Developing Educational Screencasts: A Practitioner’s Perspective

Developing Educational Screencasts: A Practitioner’s Perspective

Damien Raftery (Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-879-1.ch013
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Abstract

YouTube to iTunes, company to college websites, there is a seemingly exponential explosion in creating screencasts. A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen activity, often with an audio commentary. Short and engaging, screencasts have the potential to enable learning in new and exciting ways. They are becoming easier to create and, as a teacher in higher education, I have gradually increased my use of screencasts, learning with experience and from the generally positive feedback from students.Drawing on existing research and personal experience, this chapter will introduce screencasts and discuss their potential. The importance of integrating screencasts thoughtfully and carefully into the teaching and learning process will be examined, including pedagogical and instructional design issues. Next a four-step process for creating a screencast will be presented: prepare, capture, produce and publish. Prior to conclusions and final reflections, future research directions will be examined.
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Educational Screencasts

A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen activity, often containing audio narration. It is sometimes referred to as a video podcast or simply a video, and also as a scrast (verbally shortening the word screencast to one syllable).1 A screencast gives a look over my shoulder effect similar to one-on-one instruction and can be accessed whenever and wherever it is convenient (Educause, 2006). Students particularly value this, flexibly using screencasts to support their learning and thereby allowing for greater learner independence. A screencast usually has control buttons, enabling it to be paused and particular sections to be replayed: this level of learner control over pace is important (Oud, 2009, p. 169). The combination of video and audio appeals to different learning styles (as an alternative to predominantly text-based learning materials) and, as it is produced locally, it may be more approachable than glitzy packaged instructional videos (Kanter, 2008).

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