Using Screencasts to Enhance Coding Skills: the case of Logic Programming

Petros Kefalas, Ioanna Stamatopoulou

Learning technologies are gradually becoming an integral part of teaching in both face-to-face and online learning. Among them, screencasts (i.e. desktop video recordings of presentations normally accompanied by the presenter's video and narration), constitute a pedagogical tool used to create visual material to be distributed to students. Learners can then watch the videos in their own convenience and pace. The plethora of tools available makes it easier for the teachers to produce high-quality, low-cost screencasts for a number of courses. In the current paper we investigate how students perceive the impact of screencasts on their understanding and motivation in learning Logic Programming. We take the opportunity to present some tips and techniques that can be applied in any screencast production. We discuss in detail how screencasts can be used in programming courses, irrespectively of whether the latter use Imperative, Object-Oriented, or Declarative languages, and we present a number of examples to demonstrate how screencasts can facilitate learning. Furthermore, we focus particularly on Logic Programming, which lends itself to technology enhanced learning, since it requires a non-linear, out-of-the-box way of thinking towards developing programs. Finally, we evaluate our approach by presenting the opinion of students.