Simple Camtasia Studio lets you create professional quality videos with powerful screen recording and video editing tools. The app provides you with the tools to record your computer screen and then edit those recordings into professional videos. Camtasia Studio also then allows you to share them directly from within the app to YouTube, Google Drive and Screencast. Camtasia Studio provides a nice feature set inside a fluid interface, which you will find easy to navigate. The app allows you to record either the screen or a PowerPoint presentation. Once recorded, you can make use of the vast tool set to finalise your video and make it complete. Tools include: multiple transition options, voice narration, zoom and pan effects, cursor effects, captions and more.
TechSmith Camtasia is an excellent tool for creating software demos and content that can be shared via webcam. For example, if you’re creating a course to teach someone how to use Netflix, then you can easily jump back and forth from recording your cursor movements on the Netflix user interface (UI) to a video taken from your webcam in which you’re speaking directly to the learner. Unlike some of the other tools we reviewed—which force you to record video and screenshots in third-party tools—all of this can be done directly within TechSmith Camtasia.
Screen recording is especially easy. The tool lets you choose whether you want to record the full screen or just a zoomed-in area. This is helpful for small demonstrations that take place in specific corners of the screen. Rather than zooming in while editing a larger canvas and creating a pixelated final product, TechSmith Camtasia will zero in on where you need video captured in order to deliver a crisp recording. You can also add cursor highlight effects to show exactly how and where the mouse is moving or, like in Articulate Storyline 2, you can remove the cursor entirely by adjusting its opacity.
For greater instructional emphasis, you can use the tool to animate, pan over, zoom into, and move things around after you’ve recorded video in order to help demonstrate important points during your lesson. For example, if you’ve recorded a child playing with a ball, then you can zoom in on the child’s face to see his or her smile, without altering other aspects of the video. Animated callouts let you draw squares or arrows around specific aspects of your video to highlight distinct elements. You can also pause one side of the screen (for example, when a talking head has finished his or her lecture) while the other side plays (for example, when the talking head’s cursor moves along the screen).
For those of you who have never shot video, TechSmith Camtasia can record a Microsoft PowerPoint slideshow and turn it into a video. More impressively, it will automatically create a table of contents with the titles of every slide. To turn the slideshow into a quiz, you can interject a question or a series of questions between each slide. The tool also integrates with TechSmith Snagit, which will let you drag and drop images from the web or external programs into TechSmith Camtasia. If you don’t want to make your learners watch an entire course video, then you can insert jumps by creating an action within the video (for example, “Skip ahead to the section on bees” or “Press Play to learn more about butterflies”).
What also makes TechSmith Camtasia a great eLearning authoring tool is its basic but useful quiz functionality. You can insert a quiz at any point during a video. This won’t be a rich experience like the quizzes you’ll find in Articulate Storyline 2 or Elucidat as quizzes in TechSmith Camtasia are limited to multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, or true or false. But the quizzes will be powerful enough to help you decipher whether someone gave right or wrong answers.
To pull analytics from your quizzes, you’ll need to publish your video to Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) and pop it into online training software; this is an added expense you’ll want to consider before making a purchase decision. If you’re not concerned about analytics and you trust your employees to learn and master the content in your videos, then you can share video from TechSmith Camtasia directly to a number of sites—such as Vimeo and YouTube—from directly within the software.
Unfortunately, TechSmith Camtasia can only handle video files up to 1080P and at 30 frames per second (FPS) so, if your coursework requires higher-definition video or intense and rapid graphics, then you’ll probably want to purchase heavier-duty video editing software. However, among the eLearning authoring tools we reviewed, there’s no better solution for building, capturing, and editing quizzes through video than TechSmith Camtasia.