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We are pleased to present the following Brief on the use of IT in education, featuring short articles from six teachers who have recently presented at one of our seminars on IT-related issues

October 1998, Vol. 1 No. 2 Print Ready ArticlePrint-Ready
Seminar 6
A/P John Potter
Head, Acoustic Research Laboratory
Faculty of Engineering

Lotus ScreenCam is a software package that records your computer screen like a video camera, but no cameras, lights, expensive equipment or television skills are required. Not exactly blockbuster video, but it records audio too. Now that’s more interesting, and I’m applying it to the problem of tutorials. A common problem is that tutorials consume precious contact time between lecturer and students yet are often used for monologues. Tutors deliver solutions to problems, and students silently copy them down. Problem sheets and scribbled notes are filed side-by-side for reference the night before the exam. Large classes have many tutors, each with several tutorial sets. The result is an ensemble of (not always consistent) solution variations delivered several times by each tutor, who can become tired of the material and wearying to the students.

ScreenCam allows the lecturer to go over the solution just once, with audio commentary and the emphasis of moving the mouse pointer around the screen, scrolling and highlighting text. Lecture notes and other programs can be opened and referred to. It is all recorded in a compact file which can be downloaded from the web and replayed by the student. A ScreenCam file allows better presentation of a wider variety of materials than available in a tutorial classroom. Students play only those solutions they need, as many times as they wish, whenever it is convenient for them. In addition, at the end of it all, the tutorial hour is freed for some genuine dialogue. That’s where the tough part starts!

Some simple ScreenCam examples are at html_docs/ScreenCam.html.

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Seminar 1
Seminar 2
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