Screencasting

This week work and school collided in a bad way. At work I am creating a series of videos on screencasting. I have broken the screencasting best practices down into four phases:

  1. Plan: Write a script and storyboard your screencast and practice your delivery;
  2. Record: Make sure you have a clean, quiet, and visually appropriate place to do your screencast. Make sure your desktop is free of personal/private information. Use a good quality mike and the appropriate screencasting software.
  3. Edit: Remove major flaws in the audio and video.
  4. Publish: Choose the right format and file size for the server.

The truth is, I only know a little about screencasting. I attended a webinar on the subject and was counting on getting help from the screencast expert at work. Then came this week’s school assignment that required the creation of a screencast of a learning management system (LMS). I chose Moodle as my LMS and decided to record it on Articulate Storyline. I recorded the screencast and then added the audio later. I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to say and it took several takes to sync the audio to the video. Right off the bat I violated my own rules for screencast by not planning (strike one). I then tried to publish the screencast but Articulate Storyline does not allow you to publish as a single .MP4. Instead, if publishes the video of each slide as a separate .MP4 and the audio as separate .MP3’s. Thus I violated number 4 of my best practices by not matching my desired file format to the actual output of the software (strike two). I then decided to use Articulate Replay and completely re-record my screencast. I again recorded the screen shots and added the narration separately. The funny thing about Articulate Replay is that it only has very crude editing tools and it took a lot of effort to sync the audio and video. Thus I violated No. 3 of the best practices (strike three I am out). However, I learned a valuable lesson. Going forward I will do as I say not as I do.

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