Improving Learning by Screencast Technology – 2nd Article Review

Screencast is an amazing feature that is offered by a variety of programs that allows you to show everyone what’s happening on your computer screen. How is it different from using a projector? You get to record it what’s happening on the screen as a video and add audio and captions as well, so that your lesson can be replayed over and over again by the user. Additionally, the user can pause and practice. That’s my favorite part. These are just some of the amazing applications of this amazing feature, which has essentially revolutionized learning.

I was hoping to incorporate a video tutorial as part of my capstone project to help my learners with the difficult task of creating and designing their Canvas course page. Canvas is a Learning Management System that is being utilized by the school which I will be conducting the Professional Development, and the central focus of my seminar. Since they will need to use Canvas on their personal computers for a portion of the seminar, I was thinking of different ways to help those who were a little less tech savvy and needed further guidance. Some of the attendees do not need formalized guidance and therefore they may get restless waiting to begin the activity. On the other hand, some will need more direction, and it may be a significant bunch. During the portion of the seminar where they will be working independently, I was thinking to give them access to a Video Tutorial to help them get started while the other learners could act on their prior knowledge and use the tutorial as a resource, if they run into obstacles. Additionally, it could be a continuous resource that they can maintain access to in order to use when they need to recall a major aspect of the seminar in hopes of applying what they learned. However, I still wanted to read up more on the impact of tutorial videos on learning so I began my investigation. After reading several articles, I stumbled upon this amazing article which examines the impact of Screencast Technology on Learning for computer based learning.

This article was a research study that was conducted to determine the proper implementation and potential impacts of Screencast Technology for Computer Courses in Higher Education. More specifically the focus was on the quality of the audio and video produced and how much that mattered in the learning experience. The sample size consisted of 30 learners taking computer courses with the same instructor and materials. The participants were surveyed and the results are discussed. The study found that video and audio quality matter! Students were very pleased with the videos, citing their reasons for success in the course was based on being able to learn at their own pace outside the classroom. Also, because the content is traditionally taught through text books and theory, this allowed for a visual representation and practical aspect of how to actualize the lessons being taught. The main features that made the videos so great were High Definition recording, quality sound, and zooming in order to emphasize important areas on the screen. The article concludes advising that the videos be short in length and created meticulously and adds, ‘effective video clips should be of high-quality, both technically and pedagogically’. The final recommendation was that Screen Cast Technology be utilized for any and all computer courses in college to supplement and enhance learning for all students.

It is clear that Screencast Technology can enhance learning by soliciting engagement and providing opportunities for differentiation. The lecturer is not the center of attention but rather what is on the screen. What is on the screen draws complete attention and the audio explains and guides through the visuals. The closed captioning option facilitates learning for a variety of learners as well. Furthermore, ‘screencasts may increase student engagement and achievement and also provide more time in which students can work collaboratively in groups’ allowing people to pause, discuss, ask for clarification, and move at their own pace while working to complete an activity. For all these reasons it is extremely compatible and in accordance with Universal Design Learning (UDL) principles and would be a great feature and artifact to include in my Capstone Project and future seminars. There are a variety of Screen Casting programs out there and, now that you know how awesome they can be, I encourage you to explore them yourself!

Ghilay, Y., & Ghilay, R. (2015). Computer Courses in Higher-Education: Improving Learning by Screencast Technology. Journal of Educational Technology, 11(4), 15-26. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1098601.pdf

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