Screencasting for beginners

Video screen capture is a quick way to create a video of everything that appears on a computer screen, along with audio narration and sometimes webcam video of a presenter. It can be a flexible teaching tool for communicating to students inside and outside of the classroom. It’s well-suited to creating tutorials on formulae or calculations, introducing new software or addressing specific learning or administrative issues. The additional interactivity such as the inclusion of quizzes or active web links in your final video offered by platforms such as Camtasia Studio or Adobe Captivate also opens up options to engage students and create active learning.

On October 2, I gave a workshop addressing what’s required to create a well-designed, professional-looking Camtasia screencast, with a brief look at some other platforms, both paid and free, and ways to disseminate them. This blog post recaps some of what I discussed, with links to useful tools and sources of further guidance.

Screencasting involves five basic steps: design, recording, editing, exporting and disseminating your project.

Screencast design

See a video of the first part of my session on designing your screencast, including the different screencast platforms available, how to set up a screencast recording and how to deal with third-party media (including copyrights).

Screencast recording, editing and exporting

Complete video tutorials on how to create and export a Camtasia screencast 

A note on exporting and disseminating your screencasts

Once you have recorded and edited your screencast there are a variety of ways to export it so people can view and interact with it.

File type: Regardless of how I’ll be sharing my screencasts, I export each as an mp4 file. This produces a video that will play on most computers.

Size: Normally I select a 720p option as this is the standard size for web video, however, with technical changes, some web video hosts now accept 1080p files which are larger and better quality. This is a good option if your host can support it because the resulting video will be crisper and easier to read.

Sharing: You should choose an export option that suits your method of dissemination. As mentioned in the session video above, you can export with an html player and without. If you want full functionality for quizzes, captions and active links, along with metrics on who has viewed the screencast or done any activities, you will need to export your screencast with an html player. It then needs to be hosted on or on a webpage which the University can provide. is good option if you want to trial your quizzes, but it might not work as a long-term solution. This is because it’s a paid service if you use more than 2GB of streaming data, and staff at the Business School have recently had issues with the level of service. A better option is to contact the web team in your faculty or call ITS to request a webpage to host screencasts with an html player. They will be able to provide information about how to see who has accessed the screencast and any associated activities.

If you’re simply creating video content, you can use the university’s media store uploading service or a commercially available streaming option like or Metrics are limited but in the media store you will be able to see which students have viewed the video. On Youtube and Vimeo you will be able to see how many views a video has had.

For more information or support to create a screencast please contact ILT.

Useful Resources

Screencasting platforms
Chrome Screencastify
MS Office Mix ­
Adobe Presenter 
Camtasia Studio

Media repositories

Dissemination platforms
University of Auckland Media Store


Mayer, R.E. (2009). Multi-media Learning: Second Edition. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Peters, D. (2005) Mayer’s Principles for the design of Multimedia Learning. Retrieved from: 

Example of fully-featured Camtasia screencast 
Rehm, M (2014) Building Structures


Lyn Collie is Digital Media Producer at the University of Auckland Business School. In this role, she creates video and learning media, as well as using digital outreach to increase faculty engagement around learning and teaching. Her career has spanned documentary, educational media, teaching, outreach, writing and communications. She taught web video production at UABS from 2007 to 2013 and has tutored a variety of subjects at the Universities of Auckland and Otago. Lyn has a Masters degree in documentary directing from the University of Auckland.


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