No, we can’t do it all | Information Wants To Be Free

I’ve become increasingly convinced that screencasts are not the right fit for teaching people how to use online databases. It’s very difficult while watching a video to work with a database. It’s also difficult to scan for just what content one needs when they are actually using the database. Lori Mestre’s study on learning styles and learning objects confirmed my suspicions when she found that students using a static HTML tutorial were better able to do database searching than a group that watched a Camtasia screencast because they could go back and forth between the tutorial and the database and practice what they were learning while they were learning.

It’s hard to develop standards for the Internet because the technology is still growing and changing so frequently. The best we can do is watch and test continuously to see what actually works.

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