Communicating with Students

1.Getting Started

Screencasting is often used in online learning as a substitute for face-to-face lectures. Before you get started with screencasting, here are some important considerations and tips for creating a better learning experience for students:

  • Keep it short. Students won’t pay attention to a long video. While there isn’t any hard and fast rules about length, a good rule to follow is to keep it to one concept or idea per video.
  • Let students see your face. One way to do that is to use the built-in recording tool in Canvas to make short, more personalized video for students that address their concerns and challenges, in addition to the content-oriented videos.
  • Have a script. This will make it easier to caption your videos and to keep from making them too long.
  • Make sure the audio is clear. Invest in a microphone or borrow one from the HCC.
  • Be yourself. Make sure that your personality comes through in the audio and video, just as it would in a classroom setting.


Screenflow is available for faculty to use in the Vocal Booth located in HCC. It allows you to create and edit screencasts with audio.

For a full tutorial on using Screenflow, please visit their support pages.


Screencast-O-Matic allows you to record on-screen activity for short tutorials, visual presentations, and communicate while you demonstrate. The free version is available for download for both Mac and Windows OS, or you can use the browser recorder. With the free version allows you to record up to 15 minutes of screencasting and/or webcam video.

  1. Go to and click on Start Recording.
    Screencast-O-Matic Home Page
  2. You can either download the free application or use the in browser recorder.
  3. Once you’ve launched the recorder, you can position which part of your screen will record, which microphone you’d like to use, and if you want to record your screen, webcam, or both,
    Screencast-O-Matic menu with the video input, microphone input, and preferences areas highlighted
  4. When you’ve finished recorder, click the done button.
  5. After you’ve finished recording, you can trim your video and choose where and how to save it. You can either save it as a video file to your computer or upload it to YouTube. If you sign up for a Screencast-O-Matic account, you can also save your videos to their cloud.
    1. Save as a Video File

      Screencast-O-Matic Save as Video File

    2. Save to Youtube

      Screencast-O-Matic Save to YouTube


Jing is a free tool that allows you to make simple, five-minute screencasts with audio. The videos can be exported, embedded, or shared.

For a full tutorial on how to use Jing, please visit their documentation site.


QuickTime is a freely available software included on all Mac computers that allows you to do screencasts and audio recording. The video can then be edited in a tool like iMovie or Final Cut Pro.

For instructions on how to use QuickTime for screencasts, visit their documentation page.

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