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Printable version of lightboard tips – Lightboard Tips

What is it?

It’s a glass writing board filled with light that causes neon markers to glow when writing on it. What makes it different from the traditional board is that you can record videos facing toward your viewers and the writing shows in front of you.

What are its key instructional uses?

Lightboard videos can support some of the following cases:

  • Model sample problems
  • Annotate diagrams and images
  • Create problem-solving microlearning units
  • Explain challenging concepts

What instructional delivery modes benefit from videos?

  • Traditional face-to-face learning (Flipped classrooms)
  • Blended learning
  • Online learning

How does it work?

You stand behind the glass facing a camera and use a neon marker to write your notes or draw as you present. The light from the lightboard magnifies the neon so it can be seen in the camera’s lens. The video is then flipped using computer software so that the notes or drawing appears correct to learners watching the video.

before on a lightboardafter lightboard example


Why use a lightboard?

A lightboard video is an innovative approach to traditional screen recording. As an alternative to the traditional lecture capture, the presenters:

  • Are not limited by a small screen and can utilize a larger surface for writing equations, diagrams, algorithms, text, etc.
  • Don’t need to split their attention between presenting content and the recording software.
  • Are not required to learn how to use recording software.
  • Don’t need to invest time in any postproduction video editing.

Best practices when using a ligthboard

  • Make sure that video recording with a lightboard aligns with the course learning objectives (or lecture learning objectives).
  • Plan:
    • Identify what you need to cover in the video (Consider designing your video so that it can be reused in other courses/semesters. Avoid referring to specific dates, time, etc.).
    • Prepare an outline or a script for each presentation topic (This can also be used when video is sent out for captioning).
    • One topic, one board, and stop: Plan to cover small chunks of content. Keep videos 3 to 5 minutes short. If your explanation requires more than 10 minutes, then break it down into smaller units.
  • Practice in an equal-sized board (optional).


  • Dress appropriately:
    • Wearing dark colors will make your body fade in the background.
    • White or yellow can be too distracting.
    • Avoid text, nametags or logos on clothing (these will look inverted during post-production process).
  • Look at the camera when you aren’t writing or pointing.

More on lightboard

Nortwestern – Digital Learning website []

CELT’s Illustrating Key Concepts and Problems Using a Lightboard []

Chronicle of Higher Education’s article: How to prepare professors who thought they’d never teach online web []

EDUCAUSE’s 7 Things You Should Know About: Lightboard []