Using screen capture as an instructional tool

This week we are handing over the blog to Daniel Vince-Archer, Course Coordinator in Undergraduate Business and Management.

Daniel has recently created a number of ‘how to’ screen capture videos using VideoStudio X9. You will find VideoStudio X9 in your Software Centre.

Over to you, Daniel.

“I hear, and I forget; I see, and I know; I do, and I understand” – ancient Chinese proverb.

Over the past six months, the course administration team here in the School of Business, Management & Economics (BMEc) has been collaboratively producing a series of ‘how-to’ guides. These document how the team carries out the administrative tasks and processes needed for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in BMEc to run as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Screencasts v Screenshots

screencastings

flickr photo by Manuela Hoffmann shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

Many of our processes are quite technical in nature, which often makes it difficult to find the right words to explain how to perform particular actions in concise, uncomplicated terms that are easy for all to follow.

One way around this is to illustrate each step with a static screen shot; however, this can lead to guidance documents being padded out by a lengthy series of similar images and a few lines of text that still fall short of demonstrating how a process is carried out.

Another solution is to record video clips of the actions taken on screen when carrying out a task (known as ‘screen capture’ or ‘screencasting’) and including those clips alongside the written instructions.

The advantage of using screen capture clips (as opposed to a live demonstration) is that it provides a lasting visual step-by-step demonstration of each process that colleagues can access independently, as and when needed, at a pace that suits them.

Screencast options  

Screen capture clips can be recorded in either PowerPoint 2013 or an application called Corel ScreenCap X9, which can be accessed by installing VideoStudio X9 from the Software Center.

(To access the Software Center: Start Menu > All Programs > Install Applications, highlight VideoStudio X9 and click Install.)

Here is a short screencast to show you how to download Corel ScreenCap X9 from the Software Center. 

PowerPoint 2013

Creating a screen recording in PowerPoint 2013 is fairly straightforward. Start by selecting the INSERT tab in the menu toolbar at the top of the screen and then clicking the Screen Recording icon at the far right end of the toolbar:

Capture

If either of the Audio or Record Pointer buttons is highlighted in peach (as Record Pointer is in the image above), this means that those features will be included in your screen recording.

Before you can begin the recording, you need to select the area of the screen you wish to record by clicking Select Area and dragging the red dashed box over the area to be recorded. (To record the whole screen, you should drag the red dashed box from the top-left corner of the screen to the bottom-right corner of the screen.) Once an area has been selected, you can begin the recording by clicking Record:

Here is a short screencast to show you how to start the screencast for PowerPoint.  A three-second countdown will then begin with an instruction on how to stop the recording (Windows logo key + Shift + Q):

Capture

Capture

When you stop the recording, the video clip you have created will appear in the PowerPoint slide currently open. To save the clip as a separate file, right-click on it and select Save Media As in the option menu that appears.

When you stop the recording, the video clip you have created will appear in the PowerPoint slide currently open. To save the clip as a separate file, right-click on it and select Save Media As in the option menu that appears.

ScreenCap X9

ScreenCap X9 offers an alternative solution to PowerPoint and one that allows users to record and save screen capture clips as standalone files without having to follow the additional steps needed in PowerPoint to save the clip as a separate file. To access ScreenCap: Start Menu > All Programs > Corel VideoStudio X9 > Corel ScreenCap X9. Please see the 

The basic control panel will appear, with buttons to start and stop recording, a drop-down menu to choose which window is to be recorded (use Fullscreen to capture the whole screen, choose an option from the list of windows currently active or choose Custom to select the area to be recorded manually) and a collapsed settings menu offering more advanced features:
Capture

Capture

The advanced settings allow users to specify a filename and location as well as the format and frame rate of the recording. Users can also choose whether to include audio with the recording and whether mouse clicks that take place in the recording should be animated (blue rings appear around the cursor when the mouse is clicked). To start a recording, you can either click the record button (the red circle) or press F11. Please see the short video.

As with PowerPoint, a three-second countdown takes place before the recording begins. Recordings can be paused by pressing F11 again or stopped by pressing F10. When the recording is stopped, the folder containing the video clip should open automatically and from there you can open the file to check your work.

By Daniel Vince-Archer.

Thank you, Daniel. If you have been inspired by Daniel and would like help with trying any of the screen capture tools, please contact your school Learning Technologist. You can also view our screencasting webpage for ideas on using screen casts in teaching and learning.

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Work shadowing: a week in the life of a Learning Technologist

This week we are handing over the blog to Sarah Brown, Clerical Assistant in the University’s Development and Alumni Relations Office who has joined TEL for a week of work shadowing. 

Over to you, Sarah. 

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Sarah Brown, Development & Alumni Relations at Sussex.

This week I have been very excited to be working in the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) department at Sussex as part of the University’s pilot work shadowing scheme for staff.

I have been shadowing Learning Technologist, Pete Sparkes, who works closely with academics in the social science cluster of schools, assisting them in using technologies to enhance their teaching practice.

In this post I will be sharing my experience of a ‘week in the life’ of a Learning Technologist, and my personal learning experiences from the week.  Read more ›

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Technology Enhanced Language Learning

Language

flickr photo by Thomas Hawk shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license.

In this post we’ll look at technology that can help you or your students to learn a new language.

We’ve covered the popular language app, Duolingo, previously in Gamifying language learning.

But what other digital tools and social networks are available to help you learn?  Read more ›

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Developing accessible web content

In our recent post Making learning accessible through technology, Tab Betts (@MrTabKey) took us through some valuable tools that promote inclusivity, productivity and help overcome what are for some significant barriers to learning.

Dr David Sloan

Dr David Sloan – UX Research Lead, The Paciello Group

A growing range of free content creation tools (e.g. WordPress) and intuitive social media platforms (e.g Facebook) have opened up web authoring to the masses, but as non-experts in web content creation this can inadvertently result in the introduction of accessibility challenges.  Read more ›

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Posted in Accessibility

Requirements gathering: listen, challenge, playback

Requirements gathering, sounds easy. Ask people what they want and gather their answers together. But how do you know you’ve got the right information?

People are creatures of habit and it’s harder than it may seem to take Picyourself out of the here and now. Not everyone is a natural futurist. Read more ›

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Making learning accessible through technology

How can we make learning easier for everyone?

We all experience barriers to learning, but for some of us these challenges mean that we require additional support in order to complete everyday tasks pertaining to work or study.

While everyone working in education has a responsibility to promote inclusivity and make learning as accessible as possible, it is also important to recognise that accessibility tools can be used by anyone to increase their productivity.

Here at the University of Sussex, we recently invited Alistair McNaught from the Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc) to deliver a workshop on how technology can enable us to increase productivity and overcome barriers to learning.

This blog post will attempt to summarise some of the most important tools introduced in this workshop and provide some brief suggestions about how these could be used in academic contexts.   Read more ›

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Doing it Digitally – Summer

flickr photo by Martin Snicer Photography shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

One way to develop your digital capabilities is to carry out familiar activities using digital tools. We already offered some examples of this approach in Doing it digitally – presentations and in this post I’ll be looking at a range of ways that you can have a digital summer.  Read more ›

Posted in Learning Design, Technology Enhanced Learning

Get even more from Poll Everywhere – LaTeX, Surveys and more…

Polling and quizzing tools can be a great way to increase interactivity and engagement in classes, in particular in large lectures. 

Poll Everywhere is a useful tool which takes advantage of the mobile devices that students already use, affords students anonymity and encourages interaction between peers.

To learn more about the benefits of in class voting systems, read our post from September 2015, Encouraging student engagement through interactive lectures. Read more ›

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Posted in Learning Design, Polling tools, Technology Enhanced Learning

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We are the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team at the University of Sussex. We publish posts each week on using technology to support teaching and learning. Read more about us.

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