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Using Screencasts to Enhance Introductory Environmental Engineering Education

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Techniques to Enhance Environmental Engineering Courses

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1635.1 - 22.1635.7



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Paper Authors


Philip J. Parker University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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Philip Parker is a Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY.

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Using Screencasts to Enhance Introductory Environmental Engineering EducationActive learning is widely accepted as a best practice in higher education. Many studentshowever, despite enjoying the interesting and interactive classroom environment associated withactive learning, lament the fact that active learning does not provide as many opportunities forthe faculty member to work out example problems in class. For students who have foundsuccess in the many courses in which the focus of in-class activities is on presenting derivationsand then working out a few example problems, this lack of examples can be especially troubling.In my view however, having students transcribe an example problem from the board is not themost valuable use of class time. Yet I also recognize that the working out of problems in classdoes present some valuable “teachable moments.”A potential compromise solution is the use of screencasts to present example problems.Screencasts are recordings of computer screen activity with supporting audio narrative. I havecreated several screencasts using a desktop PC, microphone, and Camtasia software. I have usedthis software to create a series of screencasts for my Introduction to Environmental Engineeringcourse, with the goal of one screencast per lecture topic. Students can download and view thescreencasts out of class whenever they wish and wherever they have internet access.The paper will provide guidance on how to create the screencasts and explain how they fit intothe active learning environment. Assessment will include reflection on my part; statisticalanalysis of the extent of use by the students; and their attitudes about the screencasts. The extentof student use is obtained from the course management software (Desire2Learn). Their attitudeswill be assessed using a survey instrument.

Parker, P. J. (2011, June), Using Screencasts to Enhance Introductory Environmental Engineering Education Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18673

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