Re: [ISTC_D] how useful are video tutorials/screencasts?

Subject: Re: [ISTC_D] how useful are video tutorials/screencasts?
From: Phil Stokes <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com>
To: White Brian <brian -dot- white -at- kone -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 20:09:30 +0700

Thank you Brian, those are valid points.

I've noticed myself that switching between a video and s/w application is sometimes not feasible (I've noticed the same thing with some HTML help, mind you. Sometimes, you can't' run the HTML help and the app at the same time, which is incredibly annoying!).

Equally, a video of, say, bleeding the brakes on a car is also likely to be inconvenient, unless you can prop your iPhone nicely on the axle…


On 17 Aug 2011, at 19:36, White Brian wrote:

> Hi Phil
> Personally I like video tutorials, but it depends a lot on the topic as to whether I use them or not.
> I have successfully used them for teaching myself some advanced photoshop techniques.
> Three issues I find cause problems:
> 1- If you are using a video tutorial and trying to follow using tutorial files, it is not always possible to have the video and the training document running together, or one or other is too small on screen to be useful.
> 2- Sometimes the video has to be constantly paused while you do your bit on the training file and switching screens becomes a tedious norm.
> 3- This is probably the most critical comment - Since the advent of You Tube and Social Media some companies do not allow videos to run on their network due to bandwidth usage. The company I am employed by is one such example.
> I have never used screencasts.
> Hope this helps.
> Best regards
> Brian R White FISTC
> Technical Author/CAD Administrator
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> From: ISTC_Discussion -at- yahoogroups -dot- com [mailto:ISTC_Discussion -at- yahoogroups -dot- com] On Behalf Of Phil Stokes
> Sent: 17/08/2011 13:13
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com List; ISTC_Discussion -at- yahoogroups -dot- com
> Subject: [ISTC_D] how useful are video tutorials/screencasts?
> 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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