We’re sharing some of the tools we use at Cherryleaf. This time we’ll look at video recording.
Video is becoming an important medium in technical communication. In addition to screencast videos (walkthroughs of application screens), software like Camtasia and Captivate enable you to include video of people in your presentations. Doing this creates a more TV-like presentation and a more professional feel to your output.
It covers how to embed video in a course. The delegates see, in each recorded module, a video of the trainer on the right of the screen, with the slides, application walkthroughs or images on the left of the screen.
This format is more engaging for delegates than a disembodied voice talking over a slide or image.
We’re just starting to record the video inserts for a new online training course we’re developing. As I’ll presenting at the TCUK 2014 conference on on this topic, I thought I’d take a few photos in case they come in handy during my TCUK presentation.
We record the presenter actually presenting the slides, as this results in a more natural presentation style. The presenter sees the slides on the laptop, and we use the laptop’s camera for recording the video.
Previously, we’ve recorded to a white background, but for this course, we’re going to be using a green screen. We record the audio using a USB microphone and a digital voice recorder. This means we have two audio recordings of the presentation.
The presenter sees a copy of the slides on the laptop screen, which he can progress through using a remote control. He also sees the script via a teleprompter on a tablet.
The green screen (we use chroma-key to remove the background) is giving us more consistent results than having a white background.
It’s a comparatively low budget setup, and it seems to work.
One of the limitations of video-based information has been the difficulties for users in finding a particular piece of information in a video. Usually, they have to watch the whole video, or “peck and hunt” to get to the moment containing the information they were searching for.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, HTML5, an emerging Web standard, enables Technical Authors and courseware developers to synchronize different media. One application of this is enabling users to search a text for a key word and then start a video or audio at that point. Here is an example.
In addition to making it easier for users to search videos for the information they need, it will also mean the pages will be more likely to appear in the search engine rankings. In other words, there will be an SEO benefit as well.
We believe this is an exciting development in the field of user assistance.