Although not designed for creating eLearning courseware above Level 1, when eLearning authors need an easy to use screen recorder with robust editing features so we can create professional videos, such as software demos or more extensive video projects, Camtasia is one of the best options in our industry.
The newest version, Camtasia Studio 8, is a bargain compared to Adobe Captivate, which is considerably more expensive, as is Articulate Storyline. It’s not a fair comparison though, as Camtasia is not designed to create interactive training courseware – it does however, excel at recording anything on your screen, provides excellent editing features using a timeline for arranging and editing clips and it’s easy to import images, record files, video clips, and add audio to your finished video.
On previous projects, I’ve used Camtasia to import existing simulation videos, of a telecommunications technician out in the field performing circuit diagnostic tests, for example, then I added additional content to show a learner the preparation requirements, best practices to apply when using different testing methods, and how to achieve optimum test results. This new video was then shared on the company’s training network and could also be viewed on their smartphone out in the field.
On another project, a client needed short, one topic videos showing potential company investors (their target audience) how to accomplish one task using a new website interface. Camtasia was the right tool for recording the tasks on my laptop, adding text and animations where they would be most effective, recording task narration (or just a musical background), and sharing it both online and in email attachments to our learners. The audio features are excellent although you may need to purchase a high-quality microphone if you are doing your own narration.
“The learning curve for Camtasia is low and the interface is highly intuitive. Any author familiar with using a multi-track timeline will find it easy to manipulate, overlay, and group objects in their video and their newest version offers a green screen so you can put yourself in the video, which is helpful for instructional videos where you need to show instructor and audience, and there are other visual effects like blurring, drawing tools, and numerous ways to use animated content.”
The output options for sharing Camtasia are extensive so learners can watch these videos anywhere on almost any device.
Currently I use Camtasia to create professional videos from legacy PowerPoint content, create computer simulation videos, or create short videos to be imported into more extensive eLearning courses where a video shows a task or objective being performed in real time.
Stay tuned, this review coming soon!