A couple years ago, Mashable posted this really great article about freelancers parlaying their screencasts into a marketing tool.

That really resonated with me, and here’s why: Articulate launched Screenr the year before, and since that time I’d seen some of our community members post screencasts showcasing their expertise which led to great freelance gigs.

So it’s highly likely that I’ve shared this article with you if you've ever posted a note asking how to build expertise or find side work.

While many of you have figured out the blogging angle, screencasting is a skill a lot of course designers aren't quite comfortable with yet. But looking at Lynda.com and Khan Academy, you know this is becoming an essential skill for our industry.

Challenge of the week

This week your challenge is to record a screencast or software simulation. You can choose any type of topic that interests you.

For example,  you can show us your favorite PowerPoint or Storyline tips. Or, to take things in a different direction, use screencasting to highlight an e-learning project you completed or walk us through some script edits you made to an e-learning storyboard.

Tools

You can use Articulate Storyline, Screenr, or Replay to record your screencasts. And any other tools you want—we really just want to see your examples.

Resources

Last week’s characters in e-learning challenge

E-learning designers have a lot of character and you showed a lot of creative faces over the past week. Before you screencast this week’s blockbuster training movies, check out the trailers from last week’s e-learning character challenge:

Note:

The weekly challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. We’ll feature your work and provide feedback if you request it.

Hope your week is screencastic, E-Learning Heroes!

Even if you’re using a trial version of Studio ’13 or Storyline, you can absolutely publish your challenge files. Just sign up for a fully functional, free 30-day trial, and have at it. And remember to post your questions and comments in the forums; we're here to help. For more e-learning tips, examples, and downloads, follow us on Twitter.

31 Comments
Jeff Kortenbosch

What a great challenge. I absolutely agree with David A., screencasting is a crucial skill when transfering knowledge, especially to this generation of youngsters. With platforms like YouTube and Vimeo it has never been easier to bring video based learning content to your audience and tools like Articulate Storyline, Replay, Screenr, Camtasia, Jing, Captivate etc. allow us to create professional content in a way that we couldn't do before without hiring expensive professionals. I started with basic How-to videos but now use it for pre-recorded webinars, video lectures etc. As with any skill worth aquiring, it takes practice to become really good. If I think back to when I started doing screencasts most of the first attempts made me feel I was way out of my league. The thing is to not l... Expand

David Anderson
Kimberly Bourque Valliere

Apparently, my first e-learning course prepared me for many of your challenges, David. Too bad I don't have my file here at the TechKnowledge conference. I used Storyline to record simulations of Microsoft Outlook to correspond to what my course was covering. I learned A LOT recording those three "simple" little videos. I learned that winging it isn't really possible when you want animations and it is amazing how many times you mess up the simplest tasks when you are recording yourself and trying to go slow for the participant. And I of course recorded the screen captures without a real direction or purpose, THEN scripted the audio, and then recorded the audio and added animation. I definitely made my task much harder going in that direction. Next time, I'll know exactly what I want to say... Expand

Ana Lucia Barguil
Jeff Kortenbosch

I'm sorry for 'over' posting. But there are a couple of things I wanted to share regarding screencasting. A friend of mine, that was new to screencasting used to get quite worked up about doing a screencast. He would get lost in all the details and spend hours preparing and hours recording, re-recording and re-re-recording... all that time and work for a 2 -5 minute stand-alone how-to video. Part of the problem was worrying about the lack of professional equipment. He'd seen some stuff I did as well as others and read up on microphones, camera's and accoustics of rooms and how to create mini sound booths etc. It was almost overwhelming. How could he ever get started without all the right equipment?? So I showed him my setup for a screencast that includes talking head video: https... Expand

Ana Lucia Barguil

Thanks, David and Jeff! Jeff, this is not "over" posting, I think that we can have good discussions here. I think that perfection must be the goal, the ideal to be pursued, but it must not paralize us. I do my best today, but I know that tomorrow I can do better. We learn everyday, all the time. We must go on and on, and learn with the mistakes. When I started to use Storyline, I followed the tutorials showed in the begining (Getting Started, Inserting content etc). I watched the videos posted by Jeanette, and I wanted to narrate like her. It was very difficult to me, I never had made voiceover before. Each slide was a drama, but I achieved results that I considered good. It wasn't excelent, but was satisfactory. Later, I learned a lot of things in this community: how to use the sound ... Expand

Jackie Van Nice

It occurred to me I should share the screenrs I did to explain how to customize my German drinking game template here - that was a challenge! To learn about some basic best practices before recording them I referred to several of the resources David lists above (though didn't know he had them here - I googled to find them), and those helped quite a bit. The biggest challenges were: (1) Struggling to overcome the Java issues with Screenr. That took a lot of time and energy to resolve and was frustrating, but I figured it out. (2) Timing them to come in under five minutes. You'll notice some mighty quick wrap-ups at the finishing line. :) (3) Controlling audio quality. (4) Not being able to do audio/video edits. Only after I'd done these did I realize it wasn't necessary... Expand

Simon Blair