In April 2011 Prof. Mike Erlinger approached the ETMS group with a proposal to build a lecture capture system in the Learning Studio Classroom. Prof. Erlinger was interested in an automated lecture capture system that would make it easier to videotape student presentations for students to review. Our audiovisual staff had manually videotaped classes for Prof. Erlinger in Spring 2011, but this required a great deal of staff time to accomplish. Prof. Erlinger worked with Michael Meyka and James Sadler to write a proposal that used off-the-shelf components to create a more automated system. Since this project fit very well within the scope of our Teaching with Technology Innovation Grant program, ETMS decided to fund the project and create a pilot automated lecture capture system during Summer 2011.
The system that was installed for the Fall 2011 semester consisted of a web cam installed in the ceiling of the classroom, a PC desktop with Wirecast software, a VGA converter box and a large hard drive. Total cost of the system was approximately $1500.
Prof. Erlinger began using the lecture capture system to videotape student presentations in CSCI 121-Software Engineering during the Fall 2011 semester. Michael and James did a presentation at A Bite of Learning on September 19th to describe the pilot program and our very preliminary results. Soon after that Prof. Michael Orrison asked to participate in the pilot program as well. He has also been using it to record student presentations in Math Forum.
While we’ve gathered a lot of good feedback with the pilot program, we’re not ready to go production with the lecture capture system yet. We’ll be continuing with the pilot program in Spring 2012 with the same two courses. We’re limited in the number of courses we can support because we don’t yet have a solution for storing and distributing the videos. However, in Spring 2012 we’ll be running another pilot with Kaltura, a hosted video service that integrates with Sakai, our course management system. So stay tuned for more information on that pilot!