importance of screencasts

What is the use of screencasts in elearning? 


Technology is rapidly getting adopted by companies. But, indeed, digital adoption is not happening because employees cannot understand the technology. In a survey done by PwC, half of the company staff are not pleased with the resources available to learn technology.

The instructional design services can be useful to employees in learning about technology. The instructional designers help prepare the right training materials for employees to imbibe the nuances of how to operate the software. These resources ensure that the employees can expedite their work related to new software.

The instructional designers of a company have to get niche knowledge from subject matter experts about how to use a certain software application. The employees might also need knowledge about the old software applications, particularly if they have just joined the company. But if they have been working for a long time, they need information about new software only.

In both cases, an instructional designer is needed to take screencasts. In the first case of the new software, the IDs are asked to take the inputs from someone developing the software. But in the second case, an SME provides them with sufficient information about how to use the software. 

When there is an instructional designer in your organization, he can prepare the JIT resources and screencasts for the software users. They can consult them when they need to use the software. Apart from videos, VILT can also be provided to these learners about software usage.

The best part is that with these instructional designing services, the software is clear to the users, and they face no issues. Also, when the training has been designed properly for the users keeping in mind empathy, it results in feasible learning experiences.

An ID can improve the software training by using authoring software to take screencasts, and then he can add a voiceover and finalize the training.

The training modules can be created for different topics to be included. The following steps can help the learners in designing a screencast based video:  

  • Assess the skill gaps:

Instructional designers first need to check whether software training is needed. It might be so that the employees know the software quite well and don’t have any skill gaps. Hence a training needs analysis is required.  

  • Introduce a table of contents(TOC):

The learners might not have the time to watch a complete video. Hence it’s better to have a TOC in the module so that the learners can watch the different sections. They can skip the sections with which they are already familiar. Instead of trying to teach everything at once, it’s better to be broken down into modules. This ensures that the learners don’t have a cognitive overload.  

  • Have a short video:

A video should not be more than two minutes long, but if a procedure requires more steps, divide the video into segments and introduce blank screens between them. If you have a long procedure video on the same topic, it’s better to introduce a blank screen between various steps.  

  • Include quizzes:

Learners can easily forget the information taught to them in screencasts. This is directly proportional to the number of steps in a task. Hence, they must be given quizzes and asked what the next step in a task should be. Such quizzes must be included in different parts of the video. Also, hotpots must be used in the videos to indicate which buttons should be pressed by the learners or which textboxes should be used by them to add information.

Ensure the narration and text don’t appear on the screen together. It’s because we don’t use our senses of listening and reading together. We only use one at a time.  

  • Don’t talk about concepts:

In a screencast video where you are trying to teach the user a certain way to do things, it’s better to include only steps that can help the learner understand how to do something. There is no need to include the concepts-based information in such a video. This is how you can design a screencast-based video. 

The learners must also be given proper gist of the steps taught in a module. This not only refreshes their memory but also gives them a much-needed break between modules.  

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