7 Things You Should Know about Screencasting for Learning

What is it?

A screencast is a recording, frequently accompanied with narration and illustrations, of one’s screen. It often demonstrates to or communicates with the audience a specific concept. It is a simple way to record and edit short videos to make great content for sharing. Whether it be for work, home or play, it gives users the ability to add basic visual elements to their captures and collaborate with others online.

How does it work?

It guides users through the concept by continuing off previous videos and introducing new ideas through plentiful illustrations, examples and tips. Users can easily capture images, selecting the window or region that they would like to capture or record. It is recommended to split a tutorial in five-minute increments with screencasting.

Who is using it?

Anyone can watch these comprehensible videos. Students, teachers, professional and amateur tutors, etc. are all using this technology. It is great for making instructional videos considering its great accessibility.

Why is it significant for college students?

It is significant because it provides new dimensions to the subject from a different medium that brings more to the table than the traditional method does. If an instructor’s teaching style does not match a student’s learning preferences, Screencasting may turn out to be a better alternative for the student. It is also widely available on many devices, and users get to have lecturers of their own choosing. The lectures are also as short and sweet as they are portable.

Moreover, college students have to learn how to use screencasting to make a video project for a class or to access their online lectures at some point in their academic career. It is critical for them to learn how to use it given its portability and convenience. Most of them are complimentary, on a free-trial basis, or require a minimal monthly subscription fee. It escalates learning from a restricted environment to a whole new globalization level.

What are the downsides?

On the other hand, screencasting cannot directly answer any lingering questions users may have because the lectures are prerecorded and not interactive. It requires Internet connectivity, and the learning curve for screencasting varies from person to person, depending on the user’s familiarity with software programs. Also, the tutorials for screencasting programs could use some interactive games with which the users could practice and better retain the new information.

Where is it going?

In-class lectures still prevail in part because they help solidify the instructor-student relationship and facilitate the learning process. Being able to ask questions promptly during a live lecture is one of its paramount perks. Perhaps if there were FAQs or live screencasts after each lecture, it would increase lecturer’s online presence by enabling users to actively connect with the lecturer.

Screencasting has a potential to be employed campus-wide. Universities could facilitate their students’ learning experience by screencasting practically every lecture. Instructors would then be able to go over the previously recorded lecture to see how they could improve or where they could fill in the gaps in their next lecture; students would also be able to review the screencasts from earlier to catch up on what they might have missed in the live lectures. Be it at the end of the day or around midterms or finals, those recorded lectures would be accessible anytime, anywhere during the entire semester.

What are the implications for learning?

Screencasting is not necessarily meant to replace traditional means of learning altogether. It provides a fresh point of view and an infinite amount of different teaching styles that may suit certain learners better. Screencasting is a huge plus to visual, reflective, and sequential learners. Users can see and reflect the whole process in procedural steps. It also helps with notetaking, spacing and repetition of the learners in that they can review the screencasts regularly, repeat them, and take notes while at it.

This article was written by Mildred D. Li, a writer for dusk magazine. 

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