Using Screencasting to Enhance Online Learning

Using Screencasting to Enhance Online Learning

Do you want to enhance your online course environments with your voice and course content lectures? Review this material to choose the best way to "capture" your course lectures and post them for student learning.

How does recorded lecture enhance my online course?

When schools began teaching "distance" courses, the main format was print text mailed back and forth from the instructor and the student. As technology has become available, from CD's, DVD's, websites and learning management systems instructors now have so many options to enhance the distance course. Video can be key to enhancing a fully online course, as well as, be used in a flipped classroom design in face to face courses.

Screencasting is one of the terms used to describe recording voice lecture over slides or other documents into video. Many faculty like this form of video creation because they can use their pre-built lecture slides and do not need to record themselves in the video, though you may choose to do so.

In the study, "Student Perceptions of the Use of Instructor-Made Videos in Online and Face-to-Face Classes" from 2009, it was found that 100% online students surveyed:

  • Viewed the videos posted in class
  • Watched the videos more than one time
  • Viewed the videos offering topic introductions
  • Viewed the Q&A videos
  • Viewed the video for explanations of course requirements

From the study:

Attitudes about Instructor-Made Videos

100% online students. When asked how they felt about the instructor-made videos, 100% of the students surveyed indicated some level of agreement with the statement, “The instructor-made videos helped me understand the material better.” (Please see Table 2 for range and means of scores for entire sample and Table 3 for a detailed breakdown of frequency responses for online and face-to-face students). When asked about their level of agreement with the statement, “The instructor-made videos made me feel like I knew the instructor better” 100% indicated some level of agreement. Seventy-eight percent (77.8%) of students surveyed indicated some level of agreement with the statement, “The instructor-made videos helped me do better on the assignments/exams.” and when asked if they felt the videos made the class more interactive, 100% indicated some level of agreement with that statement. One hundred percent of the respondents indicated some level of agreement with the statement, “I think I learned better because I could view the instructor-made videos” and 88.8% felt that the videos enriched course materials. Finally, while only 22.2% indicated agreement that they preferred learning through the instructor-made videos more than through an in-class lecture, 44.4% of the respondents indicated agreement with the desire for the instructor to use more instructor-made videos in the class. None of the respondents felt that the instructor-made videos were too long, nor did any of the online respondents agree with the statement that the instructor-made videos were a waste of time.

This is just one example of studies that are describing the results around students use of instructor-made video in online courses, for additional resources on this subject see Bibliography & References below.

How do I create my in-class lecture series into video?

The steps in creating a screencast are similar to planning for your in-class lectures, but will also add some technical components for recording, saving and presenting the final videos. Some faculty use their current course lecture PowerPoints and lecture over them as they would lecture in a class room. Some find it useful to type out a script or outline of the lecture to use as a guide when recording, a script may also be useful in creating a transcript for accessibility.

In "7 Things You Should Know About: Microlectures" Educause advises to create short recorded audio or video on single or defined topics. In online courses it is found that recording class lectures in 10-15 minute blocks, instead of 75 minute blocks that mimic in-class lectures is advisable. There are a few good reasons for shorter "canned" lectures, one is you can reuse these lectures in additional courses and re order them in new course designs if needed, and as noted above give students ability to review topics as needed to fully learn course material. 

There are many ways to create screencasts. In working with faculty we look at what type of technology they are using and then assist in training using the tools they are used to. See the information below to assist you in choosing which technology you will use to create your screencast video. Faculty may choose other software to record, below are suggestions from Academic Innovations & eLearning.

  • PC User Options for Screencasting

    At UA faculty have free access to the Microsoft Office 365 software, the full download comes with Microsoft PowerPoint. There is a free plug-in from Microsoft called OfficeMix. OfficeMix allows for screencasting and other recording options that allows the user to easily voice record over slides. Also available to faculty is the new Kaltura: CaptureSpace desktop recording tool which is complatable with PC OS systems.

    Currently ADA compliant captioning can also be created with both Kaltura: My Media and YouTube captioning tools. 

  • MAC User Options for Screencasting

    MAC computers come with Quicktime software. With the newest update Quicktime has a "screencast" option that allows the user to record any open software or webbrowser on the screen. Also available to faculty is the new Kaltura: CaptureSpace desktop recording tool, which is compatable with MAC iOS systems.

    Currently ADA compliant captioning can also be created with both Kaltura: My Media and YouTube captioning tools. 

  • Tips for Making Good Course Videos
    • Plan 10-15 minute lectures on specific topics
    • Practice using technology to record and save video
    • Align video topics to course learning outcomes
    • Plan for captioning/transcript creation in project timeline

What do I do to make sure my video lectures are accessible?

Current law notes that educational institutions that receive federal funding must comply to the ADA requirements for online educational materials. Fortunately for us many faculty support staff at University of Alaska have been researching and developing practical steps to assist faculty in ADA compliance. Currently UA supports two video hosting services that assist in the creation of captioning on video.

UA Kaltura is a video hosting software accessible though the UA Learn account. In Kaltura video can be hosted, added to courses and has a "machine-captioning" software that auto-captions uploaded video and allows for editing of the captions. YouTube, accessible through UA Google Apps for Education, also provides "auto-captioning" software that creates captions and a transcript that can be easily edited, if needed. Note that both automatic captioning programs claim up to 70% accuracy, it is best practice to plan editing time into your video project plan. For more information and assistance with video captioning see: UAA Teaching Academy: Accessible Content ~ Video

Bibliography & References

Bowen, J., Watson, C. (2017). Teaching Naked Techniques, A Practical Guide to Designing Better Classes. San Francisco: Jossy-Bass. 

Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications, (n.d.)., Delta Knowledge Base. Research-Based Best Practices for Teaching

     Online: Recorded Lectures. Retrieved from: https://delta.ncsu.edu/knowledgebase/research-based-best-practices-for-teaching-online-

     recorded-lectures/

Higher Education Compliance Alliance. (n.d.). Disabilities and Accomodations. Retrieved from:

     http://www.higheredcompliance.org/resources/disabilities-accommodations.html

Madden, L. (2017). Accessible Content: Video. UAA Teaching Academy Blog. Retrieved from: https://blogs.uaa.alaska.edu/uaa-teaching-

     academy/uaa-accessible-video.cshtml

Rose, K. K., (2009). Student Perceptions of the Use of Instructor-Made Videos in Online and Face-to-Face Classes. MERLOT Journal of

     Online Learning and Teaching. Retrieved from: http://jolt.merlot.org/vol5no3/rose_0909.htm

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