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David Lee King

David’s First Experiment with Screencasting



I’ve wanted to play around with screencasting for awhile now, and recently when looking at job ads, it dawned on me – why not make a screencast of some bad website usability? That way, I can test out screencasting and at the same time, provide something marginally usaful to my blog, too.

So… here it is. In this screencast, I show and comment on some less-than-perfect usability on a college’s jobs page (basically, they let their jobs database get in the way of their design). I’m not sure how clear my points are, but then again it’s my first time doing this. It comes close to me thinking out loud.

For the screen capturing, I used Camtasia. Then I added a little video, titles, and editing via Windows Movie Maker, and then saved it as a Quicktime .mov file.

And let me add this: screencasting is COOL. I think screencasting could be extremely useful on websites – can you say quick, downloadable instruction sessions? Think about those subscription database tipsheets you make that explain, using text and screenshots, how to do a basic search. Why not turn those tipsheets into dynamic 1-2 minute videos that show how to do this earch, where to click, etc? And keep the original tipsheet, too – people learn in different ways, so the more reinforcement, the better.

Is anyone else using screencasting on their library websites?

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  • http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/ Meredith

    I created some screencast tutorials to demonstrate for Criminal Justice students how to use certain key databases and Web resources http://library2.norwich.edu/mja/tutorials.html. I used Captivate to create these screencasts, which in my opinion is the best product out there, at least for my needs (note: they have a free 30-day trial). Lots of academic libraries are using screencasting. The only public library I know of that uses screencasting is the Calgary Public Library (http://calgarypubliclibrary.com/library/tutorials.htm) to teach basic computer and Internet skills. It’s SO cool! I think they are probably the best example out there of the use of screencasts in libraries. I love how they utilize the interactive features! Paul Pival at the University of Calgary has created screencasts using Captivate, Camtasia and Viewlet Builder (and others, I think, as well) so he’s really got the most insight into the use of screencasting in libraries.

    I’m a huge fan of using screencasting to provide remote instruction, but unfortunately, many of the distance learners I deal with are on dial-up, so it’s not really the best solution for providing instruction to them online. Bummer. :(

  • http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/ Meredith

    I created some screencast tutorials to demonstrate for Criminal Justice students how to use certain key databases and Web resources http://library2.norwich.edu/mja/tutorials.html. I used Captivate to create these screencasts, which in my opinion is the best product out there, at least for my needs (note: they have a free 30-day trial). Lots of academic libraries are using screencasting. The only public library I know of that uses screencasting is the Calgary Public Library (http://calgarypubliclibrary.com/library/tutorials.htm) to teach basic computer and Internet skills. It’s SO cool! I think they are probably the best example out there of the use of screencasts in libraries. I love how they utilize the interactive features! Paul Pival at the University of Calgary has created screencasts using Captivate, Camtasia and Viewlet Builder (and others, I think, as well) so he’s really got the most insight into the use of screencasting in libraries.

    I’m a huge fan of using screencasting to provide remote instruction, but unfortunately, many of the distance learners I deal with are on dial-up, so it’s not really the best solution for providing instruction to them online. Bummer. :(

  • http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/ Meredith

    oooh! and speaking of screencasting and usability, you absolutely have to see the Frog Usability review Web site! http://frogreview.com/ It’s a hoot to watch frogs discussing Web usability. lol

  • http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/ Meredith

    oooh! and speaking of screencasting and usability, you absolutely have to see the Frog Usability review Web site! http://frogreview.com/ It’s a hoot to watch frogs discussing Web usability. lol

  • http://scruffynerf.wordpress.com/ Jennifer

    The screencasting looks great! What a great way to provide quick instructions for library resources via video. Meredith, thanks for showing your examples.

    Okay, the frogs are a riot!!! They are right on in their commentary, but are also fun to watch.

  • http://scruffynerf.wordpress.com Jennifer

    The screencasting looks great! What a great way to provide quick instructions for library resources via video. Meredith, thanks for showing your examples.

    Okay, the frogs are a riot!!! They are right on in their commentary, but are also fun to watch.

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com/ K.G. Schneider

    Wow, this would be SO cool for MPOW… I can even see this as a Powerpoint replacement for presentations where you don’t know what the tech is like.

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com K.G. Schneider

    Wow, this would be SO cool for MPOW… I can even see this as a Powerpoint replacement for presentations where you don’t know what the tech is like.

  • Gary

    Thanks for the demo David, but I couldn’t see it. I updated my Quicktime player and still couldn’t watch it, but I’m at work and maybe something here is messing it up.

    We’re just starting to experiment with using Captivate to create tutorials and we are finding that the shorter the better. For instance, instead of explaining how to use our article link resolver software in every database tutorial, we just created one specfically for the linking software and link to it from all the other tutorials. Keeps things small and neat.

  • Gary

    Thanks for the demo David, but I couldn’t see it. I updated my Quicktime player and still couldn’t watch it, but I’m at work and maybe something here is messing it up.

    We’re just starting to experiment with using Captivate to create tutorials and we are finding that the shorter the better. For instance, instead of explaining how to use our article link resolver software in every database tutorial, we just created one specfically for the linking software and link to it from all the other tutorials. Keeps things small and neat.

  • http://www.goblin-cartoons.com/ joshua m. neff

    I had no problem watching your screencast, David, and this was on my Linux Ubuntu-run laptop. I like it. I don’t know if my library will start doing screencasts in the near future, but maybe someday…

    And those frogs are hilarious!

  • http://www.goblin-cartoons.com joshua m. neff

    I had no problem watching your screencast, David, and this was on my Linux Ubuntu-run laptop. I like it. I don’t know if my library will start doing screencasts in the near future, but maybe someday…

    And those frogs are hilarious!

  • http://www.sol-plus.net/ Bruce Jensen

    Wonderful! Jennifer’s tutorials & the chortling frogs are nice to see. Just to echo Gary: neither my Mac nor my PC showed your video, David (the audio, I can hear); both have up-to-date Quicktime. A QT error msg says the vid requires something that “unfortunately” is not available on their server. My QT isn’t the 7.1 pay version, though–is that the difference?

  • http://www.sol-plus.net Bruce Jensen

    Wonderful! Jennifer’s tutorials & the chortling frogs are nice to see. Just to echo Gary: neither my Mac nor my PC showed your video, David (the audio, I can hear); both have up-to-date Quicktime. A QT error msg says the vid requires something that “unfortunately” is not available on their server. My QT isn’t the 7.1 pay version, though–is that the difference?

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  • http://www.ocls.info/ Cassie Shivers

    In the Orange County Library System (Florida) we have used screencasts for quite some time. They’re located in a section of the website called Online Tutorials: http://www.ocls.info/Virtual/tutorials/default.asp. Virtual Classes require a library card to access them (the same requirement if you were to attend the class in person) but the rest of the tutorials are open to everyone. (I think the really neat thing is that the Tech Services department has cataloged the Virtual Classes so anyone looking for information on Excel will also see a listing for the Excel Virtual Classes. http://iii.ocls.info:80/record=b1616500) At this time we only have one tutorial for a subscription database but more are in the works. We used Captivate to create the tutorials.

  • http://www.ocls.info Cassie Shivers

    In the Orange County Library System (Florida) we have used screencasts for quite some time. They’re located in a section of the website called Online Tutorials: http://www.ocls.info/Virtual/tutorials/default.asp. Virtual Classes require a library card to access them (the same requirement if you were to attend the class in person) but the rest of the tutorials are open to everyone. (I think the really neat thing is that the Tech Services department has cataloged the Virtual Classes so anyone looking for information on Excel will also see a listing for the Excel Virtual Classes. http://iii.ocls.info:80/record=b1616500) At this time we only have one tutorial for a subscription database but more are in the works. We used Captivate to create the tutorials.

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  • http://melodiefabriek.nl/ Marco Raaphorst

    cool. I am interested in this.

    The thing I didn’t understand was this:
    Windows Movie Maker – exporting to QT .mov files. How did you do this?

    I am a professional composer and sound designer but recently started working closely with a professional video-producer, but we need to learn more about the new formats I guess :)

    If you can contact me, please do so:
    melodiefabriek.nl/contact

    Thanks in advance!

  • http://melodiefabriek.nl Marco Raaphorst

    cool. I am interested in this.

    The thing I didn’t understand was this:
    Windows Movie Maker – exporting to QT .mov files. How did you do this?

    I am a professional composer and sound designer but recently started working closely with a professional video-producer, but we need to learn more about the new formats I guess :)

    If you can contact me, please do so:
    melodiefabriek.nl/contact

    Thanks in advance!