Assignment: Create 3 screencasts demonstrating related computer-based tasks.
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:
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.
Hi, You did a great job on these videos, very professional. At the beginning of each video, the screen is blurry. But, after that is is wonderful. I love how effectively you use the boxes and arrows.
You absolutely nailed this. Your use of Camtasia features like annotations, video actions, higlighting, etc. was brilliant. As Liz mentioned, there might have been a couple of places where an action would help; I’m thinking of the Discharging side bar on the 2nd screencast and Paying Bills on the 3rd. Very small issue, if an issue at all.
Your narration and choice of background music was superb…and consistent. The narration was clear and really well paced. I listened with studio headphones and heard a very slight difference in your opening and closing volume when compared with the “main” section where the computer’s being used. The only reason I could hear that was because of the honkin’ headphones. As with your videos, I’m wondering if you used an external mic. I use a Samson GoMic and I really like the sound it produces. Sideline here: in CuteCut, is it possible to export just the sound as an AIFF file? Freesound came to the rescue for sure.
VERY good choice to blur the personal information shown in various windows! I normally stay far away from the page-curl transition but it worked very well for you. Your closings are great…”Ready to practice.” In addition, I really appreciate your explanations are always informative, well written and just plain enjoyable to read. Thanks for such good products!
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!
Third video has been posted!
Hi D’Arcy, Wow, what great screencasts! I have nothing but praise for your work. You used the callouts (arrows, boxes, text) and zoom in and out very effectively. Your voice volume, tone, and speed were excellent. The background music was pleasant as well. Well done! Two technical comments: First, the second video was 13:20 long. Ok, well it was only 3:20 seconds long, but the last 10 minutes of the video was a black screen. Second, I couldn’t open the last video. There wasn’t a blue link to it like the first two – it was simply black. Either way, I am confident that your third video is as great as the first two. Take care,
Thanks for the feedback, Charles! I had no idea about the 10 minutes of black! I had previewed that video in Camtasia but not again after uploading it to YouTube. I’ll troubleshoot it tomorrow and see about fixing that. As for my third screencast, I’m hoping to have it complete and up tomorrow night.