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Screencasting: Introduction

Guide to recording, editing, file managing, and troubleshooting.


Screencasts are recordings of the activity on your computer screen. They can be valuable tools for demonstrating how to navigate web pages or use specific software. 

They can be recorded with or without audio, and many screencasting programs allow the addition of onscreen captions or highlighting of specific areas of the screen. 

Screencasting software ranges from simple, free, and online, to complex systems with sophisticated editing tools. 

VCC Library sample screencast

How to find royalty-free Images on Google (Images of tooth decay)

  • Made with Screencast-o-matic.
  • Demonstrates finding royalty-free images (tooth decay)
  • Created to quickly answer a question from a health sciences faculty member 
  • One shot, no editing, audio but no captions (other than the Google auto closed captioning)
  • Creating a video was faster than typing an explanation.
  • Excellent example of a screencast that was relatively quick to record, but is an effective instructional tool

Example screencasts

These illustrate different amounts of time invested:

Mendeley basic functions

  • Screencast-o-matic. Created to give a scientist/team-leader an overview of a specific piece of citation management software
    • The library user wanted to know an effective tool for managing the thousands of PDFs on her computer
    • I wanted something that could be re-used--more than one person has this question--but not published widely
  • 2-minute video, created & edited in about an hour
  • Callouts & highlighted cursor
  • No zooming or audio

Format your citations with BibMe

  • Screencast-o-matic. Created to quickly demonstrate BibMe citation generator
    • Saved myself typing out detailed explanations & annotating still screengrab images
  • Simple, no callouts or zooming. 
  • Highlighted cursor but almost no editing
  • 5-minute video that took about 10 minutes to create & edit
  • No audio

Screencasting presentation

DRNBC 2015 Annual Conference presentation: Best practices for screencasting

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