Screencasts

Assignment: Create 3 screencasts demonstrating related computer-based tasks.
[Visit the original blog post to see feedback my colleagues left for these screencasts.]

For my screencasts, I elected to continue the theme of providing training videos for my staff at the UAA Learning Resources Center. In this series, clerks learn how to check items out, check items in, and pay a fine in our library software system, Symphony WorkFlows. I plan to use the videos when we train our new clerk(s) in January.

Checking Items Out
Checking Items In
Paying a Fine

Back in April, I wrote a paper in which I investigated screencasting and screencasting tools. In that paper, I identified these uses for screencasts in online courses:Screencast Uses Table

The use of the screencasts I created for this assignment is that of providing a demonstration to a group.

As for my experience completing this assignment, it was surprisingly filled with hurdles. In all, I spent about 3 hours getting Camtasia to work. Since my workplace has a license for the software and I was creating these for work, I  attempted to use Camtasia on both a work laptop while at home and my desktop in the office. Without going into all of the details, the jist was that no matter what I did, Camtasia on both computers insisted that I had an expired free trial rather than the full license. Ultimately, UAA’s friendly, patient, and persistent IT folks were able to get it worked out.

Once I had the program up and running, I was disappointed to discover that there isn’t a way (or at least not one I was able to identify) to get the music clip I used in my videos into my screencasts. The music from my video was one of the provided tracks in CuteCut, the video editing app I used. I tried and researched and brainstormed and tried again, but nothing worked aside from recording it onto the computer while playing it through the speakers. But of course that wasn’t really an option due to poor sound quality. Ultimately, I located another tune that worked well on Freesound.org.

Beyond these challenges, things mostly went well. I have experience using Camtasia but each time I make something, I find myself learning new things and better ways to do things. I also have to spend quite a bit of time remembering how things work. I feel as though it would be much easier if I made a screencast using Camtasia at least once a month so everything stayed fresh!

Despite all of the challenges and delays, I am quite happy with the final products! Let me know what you think.

One thought on “Screencasts

  1. Hi D’Arcy,

    Great videos! I thought that the music you chose, as well as your pacing were perfect. The length of your recordings were also just right. WorkFlows, as we know, is not the most compelling system so it was nice that your screen casts provided useful information in a concise format.

    I also appreciated the zoom feature that you used. If I have any suggestion for you it would be to make more use of it. I had a hard time seeing some of the links that you were clicking on. I’m familiar with the system, so I was still able to follow along pretty easily, but someone new might have a difficult time.

    Again, I really enjoyed the recordings and I think your Circulation staff will definitely benefit from them!

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