AALL Spectrum

AALL Spectrum / March/April 2020 / Volume 24, Number 4

AALL Spectrum / Published by American Association of Law Libraries

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MARCH/APRIL 2020 | AALL SPECTRUM 25 include removing mistakes, eliminating background noise, synching audio and video, and adding enhancements. If audio and video are recorded sepa- rately, one of the biggest editing chal- lenges is synching them. A program such as Camtasia that has advanced editing features will make this process easier. For example, Camtasia allows the editor to speed up or slow down visual recordings and extend single frames. Video creators can enhance screencasts in a number of ways. Thoughtfully placed transitions allow for smooth movement from one screen to another, and including simple anima- tion and text at key points adds interest and polish. Screencasting programs may offer users unique enhancement options. For example, Camtasia pro- vides free access to some special fea- tures such as intros, outros, and music. Finally, most instructional videos are enhanced by "callouts," which draw the viewer's attention to particular sections of the screen. Callouts include zoom- ing, text, highlighting, spotlighting, and shapes. It is important to use callouts judiciously: aim to create videos that are as simple as possible, yet informative, engaging, and attractive. Resources It is essential to research and incor- porate accessibility best practices. Universities will likely have web acces- sibility requirements that comply with applicable laws. Additionally, academic and online articles provide information about accessibility in online videos. For example, in order to be accessible, videos must include accurate captions and present all important visual content in the main audio track or through audio description. Some screencasting software (e.g., Camtasia), allows users to create captions. Additionally, hosting websites and video players often sup- port the upload of a caption file, and YouTube produces automatic captions, which must be edited for accuracy. Video creators can also hire a caption- ing service. At some universities, video captioning may be available at reduced or no cost. Posting There are a number of posting options, including on your library's website, or using an online video platform such as YouTube, Vimeo, or Screencast.com. Each option has advantages and disadvantages. YouTube is perhaps the most popular option: it is free, supports captioning, and provides sophisticated analytics. Applications of Screencasting in Law Libraries At the Tarlton Law Library, we have always focused on high-quality in- person trainings. A program on video outreach from the 2018 Southwestern Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting, though, inspired us to take a fresh look at video instruction and see if we could leverage screencasting technology in a productive way for some of our more standard train- ings. We converted our traditionally in-person research assistant trainings to pre-recorded screencasts. Using the tools and strategies described above, we turned a 30-minute presentation into four separate 7 to 10-minute video modules that our students could view at their leisure. Obviously, our application is not the only possible one. If you are at a firm library, you can use screencasting to create different, just-in-time training videos to help your attorneys figure out processes or learn how to use your firm's resources. If you are at a county or public law library, these videos could show patrons how to use your library's catalog or access your databases Any- thing that you would otherwise give live instruction for is a potential opportunity for screencasting. Taking on the challenge of cre- ating screencast videos is an exciting and fulfilling experience. By adopting Teaching + Training © 2020 BY ALISA HOLAHAN ALISA HOLAHAN REFERENCE LIBRARIAN Tarlton Law Library and Jamail Center for Legal Research The University of Texas School of Law Austin, TX aholahan@law.utexas.edu EXTRA View the Tarlton Law Library's Faculty Research Assistant Training video series at bit.ly/MA20Tarlton. © 2020 BY JOE NOEL JOE NOEL HEAD OF ACCESS SERVICES AND INSTRUCTION COORDINATOR Tarlton Law Library and Jamail Center for Legal Research The University of Texas School of Law Austin, TX jnoel@law.utexas.edu © 2020 BY LEI ZHANG LEI ZHANG STUDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR Tarlton Law Library and Jamail Center for Legal Research The University of Texas School of Law Austin, TX leianglateased video creation as part of a law library's instructional activities, a library can sig- nificantly expand its ability to connect with and educate its patrons. Having a script facilitates a smooth, professional presentation and allows the narrator to focus on the nuances of presentation, such as pace and tone. Preparing a storyboard may also be helpful. Image © Istockphoto.com/Ignatiev

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