Screencasting is a tool that allows users to capture and share activities from their screen, making demonstrating a concept simple. The Kaplan University Writing Center uses screencasting software (http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html) to provide paper reviews to students who request this service, and as a tutor, I use screencasts daily for paper reviews and much more.
Why do I love screencasting?
Reason 1: When a student finds a concept difficult to understand and written explanations are complicating the process, a quick screencast might help solve the problem. Many students come to KUWC tutors for help understanding citations – why they’re needed, where they’re needed, and how they’re included in a research project. Many forms of written explanations are available, but I can easily both explain and demonstrate the process with a quick and effective screencast.
Reason 2: When schedules do not allow for me to meet with a student synchronously for tutoring help, a screencast provides personalization to an asynchronous encounter. I can address the student by name and ensure that the appropriate tone (one of encouragement and support) is coming through. Sometimes these nuances can get lost through an email message.
Reason 3: Our students are amazingly busy. Many have families, full-time jobs to support those families, and dozens of other responsibilities to attend to all while completing their coursework. Providing a tutoring opportunity through a screencast allows students to get instruction during their available moments throughout the day or night. I’m not tutoring live at 2:00 am, but the screencast is there and available for students at that time.
Reason 4: Again, our students are amazingly busy! Some screencasting programs, like Techsmith’s Jing, limit the recording to 5 minutes, and this time limit forces my instruction to be focused and more effective.
Do you love screencasting as much as we do at the Writing Center? If so, we’d like to hear from you. How are you using screencasting in the classroom, and how are your students responding?
Kaplan University Writing Center