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University license gives faculty, staff access to screencasting software Camtasia, Snagit


As a management professor teaching aspiring executives spread around the world, Ananth Iyer oftentimes doubted whether his students sufficiently absorbed course material through readings and course notes during the distance learning portion of the Krannert School of Management’s executive MBA program.

“Unless I was in front of them, showing them how things were happening, it wasn’t clear to me that they understood. I needed to be able to show them and give a lecture without ever meeting them,” says Iyer, the associate dean of graduate studies at Krannert.

During a recent redesign of the program, Iyer found a solution: Camtasia Studio, software for screen recording and video editing that helps him create focused, goal-specific videos for his students to watch. The software, now available on all Purdue campuses through ITaP, allows him to narrate slides, work through graphs and equations, and make on-screen annotations within the videos, which are uploaded to a SharePoint site for his students to access.

“The video presentations increase student comprehension,” Iyer says. “When my students come to campus, they’ve already seen me work through multiple problems. It frees up class time to do other things.”

A new system-wide licensing agreement between Purdue and software company TechSmith gives faculty and staff at all Purdue campuses free access to Camtasia Studio for PC and Camtasia for Mac, in addition to the user-friendly screen capture tool Snagit for PC and Mac. The license also permits Purdue students to use the software on University-owned computers.

Purdue employees can request copies of the software for work and home by following the instructions listed on ITaP’s Camtasia and Snagit Web pages.

“As many faculty are working to create a more interactive classroom environment and online educational components, screencasting tools like Camtasia and Snagit will play an increasingly important role in facilitating student learning,” says Joe Conte, ITaP consulting and training manager. “This new licensing agreement gives Purdue faculty and staff the ability to leverage these tools on campus and at home at no cost to themselves or their departments.”      

Camtasia replaces Adobe Presenter as the University-supported rich media presentation tool. Faculty and staff who obtained Presenter through ITaP should remove the program from their computers. ITaP training and supporting documentation for both Camtasia and Snagit will be posted to the ITaP website before the fall semester, but users can get a head start by consulting online training material provided by TechSmith.

With a straightforward user interface and a robust feature set, Camtasia is simple enough for the novice and dynamic enough for the expert to create professional-quality video tutorials and presentations. The software allows users to narrate and record Web pages, PowerPoint slides or software demonstrations. Presentations can then be refined using Camtasia’s intuitive, multi-track video editor, which possesses speech-to-text functionality. Music, photos and video can be imported and interactive elements such as videos with links, a table of contents or search functions can be added along with interactive quizzes and captioning. The final product is designed to making sharing easy, so viewers can watch anywhere, including YouTube and mobile devices. Faculty who teach courses within Blackboard Learn can upload Camtasia videos to Kaltura for easy student viewing.

Longtime Camtasia user Gordon Coppoc, a professor of Veterinary Pharmacology and associate dean and director of the Indiana University School of Medicine Lafayette, likes the software because of the versatility and control it gives users. Coppoc uses the application when recording lectures for his veterinary and medical students.

“It’s a nice mix of power and user friendliness,” Coppoc says. “You can do some great things in Camtasia without having to know a lot about the software.”

In addition to its application in distance learning and online courses, faculty also use Camtasia in on-campus courses to free up class time for active learning and in-depth discussion, a structure referred to as a “flipped classroom.”

 Tim Newby, a professor of Learning Design and Technology, adopted this model in his introductory course on educational technology and computing, recording lectures and lab exercises for his students to view outside of class.

“Now we’re actually working on the cases and applications I only touched on in class before,” Newby says. “Grades are better, and my students are walking out with expertise in solving real cases.”

Along with Camtasia, Purdue employees may also request Snagit, a screen capture tool that enables easy image and video capture, including Web pages or parts of a Web page, which can then be shared or incorporated into presentations.

 “Snagit makes annotations very easy,” Coppoc says. “You can write over the top of captured images, take pictures of maps, circle items or draw arrows. It’s much more efficient and less awkward than using Windows’ print screen feature or Photoshop.”

Faculty and staff with questions about Camtasia, Snagit or other instructional technology should contact ITaP’s teaching and learning group at tlt-consulting@purdue.edu. To find other technology tools available to instructors, go to the ITaP website for teaching and learning technology resources or complete a request form for a one-on-one consultation.

Writer: Jonathan Hines, technology writer, ITaP, 765-496-7998, hines18@purdue.edu

Sources: Ananth Iyer, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at the Krannert School of Management, 765-494-4514,aiyer@purdue.edu

Gordon Coppoc, Professor of Veterinary Pharmacology and Director of Indiana University School of Medicine Lafayette, 765-494-8591, coppoc@purdue.du

Tim Newby, Professor of Learning Design and Technology, 765-494-5672, newby@purdue.edu

Joe Conte, consulting and training manager, ITaP, 765-496-8222, joescontejr@purdue.edu

Last updated: June 25, 2013