What do I need to consider?
When using screencasts to deliver teaching and learning content, remember:
- students are not able to engage in Q&A as the information is received, or observe how their peers interpret/use the material until a later scheduled discussion or collaboration
- you are not able to observe student reactions as you are speaking,
To maximise student engaged, adopt teaching strategies for an asynchronous student audience and adapt your screencasts accordingly, using the tips below:
Students may approach screencast viewing as they would when casually browsing video platforms such as Youtube. To help them develop effective viewing habits for study:
- create shorter, more engaging screencasts, with complementary learning activities, to help students engage more easily and spend less time reviewing content
- remind students of the importance of taking notes, either verbally or through provision of a note-taking template, a worksheet to accompany the video, or by posting a few questions relating to the video topic
- indicate a timeframe or set deadlines for viewing videos. Relate screencast materials to upcoming teaching sessions with a 'flipped' approach
- include pause points and prompts for thought within a video, to encourage students to reflect on the content whilst listening and discourage passive rote learning
- signpost students towards the University's Library guides for study
- Signpost in Blackboard using key terms and icons from Module Roadmaps
- A title slide helps orientate students, consider including module name, topic, series numbering, reference to learning outcomes or assessment. Include this information in the introduction to your screencast.
- Carefully consider how to end the screencast, as well as summing up the key points, this is a great chance to signpost to related activities. You could pose a related question for students to think about in their own time or give highlights about the next screencast/topic in a series.
- An end slide cements the key 'take away' points, and/or reminds students about the next steps and related study activities. Be sure to narrate any important content.
- Design Learning Activities to accompany the screencast
- Aim for a mix of independent tasks and collaborative activities (such as discussion or group work).
Dale’s (1969) ‘cone of experience’ indicates only surface learning arises when information is heard and viewed. However, when students are required to respond to information, their involvement becomes more active and they are likely to be able to recall and use information in other contexts. Therefore, it is good practice to design activities to accompany screencasts and promote active learning, particularly when screencasts are created for the purpose of transmitting subject knowledge.
- Signpost complementary activities in the first minute or so of the recording, to explain to students what they need to do.
For example, you might want students to watch and read materials, formulate questions, then look for answers within the recording. You can also signpost activities by typing instructions into the Blackboard text editor field when embedding recordings into your Blackboard modules.
There are several ways you can assess student understanding of screencast content. Here a two examples:
- Consider using quizzes to informally assess students' understanding, and provide opportunities for students to self assess.
- Set ungraded submission points next to videos to collect student worksheets and notes. You don't necessarily need to look at all of them but you can see from the grade centre who is submitting, and you may wish to view a sample of submissions to get a sense of student understanding (and perhaps record a screencast to give some general feedback about the cohort's progress).
More ideas for using screencasts in teaching:
- see the Personal Capture case studies on the ‘T&L Exchange’ for examples from specific subject areas,