Case Study: Using screencasts and exercises to develop software skills

"Today: SPSS. Tomorrow: the world." by Julie Montgomery

Today: SPSS. Tomorrow: the world.” by Julie Montgomery

This case study explores the use of screencasts and supplemental exercises to support students in developing their competence with a particular piece of software. The software requires a significant amount of time to master but the amount of other material that needed to be covered meant that the this was not possible during the timetabled sessions. Instead, the tutor created short screencasts demonstrating specific uses of the software, and a series of exercises for the students to work on as independent study activities.

The tutor made a formal evaluation of the impact of the screencasts and exercises and the results suggest that there was an increase in overall attainment for those students who made use of the new materials. Feedback from students initially stated that there were problems with accessing the materials off-campus, however once this issue was solved the feedback was highly positive.

The tutor plans to make further materials for this module and to start creating some for other modules. He suggests that the same approach would work for other subjects and disciplines, but emphasises the need to devote enough time to making good quality screencasts and suggests that interested staff member make full use of the elearning support available in their faculty.

You can read more about this approach in the two-page case study entitled: Using screencasts and exercises to develop software skills.

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