Just finished a really good article in the most recent issue of Library Hi Tech:
Title: Full stream ahead: database instruction through online videos
Author(s): Daniel Yi Xiao; Barbara A. Pietraszewski; Susan P. Goodwin
Journal: Library Hi Tech
Year: 2004 Volume: 22 Issue: 4 Pages: 366-374
I believe this link should take you directly to the PDF if you're on campus and have a subscription to Library Hi Tech.
It's an account of a pretty major project (LetItV, or Learning E-Resources Through Instructional Technology Videos) they undertook at Texas A&M University Libraries to bring streaming video database tutorials to their students. It wasn't designed just for distance students, and the team who built the project didn't even include a distance librarian, but of course the 24x7 just-in-time-instruction philosophy is what we're all about here in distance library land.
The article does a really good job of providing a philosophical background for why they chose the methods they did, and is quite detailed about how they put their project together. As a result, I'm going to try a mixer one of these days to see if it can improve the audio quality of the tutorials I've built.
For their project they used an older version of Camtasia Studio. I've never been a big fan of Camtasia, finding it too complex (not too hard, just more complicated than it needs to be) for the tasks I've wanted to complete. Their output was streaming video, but they point out the new version of Camtasia can output to Flash, which I think would make the whole process much much easier for the end user. For instance, I wasn't able to actually view their projects - either their server was down (you can read the article to get the link), or the files had been moved (that was one of the error messages I got), or I didn't have the right video players (I think I did though). Just couldn't get any of the videos to play, so I can't tell if the streaming video has some advantage over what Flash could've done as far as output goes. (Long-time readers may recall that I prefer the simplicity of the Qarbon Viewletbuilder for this type of tutorial, or what I think is this type of tutorial, since I couldn't actually see it ;-).
So overall I think the article is excellent and a must-read if you're planning to mount any kind of streaming video tutorial for your distance students. They did their homework on the pedagogy, and do a great job detailing how they put their project together. Personally I don't like how complex the end result appears to be, but it may work just fine for your students.
Oh, you can read an alternative version of this paper that was delivered a couple years ago as a presentation at a distance learning conference. It's got screenshots too!