Screencasts demonstrating Web page programs for T&L

Richard Mitchell (School of Systems Engineering) writes:

Encouraged by students who felt that some programs I had written were a good visual way of demonstrating some fundamental concepts behind cybernetic systems, I have produced a few HTML5 web pages which students can run on PCs and mobile devices. They are designed to allow students to investigate the effect of changing key parameters and see graphically what happens.

I felt that these would be even more accessible if I could produce some short videos demonstrating these programs in action – and was thus very interested in screencasts and the GRASS project.

Various colleagues recommended Camtasia as the product to use, and I am delighted to find how easy it is to use. I set up the screen with an introductory slide from powerpoint, behind which I have my web browser with my programs; I set Camtasia to record the area where these are displayed, and press record. I then talk about the slide and then flip to the browser and demonstrate the program. At the end, I just save the recording (I don’t even edit it) and get Camtasia to generate an MP4 video, which I then put it on a web page.

Once I have rehearsed what I want to say and set the slide and programs up, I can produce a video of between 5 and 10 minutes long within about 15 minutes. A selection of the videos can be viewed at

I currently produce these for a first year course, and recommend students view them when reviewing material covered in the lecture to help verify their understanding.