Blackboard as institutional VLE for almost 5 years, linked to student records systemGreat success, increasing demand from staff and studentsMoved to managed hosted just over a year agoBlackboard Learn system – not content or community systemUse a lot of building blocks to extend functionality – trojan horse – GráinneConole
Encouraging academic staff to use more video. For example, lab demonstrations, setting up equipment, student presentations, screen casts, guest speakers, student assignments.But, no institutional video hosting/streaming serviceStaff using own solutions, YouTube, Vimeo, blipTV etc, not ideal, too piecemeal. Insufficient control. Privacy issuesSome staff were uploading directly to Blackboard, but we discouraged this because of storage issues.Experimented with our own media server, but not scaleable, different formats, different devices, bandwidth & performance
At the same time, due to the effects of the economic environment in Ireland, “doing more with less people”, there was a push in the university to consider outsourcing and more hosted solutions. Particularly inspired by the Blackboard managed hosting, which had been a huge success. So we began to look at potential solutions for video. Considered HEAnet media server, but found the service clunky from a user perspective and no easy integrationKaltura was a clear contender: hosted; Blackboard plug-in, adhering to policy of VLE as trojan horse.
Installed the building block on our test Blackboard environment. Fully tested, in liaison with Kaltura. Any issues quickly addressed. Gained a full understanding of how (exactly) the building block works. Some of the Kaltura documentation assumes the community system. But, the building block works very well on the Learn system.Prepared Kaltura guide for staff – give linkInstalled the building block on our production environment prior to semester 2Assembled a small group of academic users to try an initial pilot study, but tool was available to all.
Mention the guide we developped for staff. The Kaltura building block behaves a little differently depending on if you have the community system. Since we don’t have the community system, the user documentation had to be revised. A guide is available online or in a pdf version. Happy to share these with anybody who is interested.
Results from the initial pilot study were positive. Staff liked the upload tool, though commented on the time it takes to upload long videos. There was also a positive reaction from students.
How are people using it? A couple of examples…Oliver Ryan, a Physics lecturer, is creating and uploading short video tutorials to supplement a technical manual for lab experiments. The manual is read by students prior to lab sessions, but the text and diagrams were sometimes confusing and students were not well prepared for experiments. Dr Ryan has recorded 21 short videos, one for each experiment to be conducted, and 7 additional videos explaining how to use the lab equipment.
Susan Folan, who co-ordinates a PG Diploma and MA in conference interpreting, used the plug-in to upload videos of students while interpreting, to better give feedback to them on their performance. She records a video of each student at the beginning of the course and then shoots a second video later on so students can see their progress. All of the videos are uploaded into the system so students can review them online at anytime. She reports that the videos give student great feedback and help them identify bad habits.Susan found the upload function so easy that she didn’t even realise she was using a plug-in. She had just stumbled across it.
One unanticipated result has been the popularityof webcam recordings, to record short vodcasts and make them available quickly and easily to students. NUI Galway has an increasing number of courses and programmes delivered using a blended format, and these short webcam recordings are idea to give a quick update, direct from your desktop – like a video announcement. When students are off-campus, the video recording is more personal than a text announcement. Recording is quick and easy, and you can preview the result before uploading.
It’s very easy to customise a player for use in Blackboard, e.g. with university colour, logo, branding etc. I did have a watermark included, but people complained that text on the video couldn’t be seen properly.Transcoding into difference flavours allows easy access from all platforms and devices. In particular, in the past we had problems on Macs with wmv files streaming from our video server, or flash formats. Now, lecturers can upload a video in one of a range of formats, and Kaltura does all the work in transcoding.Videos can’t be played directly within Bb Mobile Learn – have to view in the browser.
Videos that have been added to a course gallery can be hidden, public or featured (in a widget on the course home page).Lecturers can grab the embed code for the video, and use it elsewhere, if they wish (e.g. on a public blog or website).They can also choose to share the embed code with students.
Each Bb instructor also has their own, course-independent, library of videos. – My MediaFrom this space, a video that has been added to one course gallery can be added to any other course gallery, allowing easy sharing of video content across courses – something that’s not usually possible without the Bb content system.
Further encourage staff to make use of the building block.Monitor usage through the KMC back-end. Powerful analytics telling us numbers of views per video, minutes viewed, average viewing time. Can filter by category – the Blackboard category is automatically associated with any video uploaded using the building block.Also want to look at video assignments. At the moment we haven’t allowed the possibility of allowing students upload videos but this is planned for the future.
Kaltura in BlackboardThe NUI Galway experienceDr Sharon FlynnAssistant Director, Centre for Excellence in Learning and TeachingNational University of Ireland, Galway Email : email@example.com Twitter: @sharonlflynn learntechgalway.blogspot.com Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Context Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Blackboard at NUI Galway Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Video at NUI Galway Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Kaltura pilot project Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Year 1Install on test environment (semester 1, 2011)• Develop workflow and guide for staffInstall on production environment (semester 2, 2012)• Small group of academic users, initial pilot study• Tool available to allGeneral use (semester 1, 2012) Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Guide for staff Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Initial ResultsMy students have provided feedback to me on Kaltura. They think thatthe video clarity is better than before (even though the video wascreated in the same way), so the streaming must be good. They like thecontrols on playback (a benefit unexpected by me). Also like being ableto use different devices to access. I prefer the Found the videos to new format as be very good This format you can open visually, clarity was worked good fully onto your very good for me I liked it screen. A lot also. Screen on the easier on the main page is also a eye. nice touch also Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
PH201 Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
AT120 Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Webcam Recordings Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
What we like: Customised players and flavours Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Levels of Control Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Content sharing across courses Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
What’s next? Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Dr Sharon FlynnAssistant Director, Centre for Excellence in Learning and TeachingNational University of Ireland, Galway Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @sharonlflynn learntechgalway.blogspot.com Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching