VideoScribe Instructor Guide

VideoScribe is an animation software that allows you to animate text and an extensive library of shapes and images on a digital whiteboard. You can customize the animations in multiple ways, as well as add voice-overs and a soundtrack to the final video product.
Access Not immediate You will need to request a VideoScribe license from us first. Then you can create a VideoScribe account and download the application to access it from your computer.
Cost Yes Free.
Bandwidth Yes (Does not run online.)
Canvas Integration No None. But you can export media from Camtasia and upload it to Canvas.
Privacy Yes Does not run online, so privacy is not a concern as long as your device is secure.
Similar UBC-Supported Tools N VideoScribe is the only centrally-supported tool for video animations.

What can I use it for?

You can use VideoScribe to bring animation-based activities into your course:

  • Creating course content that uses visuals, which can encourage student curiosity and cognitive processing of information
  • Having students use VideoScribe to make content of their own for course activities or assignments
  • Asking students to create their own learning materials

This tool guide was last reviewed in November 2021.

What do I need to use VideoScribe?

A VideoScribe license

UBC provides a license for using the educational version of VideoScribe. You will be covered by this license for free once you send in a request, as outlined below.

Additional features are available with the pro version of VideoScribe, but you will need to purchase a pro version yourself, if you want to use it.

The VideoScribe application

VideoScribe is a desktop application, meaning you will download and install the VideoScribe software on your computer, as outlined below.

The application is available for Windows and Mac operating systems. Your computer will need to meet basic specifications to run the software, so if you’re on an older or slower machine, you may wish to check the VideoScribe system requirements.


  • You can request licenses on behalf of your students too, if VideoScribe will be part of a course activity, as the license is available to all active UBC students and employees.
  • Using the latest version of VideoScribe is recommended, to prevent crashing and freezing. You can follow the steps for checking your version and downloading the most recent one on the VideoScribe site.

How do I use VideoScribe?

You first need to request a VideoScribe license, then set up an account and use it to install the VideoScribe desktop application.

Click any bar below for instructions and tips on using VideoScribe.

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Request a VideoScribe license

To get started with VideoScribe, please send us a VideoScribe license request using our contact form.

Your VideoScribe license will be assigned to the email address you provide in your request. If you have already been using VideoScribe on a trial basis, please provide the email you are already using.

Limitations of UBC's educational license

The educational license comes with three limitations to be aware of before you begin.

  • The license does not include the "VideoScribe Anywhere" mobile app for iOS, so you would need to purchase the app separately, if you want to use it.
  • The license does not include premium images. You would need a separate subscription to purchase premium images, if you want to include them.
  • The license does not include removing the VideoScribe logo or adding your own logo to your videos. You would need to purchase the pro version, if you want to customize this feature.


Create a VideoScribe account to download the application

Once you've requested and received a VideoScribe license from us, you will create a Sparkol account. Sparkol is the company behind VideoScribe, so this step is the same as creating a VideoScribe account.

  1. Visit the Sparkol sign-up page to create your account.
  2. You will need to enter your first name, last name, and email address exactly as they appeared in your VideoScribe request to us.
  3. Agree to the terms and conditions, and click Create Your Free Account.

Download and install the VideoScribe application

Once you've received a VideoScribe license from us and created a Sparkol account, you can install the VideoScribe application on your computer.

  1. Log in to your Sparkol account.
  2. Click Download next to VideoScribe.
  3. Click the download option applicable to your Windows setup:
  4. When the download is complete, open your File Explorer, go to your "Downloads" folder, and double-click the VideoScribe installation file (i.e., VideoScribe64.msi or VideoScribe.msi).
  5. Follow the VideoScribe setup wizard to finish the installation and launch VideoScribe.

  1. Log in to your Sparkol account.
  2. Click Download next to VideoScribe.
  3. Click Download Mac OS X.
  4. Go to your "Downloads" folder, and double-click the VideoScribe installation file (i.e., VideoScribe.dmg).
    • If you get an error, you may need to control-click the installation file instead, and select Open from the menu.
  5. When prompted, drag and drop the VideoScribe icon into the "Applications" folder.


Create an animation in VideoScribe

Once you've installed VideoScribe, you are ready to create your first animation. You have two main options for getting started: you can create an animation from scratch or customize an existing template.

"Scribes" is the term VideoScribe uses to refer to animations you make.

  1. Open the VideoScribe application, enter your account username and password, and click Login.
  2. Choose how you will get started:
    • Click Create a New Scribe to start a new project with a blank canvas.
    • Click Template Scribes to start a project with a template canvas. Browse the options and click any template to open a copy of it you can immediately begin editing.
  3. Click the play icon (the icon with a line behind it) to preview the animation at any time.
  4. Add elements to your canvas using the three buttons at the bottom right:
  5. Anything placed on the canvas will show up in your animation timeline at the bottom of the application and be animated by default. You can adjust defaults like timing and edit other aspects by selecting any element in the timeline and clicking an icon that appears on top of the image.
  6. Reorder any element by dragging and dropping it in the timeline.
  7. Use the toolbar at the top of the application to save your animation or add a soundtrack, record a voice-over, and more.
  8. When you are ready to create a video file of your animation, click the share icon next to the question mark in the upper toolbar and follow the prompts to publish your video as an .mp4 file, to a video-streaming service, or for use in PowerPoint.


  • Use the arrow buttons and magnifying glass to move around your canvas when making or editing an animation.
  • You can change the colour and texture of your canvas, by clicking the paintbrush icon in the top toolbar.
  • Every animation has a hand that does the animating, and you can change what the hand looks like and even import your own hand to really personalize your video.
  • You can change the section of canvas that is in view at any point in your animation by setting the camera position.
  • Some elements may be locked in place so that they don’t get moved by accident, but you can change this by clicking the lock icon that appears when you select the element in the timeline.
  • You can open an element's editable properties by double-clicking it on the canvas, instead of accessing it through the timeline.
  • VideoScribe provides video tutorials you may find helpful for creating scenes, setting up camera angles, adding sound, editing, and publishing your animations.
  • Check out VideoScribe's tips and techniques for information on animation techniques, element properties, and more!

Where can I get more support with VideoScribe?

Technical support

If you have trouble with VideoScribe:

Pedagogical support

Learn more

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