Examining the Anatomy of a Screencast: Uncovering Common Elements and Instructional Strategies

William Sugar, Abbie Brown, Kenneth Luterbach, IRRODL, Oct 17, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

As nearly as I can tell, the term 'Screencast' was used by Virage, which trademarked the term and rolled out a screencasting solution in 2003. But TechSmith's 'screencast.com' was created in 2002; someone working on Camtasia development probably coined the term. So the term was not coined by Jon Udell in 2005, as asserted in the second paragraph of this article, though there is no doubt that he popularized it, beginning here, and is widely given credit.

A screencast is "a way to present digitally recorded playback of computer screen output which often contains audio narration" and is now a widely used educational technology. This article analyzes a set of screencasts and identifies a series of structural elements, including 'bumpers' ("a statement of identity at the beginning and/or end of a broadcast"), screen movement, narration, along with five instructional strategies ("provide overview, describe procedure, present concept, focus attention, and elaborate content" - a light version of Gagne's). More from the new issue of IRRODL.
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