how useful are video tutorials/screencasts?

Subject: how useful are video tutorials/screencasts?
From: Phil Stokes <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, ISTC_Discussion -at- yahoogroups -dot- com
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 19:13:29 +0700

Hi, apologies for cross-posting, but I'd like both a UK and US/International perspective on this one.

This is not an entirely vacuous question: my Tech Comm MA dissertation for next year is on the efficacy of screencasting, so I'm wondering what the techwrl/STC opinion is on screencast/video tutorials, both as users and producers.

Do you make these for your audiences? What kind of reaction do you get (I'm happy to garner informal, anecdotal feedback from professionals at this point, but if you do have statistical/empirical evidence, please feel free to throw it out my way)?

Equally, I'm interested in your gut-feeling as a user about these. I use video tutorials for some students in my teaching work, but oddly I don't like using them myself. Recent example: looking for a quick procedure for installing an OS on an external drive, and the first three Google hits were Youtube vids. I don't want to watch a video; its too time consuming both as an experience and in terms of wasting processor time compared to loading a simple blog page with step 1 to 5 in text.

What do others think?

Any replies gratefully received.

Phil



Phil Stokes BA MA TESOLcert
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Chulalongkorn University Language Institute
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Tel: (662) 218-6089
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