Teaching in the age of COVID-19: Live from the recording studio

Mar 18, 20
Teaching in the age of COVID-19: Live from the recording studio

Recording your content so it can be broadcasted, also called live streaming, can be helpful if you want to reach your audience in real-time. Recording your content for later viewing is useful for trainees who may be clinically unable to attend (they are working, they are post-nights, etc..) or for faculty who are unavailable too. (link to prior ALiEM videos). It’s also a way to double-dip this COVID-19 catastrophe into the generation of a more enduring product of digital scholarship. So, go for it, record that lecture you’ve been meaning to record… Share your thoughts with the world!

recording studio


YouTube Live is a real-time video streaming service offered by YouTube in addition to other services that YouTube provides. On the contrary to other video conferencing systems, YouTube Live is a one-way video presentation product.


  1. Video can be streamed on YouTube to hundreds of people without any cost.
  2. Interaction with the audience can be only made using the live chat function.
  3. Use the Mobile app of YouTube for mobility.


  1. If you do not have a verified YouTube account, you need to verify it before you start going live. This activation may take 24 hours.
  2. The presenter cannot see or hear the audience since there is only one-way streaming.
  3. Cannot share your screen unless you use third-party software (e.g. OBS Studio).
  4. Need to have at least 1,000 subscribers to stream on the mobile app.

Tips for success

  1. Have the team all login and get comfortable about 15-20 min before you “go live”.
  2. Best to have some show notes to know where you are headed.
  3. Finally, make sure to smile! You’re on camera! It can feel like it’s a dark and ominous time right now, but your learners don’t have to feel that way. Plus, since you’re archiving your thoughts, that foreboding look on your face may not be understood contextually later when others are watching the video 3 years from now.

FYI, there are loads of other software that allow you to locally capture a screencast (Camtasia, Screencast-o-Matic, even Apple’s native software like Quicktime). For all of these, you’ll be able to record yourself flipping through slides and completing a voice over – then all you have to do is upload it to a video server (YouTube or Vimeo will host your videos with some size restrictions).

recording studio


Obviously in EM, we are all well aware of podcast technology, but for the purpose of giving timely updates to a big group of people, this might be one of the best methods! Recent literature has found that podcasts are used nearly ubiquitously by our residents for learning [1-2]. Podcasts help you as an educator capitalize on a whole socialization aspect around these that we don’t have with our lectures [3].


  1. Many people are already using podcasts to learn. Adding one more might not be a hard thing if it is worthwhile.
  2. Push out content with a single upload.
  3. Easily reach learners via devices they already use.
  4. For those who are camera shy, it only requires your voice!


  1. It requires quite a bit of technological know-how and might be hard to “just startup” without an experienced coach’s assistance.
  2. Producing and creating a high-quality sound recording can be tough and typically requires more substantive expertise.
  3. It requires funds to host content on a podcast server.
  4. Making podcasts available on multiple platforms can be hard (separate apps for Apple Podcasts, Google, and all the rest).
  5. Recent literature suggests that learners tend to do other things while listening to podcasts (e.g. commute, chores, etc.). [4,5] Be wary of putting in startling/alarming sounds (e.g. you know, ALARMS, PAGERS, SIRENS).

Tips for success

  1. Not all podcasts are equal. Think about what you want to do, and stick to that brand. Some podcasts are meant for a more local audience (e.g. MacEmerg podcast), and some are meant for a national or global podcast audience (e.g. St. Emlyn’s, CanadiEM/CRACKCast/ClerkCast, or EMCrit). Ask around to see if someone already has sound editing experience (e.g. someone who does music editing can also make you sound good!)
  2. To start out, consider using a simple Dropbox link with a time-dated file and sending that along – not as fancy, but good for a closed, tight-knit group (e.g. a residency or fellowship program).
  3. Remember to SMILE when you’re recording (if appropriate) – listeners 100% can hear the difference between when you’re speaking plainly and when you’re engaged and smiling.
  4. Use a popular podcast server like Libsyn or Soundcloud, as they have relationships with podcast apps and will push your content across all of them (including Spotify, but not Apple Podcasts) without you having to worry about it.  Check out this site which allows you to find your podcast.

Stay tuned for the rest of this burst series, and if you missed them, check out our introduction post and our post highlighting real time videoconferencing. For more information regarding remote work and education, check out ALiEM Remote.

Don’t want to reinvent the wheel for your weekly resident conferences? Check out ALiEM Connect, a live educational telecast with a concurrent moderated backchannel discussion.


  1. Mallin M, Schlein S, Doctor S, Stroud S, Dawson M, Fix M. A survey of the current utilization of asynchronous education among emergency medicine residents in the United States. Academic Medicine. 2014;89(4):598. PMID: 24556776
  2. Cho D, Cosimini M, Espinoza J. Podcasting in medical education: a review of the literature. Korean journal of medical education. 2017;29(4):229. PMID: 29207454
  3. Riddell J, Robins L, Brown A, Sherbino J, Lin M, Ilgen JS. Independent and interwoven: A qualitative exploration of residents’ experiences with educational podcasts. Academic Medicine. 2020;95(1):89-96. PMID: 31517682
  4. Chin A, Helman A, Chan TM. Podcast Use in Undergraduate Medical Education. Cureus. 2017 Dec 9;9(12):e1930. doi: 10.7759/cureus.1930. PMID: 29464137
  5. Thoma B, Goerzen S, Horeczko T, et al. An international, interprofessional investigation of the self-reported podcast listening habits of emergency clinicians: A METRIQ Study. CJEM. 2020;22(1):112-117. doi:10.1017/cem.2019.427. PMID: 31760965


Author information

Yusuf Yilmaz, PhD

Yusuf Yilmaz, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences Education Research
Innovation and Theory (MERIT) Program, McMaster University

The post Teaching in the age of COVID-19: Live from the recording studio appeared first on ALiEM.

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