(94e) Screencasts in Chemical Engineering Courses

Falconer, J. L., University of Colorado Boulder
Medlin, J. W., University of Colorado at Boulder
deGrazia, J., University of Colorado Boulder
Nicodemus, G., University of Colorado at Boulder

Screencasts, which are screen captures of a computer monitor display plus narration, were piloted in six chemical engineering courses, from freshmen to graduate level. They were produced on Tablet PCs using Camtasia Studio software and Windows Journal as well as other software. They were posted on line for easy student access, and are available on a web site for use by chemical engineering faculty and students at other universities. These short videos (approximately 10 minutes) were used to: (1) present solutions to example problems, (2) explain how to use software, (3) offer mini-lectures, and (4) clarify concepts in more detail than class time allowed. Screencasts can be used to present material so that class time can be used for active-learning activities. They can also be used to explain a question that arises during office hours instead of repeatedly explaining it. They are not professional-quality videos and thus can be prepared relatively quickly. Students can watch them on their schedules and can stop and replay. The feedback from students in these courses was overwhelmingly positive, with 95% of students in some courses rating them useful or very useful. Students found them to be effective supplements to class time and textbooks, and students requested more of them.