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Creating a Worked Screencast

May 2, 2013

The final project of this course was to create a worked example screencast using multimedia principles.

I created a tutorial for my Engineering department. The most common complaint that I hear from Engineering students and faculty is the difficulty accessing full-text journal articles. The problem with this access is twofold. Engineering Village (EV), the database of Engineering literature, is just an index; it does not contain full-text articles within the database. Rather, we use linksource software to connect to full-text articles found within other databases to which we subscribe. Unfortunately the EV vendor will only work with this software if we include the linksource icon on every article citation, rather than on just the articles to which we actually have direct access. This causes mass confusion because sometimes the linksource icon leads to an article, and sometimes it doesn’t. When the icon does not lead to the article, students often do not know what to do next to confirm that we do not have the article or to request the article through interlibrary loan.

My tutorial uses many multimedia principles. I use the multimedia principle through the use of voice narration, and graphics. I use the contiguity principle by aligning words next to relevant graphics rather than far away on the screen.  The words are primarily narration rather than on-screen, allowing novice students to process information through dual channels, thus respecting the modality and redundancy principles. This tutorial focuses on accessing full-text journal articles. I therefore do not delve into advanced research techniques or other topics, following the coherence principle. I use the personalization principle through use of an informal conversational voice, and some humor such as a big yellow “Sorry” sign when demonstrating that we did not have access to a specific journal article. I attempt to break up the tutorial into distinct sections to adhere to the segmentation principle; I focus on accessing the database, conducting a simple search, explaining the linksource icon, accessing a full-text article, and demonstrating what to do when direct access does not work. Finally, I incorporate the worked example model by requesting that the student follow along with the tutorial, pausing when necessary to complete the steps at the same time. I encourage far transfer by inviting the student to continue practicing searching and accessing articles after the tutorial with topics that are directly relevant to their current project.

I created this tutorial through the Screencast-o-matic software. I discovered and have used this software through the MET program. For this project I decided that it was worth it to upgrade to the Pro version ($15 per year) which allows me to edit and add overlays such as highlighting boxes. While there was definitely a learning curve, I was able to build upon my prior experience with the software. I’m excited that through the Pro edition, I can also make quality tutorials for other research topics for my students.


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