Teaching Writing with Jing

Overview

Jing is a screencasting program that allows you to capture both audio and visual information from your computer to create a short video that can be easily shared.  Jing is a free program that can be used either by instructors for providing verbal feedback on student writing or by students for allowing verbal reflection on their own or others' writing.  Screencasting can help instructors provide more specific and nuanced feedback to students and start a dialogue between instructors and students about the writing process.

Using Jing in Your Course

One common use of Jing to improve student writing is to provide feedback on student papers either as drafts or final products.  Using Jing, you can create short (up to 5 minute) videos in which you walk students through their papers and give verbal feedback on what they have written.  This can allow instructors to provide more extensive explanations than traditional margin notes, and the combination of audio and visual feedback can be used together to avoid confusion on the part of the student.  Although initially using Jing to record feedback for students may take longer than written comments, faculty who have used this technique report that once you get used to it, providing feedback in this way takes about the same amount of time or even less than written feedback.  Students also report liking the audio feedback as some have said that it gives them a more personal connection to the instructor. 

The Ann Arbor News interviewed some professors who have used screencasting as well as some of their students. Read what they had to say about the use of screencasting to provide interactive feedback.

Another way in which Jing can be used to improve student writing is to have students reflect on their own writing by creating a Jing video.  Many students struggle with their writing but are unable to identify what in particular is difficult for them.  By asking them to turn in a reflection of their own writing, instructors can help students pinpoint their specific issues.

The Sweetland Center for Writing created a handout which outlines a student writing reflection assignment.  Read the handout  and think about how this assignment could be adapted with the use of Jing.

Getting Started with Jing

Jing is a free program created by TechSmith that you can download online .  Jing is easy to use and is compatible with both PCs and Macs. 

Jing has an easy learning curve and most functions can be figured out just by playing around, but TechSmith also provides a number of helpful online tutorials to help you get started.  Most of the tutorials provide written and video instructions for how to use each function.  One easy way to get started is to do their Interactive “Hands-on” Jing Tutorial which is available for both Mac OS X and Windows

There are also a number of user created tutorials for using Jing on Youtube.  One particularly good tutorial is below:

 

More!

If you still have questions about how to use screencasting or Jing in particular, there are many helpful tutorials on Youtube that you can find by simply searching for the phrase: “Jing tutorial.”  You can also check out several other paid screencasting technologies by TechSmith which allow more complicated video editing practices such as Snagit and Camtasia.

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