Why we’re co-chairing a new IMS Open Capture Standard

Open video capture standard

In recent years, the amount of rich media – and especially video content – in educational institutions has been growing rapidly. Classrooms are being equipped with lecture capture solutions; schools are choosing to professionally produce instructional media (or offer media lab facilities to assist teachers in producing their own); teachers are increasingly using live video to enhance or replace in-person contact hours with virtual classroom time; and students are creating more and more video for online collaboration. A majority of respondents in a recent survey even report that students are now submitting performance assessments captured on video.
There is currently a tremendous amount of fragmentation of these video assets in various siloes on campus. In some cases, companies have built their business around locking up content in proprietary formats and systems. In other cases, the different formats simply result from solutions built by multiple different vendors: companies which specialize in hardware for large-room video and audio capture tend to be different from those which specialize in studio recording and post-processing equipment; which tend to be different from those who specialize in teaching and learning collaboration technologies.
This creates challenges for users who want to make free use of these assets: not just to be able to deploy these assets for their original purpose but also to make them universally searchable, to re-purpose them and re-deploy them in all the other contexts in which they might have value. This requires open access to these assets, for cataloguing, tagging, archiving, managing rights and permissions. It also requires the ability to transcode these assets for delivery to any device and the freedom to publish them to any destination, including multiple Learning Management Systems (LMSs) and other video delivery portals, such as website and mobile applications for prospective students and alumni.
Even in the increasingly common case where a campus has invested in a centralized video management solution, and begun to migrate their assets to that system, the lack of standardization around media formats and delivery leads to very expensive and lengthy projects each time a new capture technology is adopted.
To help solve this problem, we’re co-chairing the development of a new IMS Open Capture standard, the charter of which has recently been approved. The goal of this new standard is to define a simple, open format for rich media that will allow easy interoperability of any standards-compliant capture solution with any compliant media management solution.
In a future world with such a standard – in the same way that the other IMS standards such as LTI have assured smooth interoperability between systems – a school would be able to count on open and easy access to all of their media captured in any Open Capture-compliant system, in order to move it and manage it in any other system as that school sees fit.
We invite anyone who is interested in helping advance this effort to join us in trying to reduce the risk, cost, and friction involved in video asset management, and give our school partners the freedom to get the most value out of their media.
Interested in following future developments? Join us!

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