Screencasts are visual recordings of a computer screen that enable you to demonstrate a task, present a topic, or describe the features and functionality of a website or computer application. Often, these recordings include an audio component to narrate what is visually demonstrated on the screen.
In the post-recording stage of screencast production, you can incorporate images, text, callouts (pop-out text, graphics, or images), animations, captions, and music to further enhance the delivery of the screencast. Several screencasting tools already include these features built into the system, making it easy to create high-quality, delightful screencasts.
Here are some examples of screencasts:
This screencast by Cult of Pedagogy is a simple yet effective demonstration of how to use Quizlet, a studying and learning tool.
This screencast by Canvas Student Tutorials demonstrates how to use Canvas, an online learning management system. It includes an extra bit of flair (such as intros and callouts) to improve the delivery and reception of the content.
Screencasts in Education
Within the education realm, screencasts enable instructors to provide instructions that include both visual and auditory components. In a digital world, where two-way engagement is limited, this helps learners foster connections with the instructor while simultaneously creating a more engaging and enriching experience for the learner.
In online learning, you can use screencasts to:
- Describe how to navigate the learning management system
- Give tutorials and demonstrate how to perform tasks
- Record presentations (such as weekly lectures)
- Provide answers to frequently asked questions
Benefits of Using Screencasts
There are many benefits for using screencasts, particularly within the field of education and online learning:
- Screencasts are an asynchronous form of teaching, allowing learners to watch the screencast on their own time and at their own pace.
- Screencasts allow you to provide instructions with visual and auditory sensory components, which helps students with different learning styles.
- Screencasts enable you to keep the course content learner-centered.
- Using screencasts to demonstrate tasks or provide weekly lectures saves virtual class time for other activities.
- Screencasts increase the usability of course material. As long as the process you are demonstrating or the content you are communicating doesn't change, you can reuse screencasts over several course occurrences.
For more information about screencasts, see Create a Screencast.
Ruffini, M. (2012, October 31). Screencasting to Engage Learning. EDUCAUSE. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2012/11/screencasting-to-engage-learning.
Screencasts. Centre for Teaching Excellence. (2018, September 21). https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/educational-technologies/all/screencasts.
Simon, J. (2021, May 26). The Ultimate Guide: What is Screencasting and Why Use It? TechSmith. https://www.techsmith.com/blog/what-is-screencasting/.