WAAL09: Transformative Technology: Screencasting and the Use of Jing at UW-Madison

Posted by Lisa Strand on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 in WLA Blog Archive

Transformative Technology: Screencasting and the Use of Jing at UW-Madison
Steve Frye & Ian Benton, College Library at UW-Madison

  • http://www.jingproject.com/ - quick download

  • We're not here because we work for Techsmith - more interested in how this technology can change what we do - link on handout to comparison of screencasting tools

  • What do you think of when you hear "transformative technology"? Changes what you do, or how you do it; NOT hype - it's use is immediately apparent

  • Examples from audience: internet, e-mail, online circulation / OPAC, telephones, automobile, IM

  • What are the steps for changing a tire? Those who know in the audience list steps - so everyone else can now change a tire, right? I think we just need more information - Steve explains in detail using all kinds of words that most people probably don't know - now how many people could do it? OK, let's try YouTube... - now how many people could start doing this? - lots and lots of people raise their hands - is YouTube transformative technology?
    We librarians are bicycle repairpeople - when they ask us how to do something, we send them tons of words - or, we could send them a screencast with video and sound (shows example for finding a specific article)
  • When you try to describe a visual process with a textual description, you must translate
  • Jing videos can be created in real time, at the reference desk

  • Patron responses (unsolicited) are VERY happy - (shows examples)

  • What is a screencast? Much bigger than what we've shown - Wikipedia definition

  • Techsmith has video on homepage to show you the value of Jing (shows) - same company makes Camtasia, but Jing is free and fast and has free hosting - just a link, no file transfer necessary

  • Removing a barrier to communication (the long list of words and steps and jargon) - no technological hurdle

  • How many times have you described a process, and had the patron say "but I that exact thing!"

  • Question: what about kinesthetic learners? Answer: They need to follow the process, because my video doesn't provide them the materials they want

  • Anyone challenge our assumptions? Audience: Not sure if it's transformative; used to co-browse and be there in realtime with user

  • There could certainly be instances in which Jing is not the right tool for the job

  • Instruction librarians showed interest

  • Ian uses it to send in tech glitches, rather than just describing

  • Staff use to send explanations to each other, too

  • College Library: Dec 2007-July 2008, soft roll-out in evening reference; Aug 2008 - Official Jing training - not mandatory, but it's a useful tool

  • If desired, could be a re-usable object, both for librarians and for users

  • Statistics: 1,400-1,550 chat reference calls in 1-2 months; 15-25% use Jing - needed to upgrade

  • Jing Pro = low cost for institutional use, had to upgrade to get enough storage space; now enough for UW-Madison's entire campus library system

  • Steve doesn't think he's ever had a patron who couldn't get the Jing video to work

  • Embed function doesn't seem to be robust

  • Most library staff initially didn't record sound - patron response was favorable

  • Nice to tell patrons ahead that there's audio, in case they need to turn it on or off
    (Show chat transcript, time involved in recording Jing, then continuing chat)

  • Documents normal human interaction, not perfection

  • Can also share with patrons, so they can make videos themselves

  • Can transfer between Pro and free Jing

  • Online "help" files are robust

  • If interrupted, just push "pause" and continue video again

  • (Demonstrations of making, playing, saving video)

  • We consider these videos as disposable - don't agonize over its organization; probably easier to create a new one

  • Question: Does this work the same on Mac as on PC? Answer: Yes.

  • Jing also captures still images, and then there's some extra tools (arrows, boxes, highlighting)

  • Question: General screencasting - any pushback from vendors on demonstrating the use of their databases, say if posted to YouTube? Answer: Haven't heard anything yet...

  • Video length limit = 5 minutes; suggest not going over 2 1/2 minutes and not trying to explain more than 4 concepts per video

  • Question: Does Jing save time on the desk? Answer: Ian's chat transcript data shows that it doesn't, actually lengthens chats

  • When sending, ask patron to "tell me if this doesn't work"
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