Skip to main content

Teaching Remotely During A Disruption

Choosing Local or Cloud Recording

Zoom meetings can be recorded in one of two ways: to the local computer, or to Zoom’s cloud storage space. If you decide to record a meeting, whether you select that option while scheduling the meeting or while the meeting is happening, you’ll be asked to make a choice between the two.

Please choose “Record to the Cloud” if one or more of your students have documented accessibility needs that require the creation of a transcript. Please choose “Record on this Computer” for all other situations.

While individual Zoom users technically have the ability to create “unlimited” cloud recordings, those recordings count against the College’s overall storage limit, which is relatively small. In order to ensure we have adequate storage capacity to manage those recordings that need transcription, allowing the College to meet its legal obligation to provide equitable access to learning, we are requiring all other meetings to be recorded to your device and uploaded separately for student viewing.

Uploading Locally Recorded Content

Upon the conclusion of a meeting that has been recorded to the local computer, Zoom will need to work for a little bit to generate that recording. 

Upon completion, each meeting will be contained in its own folder and will make a video file, an audio file, and a chat transcript available to you.

What To Do With Local Recordings

In general, we recommend that locally recorded content be uploaded to the YouTube channel already associated with your Mount Holyoke account, saved as an “unlisted” video, and that video link be added to your Moodle course. This is the simplest and most direct method. However, it is not accessible to students in China, where YouTube, Google Drive, and other common services are unavailable.

As an alternative to YouTube, and to ensure equitable access to learning in the remaining weeks of the Spring 2020 semester, we are therefore recommending that you upload locally recorded content directly to Moodle. This will ensure the video is available to all of your students. However, you may run into file size limits. Moodle can only accept videos that are less than 100MB in size.

Effectively uploading and managing your recordings of Zoom meetings thus may depend on your answers to several questions:

  • Is this a situation in which having access to an audio recording would adequately satisfy the course’s learning goals?
  • Is this video recording larger than 100 MB in size?
  • Will this video recording need to be available to students who have returned to China?

Uploading Audio Recordings

When Zoom records to your local device, it generates both a complete video recording and an audio-only file. Where possible, consider providing the audio-only file to your students in lieu of video. This is a smaller file that students with limited connectivity will find easier to access. If you are sharing a recording of a class session or other meeting with multiple participants, it is also a way to manage the visual privacy of those who were in the meeting. 

If you choose to make the audio file available, we recommend you upload it directly to Moodle. (Uploading to Google Drive is an option as well -- but only if you are certain you do not have students currently residing in China, where Google’s services are blocked.)

Managing Large Videos

If you have recorded a lengthy lecture or a full class session, the file size is likely to be large. Moodle will only accept file sizes of up to 100MB. If your video exceeds this file size limit, you will need to either provide the video via YouTube or Google Drive (assuming none of your students are currently residing in China), or you will need to edit your video into segments and manage each segment separately. We realize this may sound burdensome, but it helps keep Moodle operational for all of our users, something that is especially important during this period of remote work.

We recommend using Quicktime (Mac, free; use the latest version available for your operating system) or Photos (Windows 10, free) to create video segments that are under the file size limit. We recommend using Handbrake (all platforms, free) to further compress video when needed. For more information, please see our guide to editing and compressing recordings.

Making Video Recordings Available In China

Where possible, please add your Zoom recordings directly to your Moodle site, ensuring that they are viewable by students who are currently residing in China. Recordings uploaded to YouTube or Google Drive will not be accessible to those students. Many students who have returned to China will find video viewing slow-going, as their download speeds have been throttled. This is another good reason to be mindful of file size and video duration.

Managing Cloud Recordings

You should only be choosing the “Record to the Cloud” option in Zoom when the recording will need to be transcribed to meet a documented accessibility need. We recommend maintaining the recording in your Zoom cloud storage for as long as the accompanying transcription is needed by your student(s). Only when you are sure that the recording is no longer needed by a student should it be deleted. That said, please do delete any content that is no longer needed, in order to ensure that new recordings have adequate cloud storage space and we are able to meet documented accessibility needs across the College.

You may find that a cloud recording takes up to several days to process. Zoom has worked to increase its processing capacity, but given the increased global demand for this service, a wait of up to 72 hours is normal.

We recommend visiting your account at and downloading a local copy of your cloud recordings, followed by uploading them to your course as if they were a local recording, if any of the following apply:

  • You have students who have reported limited Internet connectivity
  • You have students in China who may have trouble accessing cloud content
  • You have Five College students enrolled in your course who will need to view the video

In all of these cases, students would benefit from a local copy of the recording uploaded to Moodle, and the guidance in this document regarding the management of local recording applies.

Five College Access To Zoom Cloud Recordings

If you have Five College students registered for your course, they will not be able to authenticate and view any Zoom cloud recordings you have made.

In these situations you will have to download the cloud recording, and use either Moodle or YouTube/Google Drive to make a copy of the recording available to Five College students.

For now, this does mean you will have to host the video in multiple locations - the original in the cloud for accessibility purposes, and an additional copy on your Moodle site for Five College access.

Recording Google Hangouts Meet

If you choose to record a meeting or class session conducted through Google Hangouts Meet, the recording will automatically save to your Google Drive; look for it in My Drive → Meet Recordings following the meeting. 

These recordings can be shared as you would share any other file in Drive, but do keep in mind that students currently residing in China will be unable to access the recording. You should still therefore make the recording available via Moodle directly, and follow the recording management instructions above. 

For more details, and step-by-step instructions, see this answer from Google Meet Help.

Help with Zoom

Need help getting ready to use Zoom? While most users find it relatively intuitive, a variety of support options are available. These include:

  • Videos and Articles from Zoom Support
  • Live Training Webinars (including some specifically for educators)
  • LinkedIn Learning course, "Learning Zoom."
  • If the College implements a campus-wide social distancing policy during the academic year, limited live remote help will be available weekdays, as long as LITS staff are able to connect from campus or their own remote locations. More information about this support will be made available to all instructors as needed.
  • E-mail the LITS Zoom Team.
MHC Accessibility Barriers Form