A screencast is a digital video recording that captures actions taking place on a computer desktop, often containing voice-over narration. 

  • Camtasia is an excellent program for this. UBC owns a license for students to download the Camtasia software for free. Simply go to Connect and find the download link under the “Resources” tab. 

    Screenshot of Landing page for Camtasia on Mac

    “Getting Started with Camtasia”, by Matthew Oliphant, Flickr, CC BY ND 2.0

  • QuickTime can also be used on Mac computers to create a screencast
  • Use a story board to plan before recording
  • These clips are easy to edit
  • Allow lag-time at the beginning and end of each clip, this allows for a buffer during the editing phase; it is better to record too long because it can always be shortened
  • Take a couple of recordings so there are options during the editing phase
  • When saving a new screen recording, save it as a higher quality clip by selecting “1080p” (rather than just “Movie”) in the saving options. This allows for a higher quality final product with more visual clarity.
  • This works best with two people: person 1 will read the script while person 2 completes the screen-cast; a finalized script is essential to proper timing on the screen-cast
  • Tools such as Mousepose (for Mac) or MouseShade (for Windows) can be used to draw your viewer’s attention to particular areas of a screen through highlighting mouse clicks or casting a spot-light on one area
  • Consider other tools such as screen clipping: a still “photo” taken with your computer of what is presently on the screen
  • To ensure that a screen clipping is of high quality use a large computer monitor; the resulting screenshot will be higher resolution. If you do not have access to larger computer monitors, consider using one of the large Macs in the LFS Learning Centre.
  • On a Mac: use Shift-Command-4
  • On a PC: use OneNote program and the screen-clipping tool
  • Snagit is screen capture software that can also be used to take and edit screen clips. UBC also has a license for students to download this software for free. Again, find the link in Connect under the “Resources” tab.  

Watch this video as an example of screen-casting. The actual screen-casting starts at 1:30 in the video.