ICT in Education Main Headline

How to start making your own e-learning materials

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

Online learning has become part of day-to-day life and so has online sharing of knowledge. You, too, may one day wish to create your own video tutorial, for instance to teach others how to use certain functions of a particular computer program.

Plenty of screen-recording software options are available in the market. Such software can record step-by-step operations performed on a desktop screen. One option is Screencast-o-matic. Only the basic version is free, but the free-to-use functions already can help you create software tutorial materials quickly and easily.

A small group of IFTM undergraduates recently used this software as an experimental assignment in one of their I.T.-related courses to learn how to deliver good-quality e-learning content to a general audience. Each of them was required to produce a tutorial lasting 1 minute to teach the viewers how to use a computer program chosen by the student. Each needed only:
– A desktop or laptop computer;
– Access to the Screencast-o-matic screen recorder software available at https://screencast-o-matic.com/screen-recorder;
– A microphone; and
– A webcam.

A webcam feed obtained using the Screencast-o-matic screen-recording software

The Screencast-o-matic screen recorder supports full-screen (1080p) recording mode. The free version allows up to a maximum of 15 minutes of recording. The video output formats available include the widely used MP4 format, which is sufficient in most cases for teaching and learning purposes.

Using Screencast-o-matic, the feed from the webcam of the author presenting the tutorial can be displayed in a small box, which you can put anywhere on the desktop screen during recording. Users usually put the box in the lower left corner of the screen or the lower right corner, to prevent it getting in the way of the program the tutorial is about.

Video tutorial produced by IFTM Year 2 undergraduate Paul Li about how to use SketchUp software for 3D design

To produce more polished, professional-looking video tutorials, you may use video editing tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro for post-production work, including the addition of features such as titles or captions.

By IFTM faculty member Dr Simon Lei

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