WOU held training for its academics on how to create interactive screencasts to make their course presentation interesting and more engaging to students as well as tutors.
The two half-day workshops on “How to create an effective screencast?” by Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye were held at the main campus on September 29th and today. It was attended by about 15 academics from the four Schools as well as technical staff from the Educational Technology & Publishing Unit.
“A screencast is the digital recording of your presentation shown on the computer screen together with your narration. It allows you to create engaging videos to communicate, educate or to train tutors and students,” Prof Ho stated.
He offered useful tips on how to produce a good quality screencast at low cost for their respective ODL courses, including appropriate choice of audio-visual equipments. “Try to combine images, videos, audio, and screen recordings for your screencast. Today we can capture sharp images/videos with a good smart phone and clear voice recording using a USB microphone. We don’t need very expensive multimedia equipment,” he remarked.
He said that in planning a screencast, they must “know the audience, draft an outline, have scripting to direct the flow of thought, and make the right file size for easy distribution”. He said the screencast, once developed, can then be uploaded to WawasanLearn (LMS) for students and tutors to view, or even placed on YouTube for public viewing.
He challenged the academics to create innovative screencasts instead of just uploading basic PowerPoint or PDF files as is commonly done now. He demonstrated to them how to creatively use simple, freely available open-source, Windows-based multimedia applications or software to produce a 5-minute high definition video (screencast). As an exercise he requested the participating course coordinators to each try to produce a supporting screencast on the Course Guide for a course that they are managing in the coming January 2016 semester.
At the first workshop the participants learned about the salient features of multimedia tools like CamStudio for PC screen capturing, Audacity for audio editing, VirtualDub for editing video, and FormatFactory for audio and video format conversion. “When developing your screencast it is important to ask yourself what is your main take home message for students or tutors. Then make sure your screencast achieves that in the end.”
In the second session held today, the participants took turns to present their newly-developed screencasts. Constructive comments on each presentation were first sought from the participants themselves. Prof Ho then provided additional advice on how each presented screencast can further be technically improved. He summed up by encouraging the academics to continue to apply their newly acquired multimedia skills to produce more multimedia-based learning materials. “Practice makes perfect,” he added.
*Please refer to the following link to view a screencast: