Computer screen video capture

What is it?

Screen video capture programs, sometimes known as ‘screen recorders’, enable the user to record the real-time activities visible on a computer screen. This might be the action of typing a note, demonstrating a program or showing a journey through a series of web pages.

Screen recordings can be used to create training and information videos (such as the other technologies discussed in this section of the ccqi website) to teach or sell a process, product or idea. A demonstration of the process can be seen in the video above.

What does it look like?

Screen capture programs typically include two components: the screen recorder, and the editor. The illustration below shows a screen recorder (note the red record button at the bottom) and the bounding box showing the part of the screen that will be recorded. This box can be set to cover the whole screen or any portion of it. Once set, simply click on record, perform the screen movements you wish to capture, then click stop (the record button again).(c) Tony Davis

Once the recording has been made it will be transferred to the editor where waste material can be trimmed and deleted and it can be combined with other screen captures, graphics images, text, arrows, highlights and music.

When the project is complete, it can be exported in a number of specific formats as shown in the illustration opposite. Of note are the two lower options: ‘Share to’ and ‘Share to YouTube’. is a hosting site where videos can be made public or visible to invited audiences only.

How can teachers, trainers & learners use it?

“When you’re teaching students new skills there can be an awful lot for them to take in – I certainly found this as a student. So I’ve worked hard to overcome this problem by developing an approach to my teaching that combines a simple video capture programme and our Moodle VLE.

I’ve increased the effectiveness of my teaching and saved myself hours of work in the process.”

Martial Bugliolo, digital graphics & game design lecturer, Plymouth College of Art

Martial does this by creating short screen capture videos of all of the programs and processes he teaches his students. They can then watch these back as many times as they need, either through the college’s Moodle VLE, on their iPod or on their smart phone.

Read the whole of Martial’s case study: ‘Video replay’, and watch his five-minute film that brings his learners’ experience it to life.

What impact can it have on learning?

Short, well-constructed video illustrations can enable learners to create very powerful memory anchors. These can be for processes or procedures, from understanding filtration effects in Adobe Photoshop, to giving a quick overview of complex topics, such as the technologies described in this resource. The videos can be watched repeatedly in and in between lessons – at home through the internet, or even on a bus on an iPod; a powerful and engaging technique for extending learning beyond the classroom and a very useful blended learning ingredient. And as this is about screen capture, the videos are made without the need for complex and expensive video cameras, edit suites and time.

Producing screen capture videos can also be a very engaging way for learners to demonstrate their understanding of a subject area.

Where in the learner’s journey are you likely to come across it?

Teaching and learning

  • checking understanding
  • distance learning
  • as a learning aid
  • to explore and understand a central theme
  • teaching and learning with technology
  • teaching and learning styles

Learner support


  • learning outcomes

At its best it will… (where appropriate – help for judging good or better)

At its best, a screen capture program can enthuse learners to continue their studies between lessons and/or to practise specific sequences or routines. It can enhance traditional face-to-face delivery or be used as part of a distance learning programme.

At its worst it will… (where appropriate – help for judging satisfactory or worse)

A poorly produced screen capture video may be dull, lack pace and bore the learners. In a traditional face-to-face setting, it may be used to replace direct teaching, but without the necessary learning infrastructure to make this effective.

What are the safeguarding implications?


Find out more

For which CIF evaluative statements could it generate evidence?

A1        How well do learners achieve and enjoy their learning?

A1a.4    learners attend and participate as required.

A1b.2   learners enjoy learning and make progress relative to their prior attainment and potential

A2        How well do learners improve their economic and social well-being through learning and development?

A2.1     learners develop relevant knowledge, understanding and skills which contribute to their economic and social well-being

B1        How effectively do teaching, training and assessment support learning and development?

B1.2     interesting and appropriate teaching and learning methods and resources inspire and challenge all learners and enable them to extend their knowledge, skills and understanding

B1.3     technology is used effectively to promote and support learning, where appropriate

B1.4     staff have appropriate skills and expertise to provide good quality teaching, learning, assessment and information and support services for each learner

B2        How effectively does the provision meet the needs and interests of   users?

B2.4     arrangements for training and assessment are flexible to suit learners’ and employers’ needs

B4        How effective are the care, guidance and support learners receive in helping them to attain their learning goals?

B4.2     learners receive individual care and support to promote their learning and development, and to help them achieve their potential.


  1. jeffcard
    October 19, 2016 @ 09:09 am

    Nice guide, thanks for sharing your experience. I always use acethinker screen grabber to record my computer screen to make video tutorials. Works pretty well. Share it here as an alternative to Camtasia.

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