This post is a response to Activity 4.1: Multimedia as evidence and creating digital evidence for an eportfolio
We’ve been asked to think about relating media to different aspects of user engagement and how using different media relates to how people learn. I naturally veer towards creating text-based materials and prefer to use words, mindmaps, and flow diagrams to explain and instruct so creating multimedia content is a bit of a departure for me. However I wanted to try and create a screencast to demonstrate how I use a particular application and today I spent sometime getting to grips with Camtasia Studio for Mac and I created a screencast of how I use Evernote as a digital repository.
I found this activity quite difficult and time consuming because I was learning how to use a new piece of software (Camtasia) and how to produce an effective screencast. Trying to learn and do two distinct things was a bit of a strain, and I abandoned the trial and error approach as well as my initial time allocation for this activity. I managed to record myself but I could not work out how to edit the screencast. At the same time, I was conscious that I was speaking too slowly, stumbling over words and should have written a script. So first I decided to learn how to use Camtasia, and I found some useful videos about how to edit recordings. I watched all six of the getting started guide after which I was a lot more confident. Next, I wrote out a script and used it to guide my recording. I also set up some mock pages in Evernote, had some tabs already open on the web and decided to stick to a time limit which meant I only highlighted the essential components of Evernote. The result? Well it is OK and it’s here.
I didn’t have time to rework it too much. I still can’t figure out how to speed up my voice in Camtasia. On the plus side, my voice sounds less like Minnie Mouse than I had imagined.If I compare it to writing out instructions in how to use Evernote or presenting static screenshots with instructions, I think a screencast like this can be really effective as it moves beyond verbal communications to non-verbal and auditory components. The act of creating this also made me think about how I do use this tool and whether I can improve my own use. This activity reminded me that as an instructor and course designer, asking students to use unfamiliar software as well as complete a challenging task is a bit of an ask and that time constraints can be an important factor in student motivation and outcomes. However, there’s also a certain sense of satisfaction in producing something tangible, so I valued the process of self-discovery this activity enabled.