Saturday, April 12, 2014

Camtasia - Faculty Support Video

I have used Camtasia for a variety of purposes within both my teaching and professional career.  The tool proves to be very useful for demonstrating computer tasks that are more complex in nature. It also allows for the student or receiver to pause and rewind for steps as needed and can be there to go back to over and over again.

To use Camtasia, there are really only 6 steps:
1) Select the Display or desktop you wish to capture if you have more than one monitor.
2) Select the camera if you wish to have a visual of your self during the screen capture.
3) Select the appropriate Profile. (This will vary depending upon your institutional license)
4) Give the recording a Title and Description.
5) Hit the big red button and Record!
6) Hit the stop button when you are done.

A practical use for Camtasia:
I recently had a group of faculty ask me about how they could make tests and quizzes in Blackboard a bit more quickly and efficiently.  I showed them the Blackboard quiz generator that the college had developed, but as a follow up I made this little video that I could pass along to help them in future.

The key to this video was the practice and planning in advance of recording the screen capture.  The steps were drafted and up on a second screen so that I could work my way through the video with few hiccups, and the screens and tabs were set up to make for a smooth transition.

Key learning to take away from working with Camtasia:
  • Practice makes perfect - Nothing like having a camera on you to make you nervous!
  • Plan your narrative before you begin recording - Just a few bullet points go a long way.
  • Lock your office door! - Interruptions do happen, put a sign on your door to prevent having to start over.
  • Check your surroundings before you record. - Ugly things on your shelves behind you look pretty bad!
A downfall that can be identified with Camtasia is that you only get one take if you are working with the basic product. Camtasia Studio offers more advanced capture and editing features.

To view the Blackboard Test Generator video clip and see the accompanying description please visit my youtube page.

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