Recordings of digital handwriting.
Digital ink allows teachers or presenters to annotate on and interact with slides, and can make static slides or a simple screencast more informative. Digital ink can be used by a presenter to ‘write’ on slides: highlighting important information, clarifying confusing content, or working through problems visually while explaining what they’re doing verbally.
When designing videos for a Calculus Extension Studies programme, Anthony chose to typeset formulas using LaTeX publishing software, then annotate the graphs and problems using digital ink.
What the research says
Students have reported that handwritten annotations using digital ink appear more “personal”, “natural” and “engaging”. However, typeset text-on-screen was perceived to be clearer, neater and easier to read (Cross, Bayyapunedi, Cutrell, Agarwal, & Thies, 2013). A separate study also reported that tutorial videos featuring digital ink were more engaging than PowerPoint slides or code screencasts (Guo, Kim, & Rubin, 2014). When it comes to recall and student performance, there is some evidence that digital ink is an improvement over text onscreen, however varying the style of delivery (for example dialogue vs monologue) appears to make a greater impact (Lodge TBC.).
- You can experiment with digital ink using any iPad that supports the Apple pencil.
- Freehand annotation is an art, so as with anything, practice is crucial.
- Test your digital ink videos on a couple of mobile devices – are they legible?
- If the text in your presentation is crucial to student understanding, it should be typeset rather than handwritten for enhanced accessibility.
- Digital ink is very time consuming to edit, update or fix in post-production. Consider other, more accessible ways to present your material visually.
Cross, A., Bayyapunedi, M., Cutrell, E., Agarwal, A., & Thies, W. (2013). TypeRighting: Combining the Benefits of Handwriting and Typeface in Online Educational Videos. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 793–796). New York, NY, USA: ACM.