IRT Spotlight: Screencasting, lecture capture and webinars


By Peter Weinhold, John Kinsella, Eric Larson (Information Resources & Technologies)

Video is becoming vitally important in higher education classroom delivery and communications. Here at St. Thomas we tend to focus on three different solutions for our community to consider, depending on their particular need.

For creating engaging screen recordings (e.g. screencasts) we recommend Camtasia from Techsmith. Camtasia is a versatile application that allows you to create a wide range of screencast projects. The options range from simple screen recordings of presentations and web pages, combined with your audio, to much more complex interactive projects that combine screen, video, and audio recording with chapters, captions and interactive on-screen elements.

Within the learning process, you can use Camtasia to:

  • Produce videos introducing yourself to your class
  • Pre-record your lecture, including your slides, either for review by students after class or as part of a blended-learning course design
  • Create a self-directed, fully online course including all of your lecture materials
  • Provide these materials in multiple formats accessible both by traditional computers as well as Post-PC devices like smart phones and iPads.

Adobe Connect is UST's solution for in-person meetings over a computer. Connect allows you and/or your participants to broadcast and record a webcam and microphone, share a screen with presentations or applications, chat with text and conduct polls. Connect requires no special downloads for your computer (working in browsers via Flash) and also offers dedicated apps for mobile devices like iPads and iPhones. It has a long and robust history of use at St. Thomas since 2005 and has been upgraded with a new signup process that makes it even more useful. We’ve also changed our licensing model; Connect is now able to include up to 100 simultaneous participants in each virtual "meeting room" within the system.

If the word "recording" caught your eye and your mind was drawn to thoughts of classroom lectures, Echo360 might be the answer. UST has built "Echo systems" into several classrooms and offers portable units on each campus, as well. These systems are designed to simplify the video recording and distribution of classroom lectures but require consultation and planning before being used.

Bloom's technology taxonomy wheel
Bloom's Taxonomy Meets Technology: An Instructional Planning Tool Emily Hixon

In fact, we believe a primary key to using these any of these tools effectively is doing upfront planning; starting with a reflection of how the learning objectives align with the chosen technology. Take a look at the Bloom’s technology taxonomy planning wheel highlighted in September Synergia which organizes the different levels of Bloom’s skills and action verbs with student assignments and current technologies. Another crucial aspect is your assessment of your comfort level in creating and capturing content, as well as your understanding of how your students will be accessing the information.

A chat with your Academic Technology Consultant (ATC) to help sort out these issues is recommended. For example, one can save content in a myriad of video formats; setting the proper requirements for students in terms of device, operating system and version can mean the difference between success and failure for anyone attending the class. Then, there’s the issue of the availability of content. Where does it need to reside, how difficult is it to upload content, and what are the student access issues? Your ATC can help with all of those questions, and we are all excited to help our community move forward in using these tools across the campus.‎

  • An instructional design model for screencasting: Engaging students in self-regulated learning (PDF)
  • Using Video Screencasts to Scaffold Student Learning (PDF)
  • Educause: 7 Things you should know about screencasting (PDF)
  • Chronicle of Higher Education: These Lectures are Gone in Sixty Seconds (HTML)
  • Faculty Focus: Lecture Capture Can Change Classroom Dynamics for the Better (HTML)
  • Faculty Focus: Using Screencasting to Engage and Build Community with Online Learners (HTML)
  • Learning to Teach Through Video - A good background in the cognitive psychology of multimedia learning with nine tips to consider when developing your online lecture. (HTML)



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