Screen Recorder Software in Computer Science Teaching

Abstract: This paper introduces the main functions of the screen recorder software. Combined with the characteristics of computer science courses and teaching methods commonly used, screen recorder software is playing a more and more important role. Practice has proved that screen recorder software improves the learning and teaching effectiveness. It is a helpful tool to facilitate teaching of professional computer science courses.

As students of the major of computer science, regardless of the learning of operating system, image processing, web design, animation or database design, we must be familiar with and skilled in using the appropriate software and system. At present, most schools are equipped with CAI laboratory, but the computer science teaching method is to play the courseware with main text plus pictures and demonstrate software operating by teachers. Teachers guide students to do repeated operations in this way, but it is difficult for students to remember and process by themselves, not to mention to strengthen their knowledge after class or in the experiment. Screen recorder software can record the operating process, and the results can be embedded in teaching courseware. That will be a good solution to the problem.

Screen Recorder Software

Screen recorder software is an application that records the onscreen operating activity as video, or we can called it screen video recording software or screencasting software. There are a lot of screen recorder software, such as DemoCreator, Captivate, and HyperCam. They are with powerful features but simple to use. We will take DemoCreator as an example to explain the main functions of such screen recorder software.

First, it supports the long time onscreen video recording, and you can set the voice recording at the same time.

Second, screen recordings can be generated as EXE file which can be played on any computer without any player installed.

Third, the Flash movie output is a streaming video file of small size, which can be played online instantly.

Fourth, DemoCreator can publish files compliant with AICC/SCORM for Learning Management such as Black Board, SharePoint and Moodle.

Fifth, it enables users to rerecord the voice narration as screen recording. The voice recording process can be separated and user rerecord the narration or import audio file to the screen recording.

Sixth, it is the free to select any recording area of your desktop, full screen, selected window or custom area.

Seventh, users can PAUSE in the process of recording.

Characteristics of Computer Science Courses

There are computer science courses such as database programming, web design, image processing, programming languages and so on. One important thing for all the students is being familiar and skilled in using the related computer software. Software interoperability is a major feature of computer courses.

From the perspective of classroom teaching, the characteristics of computer-based courses are quite different from other courses and it has its own characteristics. Classroom teaching of computer course is often dependent on certain software application, teachers not only train the students on theoretical knowledge, but also operate the process of software and show it to students. Students get in-depth understanding of the software by primarily lectures and repeated use of the application.

Computer Science Curriculum and Experiment

l, the status of classroom teaching

Most computer science courses are based on multimedia teaching method. The essence of multimedia-based teaching is displaying the content of teaching in a more intuitive way, so that students can accept more easily and produce more profound memories.

At present, the commonly used method is to play “text + image” courseware to explain the theory and display software interface to introduce the functions of software. This can show some content that is difficult to show on blackboard with chalk and language. It plays an important role in computer teaching in the early days. However, with the increase of graphical interface software, some software is more complicated to operate. It is difficult to rely solely on this approach which is hard to reflect the operation process of the software.

Another method often used in computer teaching is to process a live demonstration by teachers. The advantage of this approach is intuitive, dynamic, and effective. However, there are downsides as follows: First of all, teachers display the operating by mouse clicking and keyboard typing with poor interactivity. If teachers do not prepare well, or there are some failures in process, it will make the process of interruption or repeated presentation. In that case, students are difficult to understand the steps absolutely correct; Second, CAI laboratory must have all the software installed, then the machine is not easy to maintain, and the software also slows down the machine performance, so that it will lags machines when teachers are in the presentation. This reduces the effectiveness of the demonstration.

2, The status of experimental teaching

Experimental teaching plays a vital role in the whole process of computer course teaching. Mastering the theoretical knowledge of computer is not enough in learning computer science courses. Experimental teaching is to train students to use computer applications to solve real problems. The significance of computer experiment teaching is so important, that has been recognized by the whole education sector. There are two mainly used experimental teaching methods for computer science course:

The first method is broadcasting the screen recording to all students, and then they do the experiment through their memories. The inadequacy of this method is that students can only see but can not follow the operation. It is very difficult for students to remind the processing steps when they do it alone. In the experiment, teachers have to guide students in individual counseling, repeating the operation so many times. It is inevitable that guidance teacher can not take care of all the students. It is a waste of teachers’ work. The class time is so limited that teachers can not solve all the operational problems for students, thus affecting the effectiveness and the progress of teaching.

For schools with better experimental conditions, teachers demo steps through the projector in the laboratory, and students can solve the problem by following the operation. That is the second teaching method for computer science course. However, because of the difference of computer basic, earning method and learning ability for all students, some students can keep up with the teaching process, while others can not. So teachers need to repeat the same presentation, or only take care of the students of middle level. Some students can not learn as much as they can, and some students can not keep up the situation. This also impacts the effectiveness of teaching.

There are some difficulty in classroom and laboratory teaching. The teaching conditions are improving and teachers are trying to do better, but there are still some deficiencies. These deficiencies are not only reflected in the classroom and laboratory teaching. For operational content, the students are difficult to review and self-learn after class through the difficult text + pictures courseware.

The screen recorder software in the computer science teaching

Screen recorder software is easy to record the onscreen operating into a video or EXE file, and the process of recording and playback can be set arbitrarily. It plays an extraordinary role for teaching computer science courses.

First of all, it totally demonstrates the whole process of software operation. The process is intuitive and dynamic. It makes teaching can achieve a better result. Besides, it solves the problems of “text + image” courseware.

Second, teachers do not have pay attention on screen, and it is free to set up suspensions in recording. That avoids confusion in the process of presentation, and the phenomenon of disruption because of the operational errors or system failures. It ensures the progress of the course.

Third, CAI classrooms do not have to have all the software applications installed. It makes the machine easy to maintain and it does not reduce the performance of the machine.

Fourth, teachers distribute the recorded files of software operating to students in experiment. Students control playback speed and progress by themselves. In this way, it make that students can learn more based on their level, but also bring teachers out of duplication of effort.

Fifth, the recorded results will be (with the voice narration) uploaded to the teaching site. Students can review the document online. For energetic students, they can learn more by themselves.

In general, screen recorder software like DemoCreator enhances the effectiveness of teaching of computer science courses in all aspects. Multimedia-aided teaching is unique, advanced, and highly effective, but not suitable for all the teaching content. How to achieve optimal teaching effect? It should be based on the rational use of the actual needs to achieve the best results. Multi-media-assisted teaching and traditional teaching complements each other when they became Organic combination. Appropriate use of instructional media can fully mobilize the enthusiasm of learning. It cultures innovative ability of students with enhanced learning efficiency. Practice has proved that the screen recorder software bring good results for computer course teaching, no matter in classroom teaching, laboratory teaching and self-learning after school.

Sameshow E-learning Software is dedicated to providing presentation and learning content authoring tools ideal for trade shows, online learning, enterprise training, conference, company presentations etc. Learn more about screencast samples.
Adward Chan, Sameshow E-Learning software provider, a regular writer on software.

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* Ashley’s talk shines a light on the major problem that is American Computer Science education. In 2020, 1.4 million new jobs will be available for those with competing backgrounds, but we’ll only have engineers to fill two-thirds of them. Ashley shows us how we can right this wrong.

Ashley Gavin is a computer science education consultant with a passion for making computer science curricula empowering, accessible, and above all, fun. Her work in curriculum and program development serves as the foundation for some of the finest educational organizations in the country including her brainchild “Girls Who Code”.

During high school, Ashley was actively interested in tech. However, she was denied access to computer science courses at her school due her failing grades in math and science. In her senior year, the newly appointed CS teacher noticed her affinity for tech and took a risk by letting her drop math and take computer science instead. Ashley has since been working to do so for as many students as possible, especially those in underrepresented groups.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Computer science education: why does it suck so much and what if it didn’t? | Ashley Gavin | TEDxNYU Computer science education: why does it suck so much and what if it didn’t? | Ashley Gavin | TEDxNYU
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