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The Camtasia Library Tutorial at UBC Library's Science and Engineering Division

:: Aleteia Greenwood is a librarian at the Science and Engineering Division of the University of British Columbia Library. Earlier this year, with the assistance of the Centre for Instructional Support at UBC'S Faculty of Applied Science, and using Camtasia software, she designed and recorded the "Guide to Using UBC'S Library Catalogue." I asked Aleteia for background information on the tutorial, and she writes:

The modules are made using Camtasia. I went with this software because the video captures real time visuals and the voice over makes it possible to talk and demonstrate at the same time. (I'll admit though that lack of interaction is a drag). So it is really just a show and tell device.

Total time of the videos is around 29 minutes. (the time duration of each module can be seen in the bottom right hand corner).

Camtasia is great because it is possible to manipulate it in the post production stage. For example, you can zoom in on one part of the screen. It is very easy to make the video, once you have downloaded the software you pull up the screen you want to start with, through Camtasia, press F9 to start the video going and F10 to stop it. I am not so clear on the post production component as we are unable to download software onto our work computers. Jim Sibley from Applied Science did post production. He assures me that it is not complex.

Something to watch out for: there are default settings that I was a little slow in noticing (for example in one of the modules you can hear the keys of the computer, they sound like an ancient typewriter, that can be switched off. I thought I'd redone all the videos that had that sound!)

One thing I would like to have done is to have closed captioning (for those who are hard of hearing, whose first language isn't English, who don't have sound on their computers).

There are 13 modules in the 29-minute presentation. Viewers can choose which module they want to view, or watch the entire presentation at once. The presentation can be paused, stopped, and can be "rewound" or "fast forwarded", so to speak. Notice that the cursor, which moves about the screen, is surrounded by a small yellow circle, making it very easy to follow the cursor as it moves about the screen.

This type of presentation could work well for distance learning. I'd also like to see if a Camtasia tutorial on a specific subject area or resource would be useful to students working in that area.

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