Using QuickTime to create a movie

A group of students wanted to take some 360 models that we had filmed and put up on the web (see here), and record movies of them, with narration. Using QuickTime on a Mac seemed the simplest way to do this, and so we evolved a series of basic instructions to do this:

It’s a good idea to test how you will make the movie first – and then (unless you have already written a script) make notes of what you want to say.

This is the way to make the test AND the final movie.

1) Open Safari and navigate to Use the drop down OBJECTS menu to navigate to the models you specifically want to record.
N.B. – this would work for any web page you wanted to record.

2) When you have found the page you need to record, open the QuickTime Player.

QuickTime icon
QuickTime Player icon

QuickTime Player icon in system tray
QuickTime Player icon in system tray

3) Select File >> New screen recording

4) Make sure that you have the correct mike selected by checking the dropdown menu.

Selecting the mic
Selecting the mic

5) When you are ready, click the red button to start recording.

6) Enlarge your screen size to full screen (if you try to do this before you start recording on QuickTime Player, you will hide the record button)

7) Wait a couple of seconds before you start to speak and manipulate the model.

8) When you have finished, pause for a couple of seconds, then reduce the screen size so that you can see the Quicktime Player icon.

9) Click the black button to stop recording.

10) When you close the Quicktime screen for your movie (by using the red button top left) you will be prompted to save the file.

Saving the movie
Saving the movie

11) Save it to the folder on the desktop called: Students’ wax model videos

12) Name your file using the format: <<video title>> – <<your name>>

And that’s it!


The raw file that is created will be a little rough and ready (for example, it will have the web screen at the front end before the model is expanded to fill the whole screen) so it will need to be smoothed and edited in another program.  We could do it in iMovie, and I’ll address that soon.

I am a Grammar Nazi – who knew?

I set about entering some questions in Rogo today which will form the basis of a two part test for school children, testing, from an experimental psychology perspective, their understanding of grammar.

As this was my first foray in to creating a paper, I went at it by using the Rogo documentation – and fell at the second hurdle.

I began by opening “Help and Support” and read with interest the Getting Started with Formative Quizzes and with Summative Exams. Emboldened, I clicked on the link “Making a New Paper” on the latter page – and got a 404 (it does actually work as a link from the Formative Quizzes page though).

In any event, it was good that I applied to Jon because it turned out that I needed to create a complete hierarchy of Faculty, School, Course and Module before I could get into the paper. Once that was created, I set to work on the paper itself and that went swimmingly.  I was able to choose between Matrix and Dichotmous questions for what I wanted; I decided I wanted the flexibility of using my own labels and went with the Matrix.

This was very straightforward – my main difficulty was that the text boxes for entering options are rather small. That wasn’t too much of a problem as I was cutting and pasting, but I think that I would find it very frustrating if I was inputting text and was only able to see approximately 11 characters at a time.

I was amused to discover a mis-placed apostrophe as I was entering the questions – and in a test on grammar too!

And then, as I checked the test, I noticed the sign off message:
Please complete all questions before clicking ‘Finish’, you will not be able to go back.

We need to get that weak comma changed, I think. I’d like to see a conjunction added so that it reads:

NOTE: Please complete all questions before clicking ‘Finish’, as you will not be able to go back.

Yes, I am being pedantic, I’m afraid. Comes of being an ex-English teacher.

One thing that is clear to me as a user – Rogo is a system that stands on its own merits.  For me, conceptualising in terms of “Element A is similar to Element Y in Perception” is not really valid, and just holds me back. I think I need to explore Rogo as an entity rather than as a comparison if its full power is to be understood!


Experimenting with Rogo

My usual role in working with assessment software is inputting questions and creating assessments, so my thoughts are going to reflect this.

Obviously, with any new piece of software there’s a few howls of “Why won’t it do this???” “How on earth do I do that?”  I just have to say to myself … this too will pass.  And Rogo seems to be – so far – a very intuitive system.

What I’m more concerned about is things that will slow my workflow, and I’ve hit a couple – one which resolved itself, and one which hasn’t yet …

1) The automatic numbering system works against the one that we have established over the last five years.

Rogo has the pattern of numbering question stems A, B, C, D etc and numbering options 1, 2, 3, 4 etc.

Our existing system numbers stems (i), (ii), (iii) etc and options A, B, C, D etc. Numerals are used on diagrams (as in “What is the shaded area at 3?”)

I’m not saying that our system is perfect but … it works. And more importantly, we have upwards of five thousand questions configured in that way.

It seems that we CAN turn off the numbers on options, but we haven’t yet found out if we can take off letters on stems.

2) In the past, to support students who need to take the exam in a paper-based form, and as a back-up in case the system goes down, we have evolved a template to do this.  It’s a one click, load the template process; it automatically adds page breaks and replaces dropdown lists with paper-friendly boxes.  Are we going to be able to do this in Rogo?  Or will I go back to the pre-template system of making the changes to the html manually in Dreamweaver?

A third problem resolved itself beautifully … I regularly create a crib sheet with the correct answers for examiners to use to check the paper.  In Perception, you need something in the answer boxes before it will share the answers with you (because of the way we have set up the system.  I therefore have a little tool in Firefox that automatically fills in forms, and I was most disappointed that it didn’t work in Rogo – until Jon showed me that simply submitting the paper gave me a full set of answers – which is MUCH easier.

I should add that by the time 8it reaches the students, they will not be in this happy position …