Screen Capture Programs

What Is It?

Screen capture applications allow the user to capture still images or video of actions or objects on the user’s computer screen. There are a variety of tools available, but their capabilities are very similar so the information here will be somewhat generic, but is generally true for all screen capture utilities. If you have questions about which screen capture tool is right for you, please contact Instructional Technology.

Key Features
  • Easy to use tool set for basic still image capture
  • Easy to use, flexible tool set for video capture of on-screen activity
  • Options for including audio narration in a video capture
  • Some applications offer editors which allow for more advanced production work.
Who Uses It?

Screen capture utilities are used often by technology support groups for use in the production of still image or video tutorials and documentation. They are also used by instructors who wish to give basic demonstrations on how to use computer based resources to students. This saves time by allowing the tutorial to happen outside of the classroom.

How Does It Work?

The user is given a series of options before the capture is taken. Here the user will decide if he or she would like to take a still capture or a video capture (with or without audio or narration). Next, the user determines the area he or she wishes to capture. This can be the full screen, a specific window, an area of a fixed size or an area of the user’s choosing. Once this is done the capture begins. In the case of a still capture, a quick snapshot is taken and saved to the computer. If the user chose video, the application will record what takes place in the specified capture area until it is stopped. When the video capture is finished, the user will be given options for saving and compressing the video. With the capture saved, it can be taken into a video edting application or played back on a computer or website.

Things to consider before using Screen Capture
  • You need to have a basic idea of what you would like to capture. In the case of video capture, it is often helpful to script your actions to save yourself time.
  • Additional time and applications may be required if you wish to do extensive editing of your capture. This applies to both still images and video captures.

Uses as an Instructional Technology

Documentation, Tutorials and Demonstrations for Students and Colleagues
  • Instructors can use screen capture to create documentation and tutorials for computer based tools and resources used by students.
  • Screen capture is useful in making short films featuring computer based objects or in demonstrating technologies to others.
  • Instructors can record themselves working through a process as a reference for students.
Capturing classroom computer footage

Instructors can use screen capture tools to record their actions on a computer during a class. This is often helpful for demonstrating processes that take place during class or during class discussions.

Resources at Wooster

  • There are several screen capture tools available for use in the Taylor 205 lab. There are also a few free screen capture tools available online.
  • Support for screen capture is offerred by Instructional Technology.
  • Click here for documentation on Screen Capture programs.
  • You may be interested in reading the ELI 7 things you should know about Screencasts.

The content on this page was derived from webpages maintained by the Duke University Center for Instructional Technology