are welcome to use a non-department camera for your Teaching Event; however, the technical support that we can give may be more limited.

    2. PACT Video Orientation

      One Video Orientation session has been scheduled for:

      • Tuesday, September 20,      2:00 – 3:30 pm (ED 2117)


      • Friday, September 23,        2:00 - 3:30 pm (ED 2117)

The Orientation Session will explain how to download your video and compress it so that it is ready for uploading to TaskStream and will offer tips for shooting video. This session is intended to orient you BEFORE you begin your Teaching Event, so it is a demonstration, not a hands-on lab.

  1. Hands-On Seminar Support

    Most likely, your seminar instructor will reserve a computer lab for one or more seminar sessions, on a date when you are expected to have already shot your video. On this night, you will receive technology assistance for downloading, compressing, and uploading to TaskStream. It is important for you to have your video clips shot and selected by this date so that you can take advantage of this assistance!

  2. Walk-In Emergency Help

    Walk-in lab sessions with assistance available have been scheduled near the due dates for the PACT and Preliminary Teaching Events. Do NOT count on using these last-minute labs as your sole source of video support! These sessions are intended as EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE for candidates who have attempted to compress and upload their video clips in the hands-on seminar session but are still experiencing technical problems. These sessions will be held on:

    • Friday, October 14 3:00 - 5:00 pm (ED 2115B)
    • Thursday, November 10 4:00 - 5:00 pm (ED 2115B)
    • Friday, December 2 3:00 - 5:00 pm (ED 2115B)
  3. Student Computer Lab

    Room 2115A is reserved for student computer use.

    • Some iMacs in 2115A have the ImToo Software for compressing video shot on mini-DVDs. Warning: Do not insert a mini-DVD disc into the slot-loading drive on any iMac machine; it will be lost! Instead, use the one iMac has an external DVD drive that can read mini-DVD discs.
    • All PCs have the Free Video2iPod software for video shot on the Canon FS200, and RER software for video shot on a mini-DVD. Directions for using these programs are posted on the computers that have it (and covered during the Orientation Session) and are demonstrated in a video posted at:
  4. SED PACT Website

    Much information about making your video, including instructions for shooting and converting video for many different models of camcorders, can be found at:

What Not To Do!!

  • Much of the support listed above comes courtesy of the College’s IT Department. We greatly appreciate this extra work they do to help you with your PACT videos. Unfortunately, the IT Department cannot provide individual assistance to you. Please DO NOT contact the IT Department directly about matters concerning PACT or Preliminary Teaching Event videos.
  • Also, do not shoot video in any classroom until you have secured video consent forms from the students. If you are teaching in LAUSD, please use the form specifically for LAUSD. Consent forms are available on the SED PACT Website:

I know that the video can be the most logistically problematic part of the Teaching Event for many candidates. If you take advantage of the support described here, you should be successful. I wish you the best on your PACT or Preliminary Teaching Event!

Dr. Hawa Ghaus-Kelley
PACT Coordinator, Secondary Education Department

Permission Forms

Advise your master teacher and principal of your need to videotape lessons. Determine whether the school has already required students to submit video release forms that would cover this event. It may be that the principal prefers that you use the school’s or district’s parent video/photo permission/release form.

You will need to print out the Sample Parent Letter from Teacher Candidate and the TPA Permission Form, fill in the information, make sufficient copies, distribute and collect them. For forms in Spanish, you can use video permission forms contained in a PDF file labeled “CalTPA Video Permission forms,” available from your student teaching coordinator or seminar leader.

Preparing the Shoot

      1. You will need to plan ahead – the video clip(s) must be shot during the learning segment you are analyzing for the Teaching Event. The video clip should be of actual teaching, as opposed to the delivery of instructions for an assignment, or a review of material before a test or quiz.
      2. If you are unfamiliar with the videotaping process and/or do not have access to video equipment, consider the following resources for equipment and videotaping assistance.
        • Your master teacher (identifying potential school resources and assisting you with videotaping)
        • Your university supervisor
        • The Elementary and Secondary Education Departments have camcorders and tripods available for check-out. You will need to purchase a mini-DVD on which to record your video clip.
        • Another student teacher who has done or is doing videotaping; or
        • Friends and family (for equipment only).
      3. If you need a camera operator, look to people who already have approval to be in classrooms, e.g., your cooperating teacher, university supervisor, designated student helpers, or fellow student teachers.
      4. Think about where you and your students will be during the activities to be captured on the videotape. If some students have not submitted the permission or release forms, arrange to have those students out of camera range. Will different activities require students to regroup and move around the classroom? How will the use of instructional materials be recorded? What will the camera need to capture? If applicable, when should the camera operator zoom in or rotate the camera to a new position?
      5. Meet with the camera operator to plan the taping prior to videotaping your lesson, and plan to use a tripod for all or part of the shoot. Share your lesson plan and discuss your plans to capture the teaching and learning. Even if you want the camera operator to move around to capture group or pair work, only a tripod will avoid shaking images. For safety reasons, tape extension cords to the floor with duct tape.
      6. Practice the videotaping process. This will provide a chance to test the equipment and give your students an opportunity to grow accustomed to the camera. This will also help you catch possible snags, such as a camera flash “whiting-out” images you have on a screen.
      7. Adjust, if necessary, for the light source each time a recording is made. Newer cameras may have a switch for recording in incandescent, florescent, or daylight or may be completely automatic. Do not place the camera facing the window or other bright sources of light.
      8. If you are having trouble hearing yourself and/or the students, try placing the camera closer to the action OR use an external microphone plugged into the camera. Confirm that this turns the internal microphone off. If the camera operator wears headphones plugged into the camera, the sound quality can be monitored during taping. If possible, turn off audible heating or air-conditioning fans; if not possible, locate and point the camera away from them.

Taping and Uploading the Teaching Event Video Clips

Your task, part of the Teaching Event assessment, is to videotape one or two segments of classroom instruction that portray features of your teaching you have chosen to analyze. These two pages outline the procedures for obtaining permissions, preparing and practicing the taping, shooting the tape/DVD, and uploading the clips to TaskStream.

General Instruction

  • PACT Video Support - Help, seminars, supports, cameras, information.
  • The ideal arrangement is to check out a digital camcorder and tripod from the Elementary Education or Secondary Education Departments. Use a computer to make each clip size below 500 megabytes, and upload the clips to TaskStream.
  • Sound Quality - Make certain the sound quality is good. A lavalier microphone insures that your voice will be heard clearly. Remember that a microphone attached to a camera in the back of the room may amplify background sounds relative to your voice.
  • Lighting - Make certain that your room is well lit and that the video is easy to see.
  • Format - Use the largest size with the best resolution allowed within the storage limits.
  • You will be cropping uninterrupted video clips ONLY at their beginning and end; no other kinds of editing—including titles or special effects—will be permitted.

Video Format, Conversion and Uploading

Video Information

File format

TaskStream accepts popular computer video file formats (MOV, MP4, AVI, WMV), but we recommend Quicktime (MP4 or MOV).

Storage Limits

The storage limit for each clip is 500 MB, and the storage limit for the entire teaching event (video, text, scanned documents), is 500 MB (as of 9/08). You may have to adjust the length or format of a clip so that it fills up much of the screen while staying under the 500 megabyte limit.


The most straightforward method is to shoot a video using a digital camcorder, in QuickTime (m4a or MOV) format, finalize the disk on the camera, and upload the clips directly to TaskStream. Unfortunatley, not all recorders record in Quicktime format.

Converting to Quicktime

If you shoot video in a format other than QuickTime, you can covert the video clips to QuickTime formats by using software and procedures specific to either the Macintosh or PC platforms. The URL for the video conversion instructions is: The computer in the student lab (2115A) have this software.

What type of media / recorder do you have?

  • MP4 format camcorders. If you have a late model of camcorder that can record in MP4 format: no conversion necessary. However, you may wish to video in low resolution to keep the file size under 500 MB so it can be uploaded.
  • mini-DVD camcorders: The simplest way to convert is using a conversion software called ImTOO DVD to MP4 converter. Instructions.
  • mini-DV tape camcorders: (such as Canon ZR series) use iMovie (available in the student lab, 2115A). Instructions.
  • camera with AVI movie recording capability: Many "still" cameras can generate a 640 x 480 movies.
  • Windows users to convert to Ipod format
  • To use Free Video to Ipod Converter*:
    1. Change “Presets” to “Ipod Classic Economy Quality” 320x240
    2. Select “Output Name”.
    3. Select “Input Files”. If trimming is needed, click “Trim”, click “Play” button, click “Trim Left” button, to set beginning and “Trim right” button to set end, then click okay. Once finish, click “Convert”