screencast

Are you currently searching for academic jobs or planning a higher ed job search in the future? Beyond exploring individual schools' websites, do you know how to find good information about the institutions you're applying to? Or how to find similar institutions in a given geographic area? Or how to research salary ranges for the kinds of positions you're seeking? 

This screencast prepared by CRLT's Rachel Niemer highlights web-based resources that can answer a range of questions you might not have even known you had. The 7-minute presentation provides introductions to search tools from trusted sources like the Carnegie Foundation, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Department of Education to help you pursue a more fully-informed job search. 

For other resources for job seekers, click on the "PFF" (Preparing Future Faculty) tag below. Or click here for a range of resources from the recent one-day Preparing Future Faculty conference co-sponsored by Rackham and CRLT. 

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Brief Description: 

Screencasts are video recordings of the actions on one’s computer screen, including any associated audio. Screencasts, synonymous with video podcasts, provide a simple means to increase access to course content and learning resources. The product of screencasting is a video or movie file that can be uploaded to YouTube, a website, or a course management system for dissemination. Students may access screencasts repeatedly, at any time, from anywhere, using computers or a variety of handheld mobile devices (e.g., smart phones, iPods, iPads).

Video Resource

Tips for Creating Screencasts
  • Keep screencasts as short as possible (5 - 10 minutes).
    Less is more, given the limits on attention span.  For longer topics, consider how they can be “chunked” into shorter targeted units.  
  • Record screencasts in modular segments rather than a single “take”.
    If one uses slideware (e.g., PowerPoint, KeyNote, Prezi, Google Presentations) to make a screencast, record each slide separately and link the clips together during the editing process.  This practice can save significant effort during both recording (e.g., do overs) and editing.
  • Budget more time than you anticipate.
    Screencasting can be an efficient process; but initially, aspects of recording, editing, and posting your screencasts online can take more time than expected.  Experienced screencasters report a 2:1 ratio of recording and editing time:length of final product.  Allow for extra time until you are comfortable with the process. 
  • Pay attention to the audio quality.
    An effective screencast can support learning without being Hollywood quality.  However, as one assesses one’s screencasts, quality audio should be a key consideration for usability.
  • Consider scripting your screencasts.
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Today's AnnArbor.com features a story about U-M faculty who are providing feedback on student writing via video. Using a technique called screencasting, instructors create a personalized video for each student paper. Free software records whatever is on the instructor's computer screen, along with their verbal comments, so instructors can open a student's paper, talk though its strengths, make suggestions for improvement, even pull up further resources on their computer screen, and then send the video directly to the student.

Instructors say that making feedback videos takes about the same amount of time as traditional grading with written comments--and may even save time. Many students say that video feedback is more personal and easier to understand than written comments. 

The story features comments from several instructors using the technique and reactions from their students. You can also see an example of a screencast video and learn about free screencasting software. Read the full story here

Related CRLT Resources: Creating and providing feedback on writing assignments

Would you like to discuss screencasting in your course? Request a consultation.

Another example of screencast use at U-M: Joanna Mirecki Millunchick, Winner of 2012 Provost's Teaching Innovation Prize

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What concepts are students still struggling with after lecture?  How can I most effectively supplement lectures to enhance student learning?  Will my efforts to provide additional resources actually pay off in terms of student success?

These key questions -- familiar to many instructors in large lecture courses -- structured Joanna Mirecki Millunchick’s teaching innovation in MSE (Materials and Science Engineering) 220.  Because the course draws engineering majors with widely varying degrees of experience with course concepts, Professor Millunchick was especially interested in offering diverse students opportunities to review lecture topics and learn at a pace appropriate to their needs. 

Her central innovation? Screencasts.  Millunchick developed a range of screencasts (i.e., online videos of her computer screen, accompanied by audio) on topics students were struggling with.  The screencasts included lecture recordings, explanations of homework, and exam solutions.  In just one example of her creative use of technology, Millunchick used a tablet PC and stylus to record her process of drawing diagrams, producing videos that students could watch and review on their own schedule.  CTools allowed her to keep track of which students used the screencasts and how often.  And then she assessed the relation of these data to student success in the course.  

She found, quite simply, that students who used her screencasts earned higher grades in the course, but the greatest gains were for those students who started with less familiarity with the topic.   Read more »

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