edTPA Video Guide

This guide uses Shotcut software to trim and compress edTPA videos. However, there are many ways to do this work. Pearson offers the following guides for Windows and Mac. This method with Shotcut is being used at BGSU because it uses the same tool for both Mac and Windows platforms plus it is free open source software. It is installed on all lab computers in the Education building, including the open lab in room 213, the classroom lab in 213A, all circulated laptops in room 215, and the laptop cart housed in room 201.

If you want a copy of Shotcut for your personal computer, download it here. (NOTE: Do not click the green "start download" button on this page. Instead, click on the link that best matches the description and operating system of your computer.)

Video Trimming & Compression Basics

The help video below assumes:

  • you have recorded the video in landscape orientation.
  • the video is in one of the following formats: .flv, .asf, .qt, .mov, .mpg, .mpeg, .avi, .wmv, .mp4, or .m4v.
  • the file containing the video is on the computer running Shotcut or some device connected to this computer. (memory card, USB flash drive, etc.). The file is not on a network drive or cloud storage (OneDrive, DropBox, etc.).
  • the video will playback correctly without any errors or issues on the camera or computer.
  • you know the start and end times for the portion of video you want to keep and submit with your edTPA portfolio.

The video above demonstrates the following:

  1. Open Shotcut then either drag and drop your video file into the Shotcut window OR select "Open File" from the Shotcut file menu and select your video clip.
  2. Click and drag the ends of the red rectangle in the timeline to select the start and end times for the portion of the video you want to keep.
  3. Click on the Export button at the top of the Shotcut window. Two new columns will appear on the left side of the window. Ignore the first column, do not click on anything there.
  4. In the second column be sure the pop-up menu next to "From" has the name of your clip selected. Do not change the pre-selected format (keep it "mp4").

5. Video Tab: If the current resolution is above 900, equally divide the two numbers by 2, 3, or 4 to get the value of the largest number below 900. Examples: If the value for resolution is 848X480 (common for the TRC Kodak Playtouch cameras), you can leave it alone or divide by 2 and change it to 424X280. If the value is 1280X720 (common for the TRC Zoom and Xacti cameras) divide both numbers by 2 for the result of 640X360.

This number determines the size of the video frame for playback. But the frame can always be enlarged or reduced in the video playback software. This setting has a surprisingly minor effect on the overall file size but it is important because the next step in this process is to significantly lower the quality of the video and a smaller framed video has a better chance of hiding the reduced quality.

6. Codec Tab: Keep the pre-selected codec as "libx264". Change Rate Control to "Average Bitrate" and change the value to 512K. This setting has by far the greatest effect on file size during the video compression process. It also greatly impacts the quality of the video. 512K is a compromise between quality, file compression and the Pearson guidelines for the edTPA portfolio quota. If you are having a file size or quota issue, change this value to 256K. But this shouldn't be necessary for most student edTPA portfolios.

7. Below the export column click on the "Export" button. If the button is not visible, make the overall Shotcut window larger.

8. Give the new file a name but be sure to keep the ".mp4" file suffix. Save the export file to a location you can find later.

9. Progress of the export will be indicated in the Jobs Menu located on the right side of the Shotcut window. Wait for the percentage complete to show "Done". Now you can open the new file and view the exported video, move it to another location, upload for submission, etc.