This week we continue our research into the technology behind today's Lecture Capture systems.
Last week, I started a series of posts focused on learning about the lecture capture systems being used in education today, and the technology that enables them. My first post looked at a few of the big players in today's market. This week I'm trying to get more familiar with these systems by learning about some of the different features and functions available in them, and looking more closely at some of vendors marketing materials and product showcases.
Today's LC systems have a wide variety of available features and add-ons. I list some common features and functions below. I then provide a few links to some vendor marketing materials and product info that I found gave me a little more perspective on some of these applications and how they work.
Features & Functions
Here are some of capabilities of, and differentiating factors for, today's Lecture Capture systems. This listing helps to give a sense of some of what these tools can be capable of.
Integration with existing equipment: This can be a huge plus, and bring down the cost of putting these types of systems in place. If a lecture capture system can integrate with existing white boards, projectors, input devices like tablet PCs, and so on, the potential utility delivered through the purchase of an LC application is instantly increased.
Ease of Use: This is a big one from the perspective of the instructor! Is the system easy to use, or will instructors find it cumbersome and confusing?
Editing & Annotation: Can lecture content be edited? Is it possible to add annotations, such as visual elements (highlights, arrows, circles, etc.) or text notes, over or alongside the video playback?
Integration of supplemental materials: Can electronic documents, such as PowerPoint slides, lecture note files, and other digital media, be associated with and delivered with lecture video/audio?
Polling, Surveys, Q&A: The ability to have polls, surveys, and Question & Answer sections associated with a lecture, which can be delivered and administered through the system, with results stored for access alongside lecture materials.
Integration with SIS and/or CMS/LMS: The ability for a system to integrate with an institution's Student Information System, enabling automation of some administrative functions, or the ability for lectures to be easily incorporated into today's popular CMS and LMS Systems (Blackboard, Moodle, etc.).
Easily scalable expansion: More and more of these vendors are looking to provide solutions that can meet the needs of both small schools and major universities, and scale up from trial use to full blown implementation, positioning customers to get the most out of their investments by just adding additional functionality as needed.
Playback Controls: Can viewers speed up, slow down, or freeze playback? Can audio be downloaded to a mobile device to listen to on-the-go?
Search-ability (Indexing): Can content be easily searched? Is it indexed to enable efficient searching? Are there other ways in which content can be organized for access?
A closer look at some LC systems
A few links a variety of resources that provide further understanding of how some of these systems work, and hands-on access to some captured lectures and associated materials.
- The “How It Works” Page from Echo360: This page has a great clickable “EchoSystem Work Flow” graphic that provides insight into functions of their system such as scheduling, auto capture, auto package, and more.
- Tegrity Showcase Page: This showcase page from Tegrity provides access to a sampling of captured lecture materials (and some advanced Tegrity functions), providing hands-on access to the lecture viewer's user experience (you need a high speed connection for this to perform best).
- Here we have a quick “How To” video (about connecting and using a projector), created and hosted with Panopto. This gives a sense of what Panopto looks like from a viewer/users perspective.
- This 2 page case study overview provides some insight into how the Accordent system was used to provide Lecture Capture in some multimedia classrooms at the University of Northern Iowa. This implementation leveraged existing investments, and appeared provided very good ease of use for instructors.
- This full video from SonicFoundry, makers of market leader ‘MediaSite', is quite long in its entirety (almost an hour), but has some good discussion (in the first few clips) of how a K-12 school district gradually learned and grew in their use of Lecture Capture. This shows how some regular, non-techie teachers picked this technology up and rolled with it and helped developed a nice lecture capture and delivery system.
Having now learned a bit more about how some of these systems work and what they can do, I realize that some vendors provide low cost of entry to systems that can scale up nicely. I am interested in knowing more about this, and I feel I still have a lot to learn about these systems in general.
Next week I think I will search out some more video clips and related materials that help me to better understand the technology and techniques that enable this great functionality. The week after that I'll wrap up this series with a look at how to approach this with a limited budget.
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Learning about Lecture Capture Technology
A Dozen Great Free Online Video Lecture Sites
TeacherTube, and other YouTube alternatives for instructional use