CSE498, Collaborative Design, Fall 2013
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Based in Okemos, Michigan, TechSmith provides over 180 countries around the world with screen capture and recording software, which is widely used in educational settings for computer-based learning activities.

Our Learning Activity Capture software captures users’ computer-based learning activities by tracking and organizing these activities, and making them available to users online.

Our software is comprised of three distinct parts: a Google Chrome extension, a Microsoft Windows application and the TechSmith Smart Player. All three create and record statements that describe a user’s learning experience. Users can view an organized summary of their learning activities on their individualized “Record Store” web page.

The Chrome extension is a browser button that, when pressed, sends statements about visited websites as a learning activity. Typical statements are “Ben read a Wikipedia article” or “Brett watched a YouTube video.”

Unlike the Chrome extension, the Windows application sends statements automatically by monitoring when certain programs or files are opened and determining the appropriate time to record these events as learning activities.

The TechSmith Smart Player is a web application that presents interactive video quizzes and sends these quiz results as learning activity statements.

The user applications are written in JavaScript and C#, the web pages are served through Django, and the back-end is supported by a PostgreSQL database.