Screencast Videos

What is it?

​A screencast video features a recording of a computer or device screen and audio track. This style of video can be created nearly anywhere with a computer and microphone (or tablet). 

Why should I do it?

Instructor Presence

Instructor presence is an educator's ubiquity in a classroom via three modalities: cognitive, social, and teaching. At times, the lack of a physical space can make the online classroom feel devoid of an presence. Using a screencast can help establish your presence in the classroom because your voice can be heard by learners. 


Screencasting can be used as a means to demonstrate. This is valuable for reviewing and clarifying instructions, showing how to use applications, providing a walk-through of steps in a process, or demonstrating how to solve a problem.

Cognitive Load

Cognitive load is the amount of mental effort used in working memory. As students work to learn new information, we can help them manage cognitive load by adhering to the Modality Principle. This principle indicates that people learn better when presentations include animation and audio narration versus on screen text. Learn more about Designing for Learning.

What tools do I need?

  • webcam/microphone

  • a recording application

  • free video hosting

Free Application for Creating Screencast Videos


Screencast-O-Matic (SOM)

Record unlimited videos (up to 15 minutes per video). SOM can record your webcam and screen simultaneously. Save your video locally or publish directly to YouTube. ​​

Check out this example Screencast video about Google Chrome Experiments recorded with Screencast-O-Matic:



Clark, R. C., Mayer, R. E. (2011) e-Learning and the science of instruction; Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning (3). Hoboken, US: Pfeiffer.


Dreon, O. (2012). Applying multimedia principles to screencasting. Ret. July 27, 2017 from


Mayer, R. E. (2012). Multimedia learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Mayer, R. E. (2014). The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning. (2nd ed). New York: University of Cambridge.