Saturday, 19 October 2013

Creating screencasts using Camtasia

 I've just (for the second time) discoved this post is still appearing as a draft in my blog posts - over a year after it was written (in July 2012)! Whilst things have obviously moved on, I think the information is still relevant and interesting, so I'm attempting to post this - AGAIN...

Hmm, I just discovered this post as a draft in my blog posts... I was clearly waiting to finish writing it, but that was a couple of months ago. I'll start at the beginning:

After completing the 23 Things course, I put together some desired actions as part of a PDP (see Thing 23). One of those actions was to create a screencast for an e-learning object. Originally I had proposed that this e-learning object would show users how to upload an item to the repository, and that I would use Jing to create it (as this was the tool I experimented with in Thing 18).

Well, this isn't quite how this goal has worked itself out. I have created a screencast for an e-learning object - but I didn't use Jing to do it, and it doesn't show how to upload an item to the repository. My objectives at work have changed slightly in the last six months, and now I help to create e-learning objects for other teams as well as repository-related ones. Therefore, I was asked to help a member of the Customer Services team put together an e-learning object which could be used to train staff members on how to respond to queries using QuestionPoint. I was happy to accept, as I was keen to learn how to put together a screencast. 

It took some time to do, as my colleague and I needed to put together a storyboard of what we wanted, learn how to use Camtasia (the software suggested by my workplace), and then record the video and audio for the screencast. It took 3 months to complete a 3-minute video, with us blocking out approximately one 3-hour block each week to work on it. But it was a very satisfying, enjoyable process. We do think that about half that time was spent learning how to use Camtasia, so future projects will take less time. 

I did enjoy using Camtasia - it is quite similar to Jing, but with additional features. My work does have the paid-for version though, so if you're looking to do something similar on the cheap Jing is probably the way to go!

Unfortunately I can't show the finished video here as it was created for internal training purposes, so you'll just have to take my word for it when I say that we have had positive comments about it's usefulness! I would still like to put together that screencast on how to upload items to the repository, but it might have to wait it's turn. But at least now I know where to start! 

The screencast above was actually finished, and we had received comments about it, back in April 2012.  

Since then I've created another screencast using Camtasia, this time for a tutorial on finding the Financial Times on Nexis, which the Faculty of Business and Law librarians requested. I put this one together by myself, but it took a lot less time than the Customer Services training screencast as I already had some knowledge of how to use Camtasia. It's not quite finished yet - I'm still awaiting comments from the faculty librarians before it is complete. But hopefully I'll be able to add a link to this tutorial in future, as it should appear on the library webpages.[Oct 2013 update: You can view this screencast on the UWE Library YouTube channel].

In addition to that, I've also been helping a colleague add sound to a Jing tutorial she has created explaining how to use another database. I've been less involved in the part of the project that uses Jing, although I have learnt how to add audio (from Audacity) to a Jing screencast.

And finally, I'm still planning on putting together a screencast that shows users how to upload an item to the repository, but using Camtasia instead of Jing. I've put some storyboards together for this, and am really hoping that I can create something before I go on maternity leave in a month's time. I'm also planning on enlisting the Repository Administrator's help with this one- both to give him some experience of using Camtasia, and just in case I don't quite manage to get it finished on time!

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