Tag Archives: Jing

Jing screencast for SPSS

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Submitted by Dave S

I recently created a screencast – using the Jing application – instructing students how to obtain descriptive statistics, frequencies, and a histogram in SPSS. I chose to create a screencast because students often express concern over navigating SPSS outside of class, in part due to their inability to follow along with some examples in class.

Jing is a free application that is easy to download (it only takes about 5 minutes) and navigate. The one main downside of this application is that, although free, it limits users to a five minute screencast. The only other issue that I ran into with this application was using it on Mac. It is important to note that all of your web browsers (i.e., Safari, Chrome, Firefox) must have the most recent flash player, or the application will not let you view your recently created screencast.

Jing was helpful in several domains. It allowed me to understand at what pace I tend to explain certain material and if I need to speed up or slow down. In addition, it makes me aware of when I use improper terminology to explain specific concepts. Lastly, it can be a great private tool for practicing to lecture certain material that you may find particularly difficult to explain and you would like to hear yourself attempt to present it. In sum, Jing is a useful application, especially for students using advanced computer software such as SPSS.

Using Jing to Supplement SPSS Instruction

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Submitted by Ariella T

 

In this post, I am going to be discussing applications of Jing specifically as a supplementary tool for teaching SPSS in statistics courses and labs. Jing is a pretty neat tool for what it is: a free, no-frills way to do screen captures with and without voice recording. For purposes of making videos demonstrating SPSS processes based on my lectures and interactive activities, this is more than enough to minimize student confusion after lab.

Like I said before, the first thing about Jing is that it’s pretty uncomplicated. The U.I. is very easy to understand—which is important for TAs whose capacity to learn new things are compromised by the rest of the grad school gauntlet.

A caveat of the program is that there is a five-minute hard limit on recording time, but I haven’t really needed anything near that length. Chaining multiple short screen casts can also be an exercise in brevity, and who doesn’t like the opportunity to practice public speaking? This brings me to another limitation of the program: there’s no rewind. Make an error? Do it over. So, it’s important to make sure any distractors are silenced and program pop-ups don’t occur (students don’t need to know who is Skyping you or that Steam has an update). This detracts a bit from usability, especially if you’re a perfectionist about cursor movements. Otherwise, it’s not a huge issue if the screencasts aren’t too lengthy.

Another nice feature is that it can record sound (if you have a mic). I didn’t use this tool very much since speech is another thing I’d end up being a perfectionist about. However, it is an option. I’ve been thinking of leaving the mic on with background music, which is another sound option (by playing your music with the mic on–Jing doesn’t come with any music loops for the aspiring dubstep statistician).

For now, I’ve kept it as the native Flash file and link that is produced by default after saving a screencast. For the more tech savvy, you can bypass this and export the media file if you’d like to edit or upload it on other programs.

I’ve gotten good feedback from students about using it. It’s also nice to be able to direct questions to the links, instead of writing out steps in email, and is good for troubleshooting exactly where student or SPSS user confusion stems from. Overall, I’m pleased with it. Instructors needing the ability to edit or to do lengthier or more nuanced videos should look for its paid counterparts.

For now, I’ve kept it as the native Flash file and link that is produced by default after saving a screencast. For the more tech savvy, you can bypass this and export the media file if you’d like to edit or upload it on other programs.

I’ve gotten good feedback from students about using it. It’s also nice to be able to direct questions to the links, instead of writing out steps in email, and is good for troubleshooting exactly where student or SPSS user confusion stems from. Overall, I’m pleased with it. Instructors needing the ability to edit or to do lengthier or more nuanced videos should look for its paid counterparts.

Jing Screencasts

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Submitted by Athena Cairo

For the technology activity I decided to look at using Jing as a way to create short screencast SPSS tutorials for my Methods students to use. I found in class I was having to go over how to do basic tasks several times, so I thought it would be helpful in the future to have an external resource to point students toward instead of spending extra lab time going over how to use SPSS.

When you download Jing, the first thing that pops up is the option to watch a tutorial. I found this helpful, as the program itself is very minimalistic and does not have many explicit instructions, other than labels for your buttons.

Once you open Jing, a yellow sun icon moves to the top center of your browser. It fades slightly behind whatever you’re working on, which is also useful since you can activate it whenever you want to start a screencast or take a screenshot while it remains unobtrusive.

On the sun icon you have the options to start a new screencast, look at screencasts you’ve made, and change the general options for the program. If you opt to start a new screencast, it will open up another small toolbar at the bottom of your screen as well as a crosshair centered at your mouse pointer. You can use the crosshair to click and drag a box around whatever you want to capture. You can also click in the center of your screen to automatically capture the whole desktop screen.

Then, you choose whether to take a picture or video. If choosing a video, you can test your microphone volume before recording. Then, once you tell it to start, you can just begin recording and talk while you demonstrate the tutorial. After you finish making the video, the video/picture is also saved to your Jing account. You can immediately upload it to Screencast.com and generate a URL, but at this point I ran into difficulties because the videos wouldn’t upload automatically and create a URL. Instead, I had to go to my Screencast.com account and manually upload the files that had been saved to my computer.

One thing I found a little frustrating was that I couldn’t get the microphone tester to appear again after the first time I made a video- it only seems to appear once. After my first video, the sound was still way too low, so I ended up having to just keep making short sound clips to test the volume after that. It also would have been nice if there were some video editing capabilities—if I made a mistake while talking, I would have to go back and create a whole new video. However, apparently if you have access to Camtasia, or other movie editing software like IMovie, you might be able to use that to edit your video.

One thing that is important to remember is that after you have set up the viewing screen for what you want the screencast to capture, you can’t do anything on the browser behind the viewer until you hit Play, or disable the viewer. A few times I realized that I needed to re-do something in SPSS (like get rid of something in the output or windows), and I had to close Jing in order to do that since the browser was frozen.

The video quality of the finished product seems good. However, the screencasts require Flash to view, so videos might be difficult for people on iphones or ipads to view.

Overall I found Jing very easy to use, and I expect to keep using it as a quick tool for making videos, especially for short tutorials like working with statistical programs, library databases, or other programs. I would definitely recommend it to those of us who might want to give our students short tutorials on a program, or navigating a website, that we may not want to spend extra time in class revisiting.

Here are my videos:

Creating new variables in SPSS: http://www.screencast.com/t/8bhcBecdAG

Bivariate correlations in SPSS: http://www.screencast.com/t/fSqPlZ5vDd