The Benefits of Screencasting

benefits of screencasting

What is screencasting? Simply put, a screencasting is a video recording of the computer screen. Usually, these videos have audio but, they don’t have to. They are also called screen capture videos, screen recordings, etc.

Screencasting has become really popular in recent years due to various reasons. One of the main reasons would be the rise of software training. Screencasting is the best way to walk someone through software. It records every keystroke, and the learner can pause the video and re-watch if they couldn’t follow the instructor. Also “how to videos” and online tutorials have become very popular thanks to YouTube. Online Tutorial websites such as Lynda.com mostly depend on screencasting videos. Almost every Lynda.com tutorial has some sort of screencasting section where they share the screen with the students.

In addition, if you want to share something on your computer screen with a colleague, you can record your screen and just send a video.

In higher education, instructors, as well as instructional designers, can use screencasting to enhance their courses. Since most of our students are visual learners, we try to create various visual elements to help them comprehend the material. I have suggested to some instructors that they use screencasting to walk students through their Blackboard course interface so that they have a good idea of where course materials are located.

As instructional designers, we encourage our instructors to use this technique to add value to the course. One of our instructors recently used screencasting to record answers to assignment questions. It was an Information Technology course, and the instructor recorded a 5-10 minute screen recording of each answer and embedded them in the course. The students will be able to see the answer video after the due date of the assignment.

Another way to use screencasting videos is to give feedback on student essays. Every instructor has to read and provide feedback on student essays. Rather than typing feedback on a Microsoft Word document, you can record your feedback as a screencasting video. That way you can highlight words/sentences on the screen while providing verbal feedback. This type of feedback can be really effective for students rather than a few sentences on a Word document. The instructor doesn’t have to spend any more time than they usually spends on typing up the feedback. The only additional step is to publish the video and send it to the students.

These are not by any means the only ways to use screencasting videos. Instructional designers and instructors should be creative and use this technology to enhance their teaching activities.

There are a variety of screencasting softwares available in the market.

1. Screencast-O-Matic

Screencast-O-Matic is a very simple software. It is a web-based screen recording software. Thus you don’t have to download and install it on your computer. Screencast-O-Matic can be used on both Windows and Mac computers. Also, it has a free version with basic screencasting features and pro version for $18.

2. Screenflow

Screenflow is another screencasting software. However, only Mac users can use it. It was the most popular screencasting software among Mac users before TechSmith came up with Camtasia for Mac. Screenflow is a feature rich screen capture software that is bundled with post video production tools.

3. Camtasia

TechSmith`s Camtasia is one of the most popular screencasting software among Windows users. It’s also a very feature-rich software with post video production tools. Since Camtasia was very popular among Windows users, TechSmith came up with Camtasia for Mac. Thus now you can use Camtasia on Mac too.

4. Jing

Jing is also developed by TechSmith, and it’s a simpler version of Camtasia. It`s free and has only very limited features. Jing only allows you to screen record 5 minutes at a time.

5. Snagit

Snagit is also developed by TechSmith. They have positioned it in-between Camtasia and Jing. It has more features than Jing but less than Camtasia.

If you know more ways to use screencasting videos, please share with us.

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