What is a Lightboard?

The Lightboard is a low technology solution to help facilitate the recording of instructional videos.  Faculty record their instruction in the manner to which they are already accustomed, using a dry erase marker on a whiteboard-sized surface.  The Lightboard is ideal for those faculty who wish to record videos for homework help repositories, flipped classroom lessons, just-in-time instruction or for those times that one “just needs a video!”

How does a Lightboard work?

Small LED lights surround a pane of tempered glass. Faculty write and/or draw upon the pane of glass with dry erase markers as they are recorded with a camera on the other side of the glass. The video is mirror-flipped using computer software and the handwriting appears correct to those watching the video.

Before – Video as shot by cameraAfter – Video after rendering
William Turkett, Associate Professor of Computer Science, writes on the LightboardThe Lightboard video is mirror-flipped and William Turkett's handwriting appears correct.

Dr. William Turkett, Associate Professor of Computer Science

Why use a Lightboard?

As an alternative to eLearning/recording software:

  • The presenter is not limited by the small screen size on their computer and can utilize a large surface for writing equations, diagrams and text.
  • The presenter does not split their attention between interfacing with eLearning/recording software while also trying to present their content.
  • The presenter is not required to learn how to use eLearning/recording software.

As a replacement for traditional whiteboard video:

  • By always facing forward, the presenter is able to maintain eye contact and a sense of presence with the viewer (aka the camera) making the video more intimate and approachable.
  • By always facing forward while writing, rather than having their back facing the camera, the presenter is able to create a smoother and more natural presentation.
  • The presenter is able to easily erase and/or change content written on the Lightboard with a paper towel.



Dr. Todd McFall, Assistant Teaching Professor of Economics


  • Just as you would for a class, it is best to bring an outline (or script if you prefer) for each presentation topic.
    • Benefits of organizing short video segments: Better student retention, Ease of editing if needed, Ease of updating content if needed.
  • Please bring an extra shirt or two in case the clothing you selected does not display well on camera or washes out your writing when you walk behind it.
    • Shirts should not have logos or writing on them as these will appear reversed in the final video.

Production Day

  • Record a quick “screen test” using the Lightboard which can be reviewed for purposes of refining the presentation.
  • Record your video.
  • Preparation and transfer of your finished video files typically takes 1-2 business days.
  • Your finished video can be shared with your students via Sakai, Google Drive, Youtube, Vimeo, or any other method you choose.

William Turkett, Associate Professor of Computer Science, records a Lightboard lecture in the Lightboard Studio at Wake Forest University.

Dr. William Turkett, Associate Professor of Computer Science

The Lightboard Project

The Lightboard was developed by Sarah McCorkle (former Instructional Technology Specialist, Politics and International Affairs) and Paul Whitener (Systems Architect, Information Systems). The board frame was constructed by Hugh Brown (Services Technician, Campus Facilities) and LED bottom channel designed by Bob Morris (Laboratory Technician, Physics).

Faculty utilizing the Lightboard for their instructional video needs are asked to include the following attribution:

The Lightboard Project, Wake Forest University.

Recent Presentation

The Lightboard: A faculty introduction to the development of supplemental learning media.
Presented at the 9th Annual Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, Blacksburg, VA, February 14-17, 2017.

Abstract: The Lightboard is a low-technology solution for recording instructional videos where the focus is on writing or drawing. Hands-on demonstration of presentation techniques for effective visual presence will be offered to volunteers on a 3’ X 5’ Lightboard. Through several small group exercises, participants will be asked to think critically about the value of using a Lightboard for presenting content in a variety of disciplines, content types, and teaching styles. At the time of this submission there is no peer-reviewed literature on the use of a Lightboard in teaching and its impact on student learning. We can however take into account what we know about the science of learning with regard to the handwritten word as well as faculty experiences in producing instructional media using other types of technology. There emerges two potential benefits in utilizing a technology such as a Lightboard for instructional videos: the effect of the handwritten word on student information retention and faculty convenience in developing instructional media without the use of eLearning or screen recording software.


Heidi Robinson, Professor of the Practice – Department of Counseling
Professor Robinson records a short video introduction using a storytelling technique. A black curtain hangs over a nearby window to block reflection and accommodate more suitable lighting.

The Lightboard Project at Wake Forest University is the result of a small faculty pilot inspired by the work of Michael Peshkin of Northwestern University ( Funding, resources and labor from across the university were utilized to complete the project with special thanks to the following:

Facilities and Campus Services


Information Systems


Office of the Provost

– Teaching and Learning Center

– Online Education

– Allen Brown (Pilot Lecturer)


School of Business

– Information Technology

– Center for Leadership and Character

– Kris Shelton (Pilot Lecturer)

Office of the Dean of the College

– Department of Counseling

– Heidi Robinson (Pilot Lecturer)

– Brian Calhoun (Pilot Lecturer)

– Department of Physics

– Department of Computer Science

– William Turkett (Pilot Lecturer)

– Department of Mathematics and Statistics

– Department of Psychology

– Department of Chemistry

– Department of Health and Exercise Science


The Instructional Technology Group

Special thanks to the Instructional Technology Group staff contributing to this project: Steven Wicker, Ching-Wan Yip, Robert Vidrine, Tommy Murphy, Jo Lowe, and Rick Matthews.

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