by Wayne Andrews
Are you a university planning to install a new lecture capture system?
This is an increasingly common question facing schools of all sizes today, but before making any big decisions—and if you want to do it right—you should start by identifying the needs of the people who will actually be using the system: IT administrators, professors, and the students of course!
IT Administrators want…
A low-maintenance system
IT administrators are often an underappreciated bunch. We call them anytime of the day (and night) and expect them to answer to our beck and call. What people don’t realize is they’re not just managing you and your department, but possibly managing one or even multiple campuses. So, if there’s a way to simplify or automate systems, administrators will appreciate it. Lecture capture systems are a great place to start.
It all begins with a video management system (VMS). Find one that allows videos from any source to be hosted, and is flexible and scalable to keep up with your school’s current and future needs. Step 2 is to find an affordable encoder appliance that is compatible with your institution’s designated VMS. An encoder that offers a low one-time investment and no annual fees will allow you to expand the number of classrooms that are lecture capture enabled. Next step is to pick one that lets you reliably stream and record lectures at the highest quality. Encoders that are equipped with a centralized monitoring application provide added functionality by giving a bird’s eye view of all appliances across the network. The activity of every appliance can be viewed from an online singular dashboard, without having to individually log into each classroom’s unit, drastically reducing time spent on maintenance. Appliances can even be put into groups such as medicine or dentistry for streamlined management across entire faculties.
Be on the lookout for additional bonus features. Scheduling to pre-arrange stream and record start/stop times, automated file transfers that connect directly with your VMS of choice, and file management options for storage all help reduce administrative tasks. The more benefits, the better.
To focus on teaching, not technology
Okay, this may not be the case for all teachers. There are plenty who are more than tech-capable, but why not simplify and automate the process for them as well? When teachers enter their classrooms, the last thing they want to do is lose valuable teaching time with technical operations.
So, how can you help?
With options like the aforementioned scheduling feature for example, entire courses can be pre-programmed at the beginning of each semester, so that events are set to be streamed or recorded ahead of time. This allows professors to simply walk into the classroom and do what they best: teach.
To access lectures anytime, anywhere
Videos, and lecture capture in particular, are changing the way students learn. Catching up on a missed class, reviewing material before an exam, or logging in for distance learning, are all reasons students require access to class material anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
The best lecture capture systems will not only capture the professor’s lecture from an in-room camera, but also include class material from PowerPoint slides or document cameras. Students get more out of their learning experience when they have the freedom to dynamically choose the lecture capture content that interest them—whether it is a full view of the professor or the supporting material, or a combination of the two!
When Indiana University decided to update their lecture capture workflow, they understood the importance of identifying the needs of the IT administrators, professors and students early on. Doing so allowed them to create a seamless lecture capture system with ease of use a priority for all of its stakeholders!
On Thursday, February 22 at 2 pm EST, Indiana University, along with Kaltura and Matrox, joined forces to highlight their collaboration in developing a single, end-to-end, low cost lecture capture system for Indiana University. Watch the recording here!
Wayne Andrews is a senior product manager at Matrox Video (link to www.matrox.com/video/Kaltura), a leading technology manufacturer with a comprehensive portfolio of streaming and recording appliances. Matrox is experienced in working directly with universities to determine what technology would best suit their individual learning workflows, and delivers cutting-edge innovations to a wide range of industries including education, government, and to A/V professionals worldwide. For more information, please contact Wayne at [email protected].