UPDATE: See newer post – Captivate Wins!
I’ve been spending a lot of time over the past few weeks exploring all the many features of Camtasia. Later today I’m holding a training for all library staff on the use of this recently-purchased software. You can see the demo I created online here (the one titled “Camtasia demo”: http://intranet.library.arizona.edu/learn/docs.html.
Camtasia can create a really nice Flash file; it’s relatively easy to use and understand, although it does take some playing around with at first.
Captivate I haven’t had as much experience with, but we did use it in the Materials Access Team for training our student workers on circulation functions. One primary advantage to Captivate is that it allows for interactivity, i.e. you can ask the user to click somewhere on the page and respond with a “correct” or “incorrect” pop-up. Camtasia, on the other hand, primarily is for demonstrations. It does allow you to input a “hot spot” which the user is required to click prior to continuing (you can also move them somewhere else in the video; take them to a website, etc.), but this is more for the purpose of giving the user control over where they are in the video than testing them on how to perform a function.
Camtasia has the advantage of being able to be key served, so that everyone in the library can have it installed on their computer. Captivate does not allow for this, and so currently less than 5 computers in the library have it.
I’ve also heard of ViewletBuilder but have never used it.
Many libraries have used Captivate for creating tutorials, including UCDHSC Library, which has a large number of these. The University of British Columbia Library, on the other hand, has created a number of tutorials through Camtasia.
I have reviewed a couple articles which also have some insight on this debate:
Clark, J. & Quinghua, K. (2008). Captivate/Camtasia. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 96(1), 75-78.
Murley, D. (2007). Tools for creating video tutorials. Law Library Journal, 99(4), 857-861.
I also recently discovered a Screencasting & Libraries blog which is a great resource, and even includes a page of academic library examples. That said, if anyone is out there who has experienced these different softwares and has advice on which one is better – and for what purposes – please share.