A screencast typically consists of a PowerPoint presentation accompanied by a narrative audio recording. Research studies have shown that screencasts are used effectively as supplemental learning resources for students. A recent study conducted by Dr. Paul Reilly found that screencasts helped international students deepen their learning and improve their English language skills. Dr. Reilly continued his research by developing screencasts for different modules in the University of Leicester’s Department of Media and Communication. More information about the Screencasts in Media Studies project can be found at: https://screencastsinmediastudies.wordpress.com
The Screencasts in Engineering Project
The Screencasts in Engineering project ran during 2015 and explored the use of screencasts to support learning by student Engineers at the University of Leicester. The project was led by Dr Hugo Williams and funded by the University’s Teaching Enhancement Fund. The first case study in the project was the development of screencasts for a conventional Engineering module, Aerospace Materials, taken by 4th year MEng students and postgraduate MSc students. The purpose of the screencasts was to give students an overview of the key concepts from each lecture. An example of a screencast from the study is shown below:
Students were given the opportunity to view the screencast either before or after the corresponding lecture. The study aim was to evaluate how students used the screencasts, whether they found them useful and draw out practical points for improved practice.
These questions were investigated through the use of focus groups and questionnaires involving the Engineering students, and by looking at the recorded usage data on the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).