OPENCAST, THE OPENCAST COMMUNITY AND OPENCAST MATTERHORN – A GLOBAL COMMUNITY-DRIVEN PROJECT TO BUILD AN ACADEMIC VIDEO MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
1 ETH Zurich (SWITZERLAND)
2 Universidad de Vigo (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Spurred by the development of "podcasting" technology, the increased quantity, quality and use of lecture recording have highlighted video management as a strategic imperative for universities in years to come. Founded in 2007, the Opencast Community is a global community addressing all facets of academic video; it also supports a number of projects with the overall goal of facilitating the management of audiovisual content. The most prominent among these, the Opencast Matterhorn Project is developing an open source management system for academic video, mainly to organize, record, handle and distribute lecture recordings, providing users with tools to engage with the resulting rich medium beyond the mere consumption.
Matterhorn considers the lecture hall as the main source of video. The project partners therefore developed capture agent technology to be integrated into the classroom to record audio, video, and the presenter’s VGA signal. These capture agents will be controlled with a scheduler for re-occurring events especially. However, Matterhorn can also ingest video from other sources (customized recordings, films, user-generated content). The processing services allow for branding of videos, generating or adding closed captions with respect to accessibility regulations and of course encoding the video in accordance with the distribution channels selected. In addition, the media from the presentation (VGA) is analyzed and indexed for isochronic metadata. Organized along the video timeline, this allows for pin-point access to the video based on slide content: For example, students can search that part of the video where "exam" was mentioned on the slide.
Distribution can take many forms with Matterhorn: For certain, the popular channels like YouTube EDU and iTunes (and iTunes U) can be served (or restricted), just like local or institutional portals and repositories. In addition, services are planned to distribute to popular Learning Management Systems (LMS) / Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) with the intention of providing full integration (exchange of metadata, authorization) with these if they prove popular.
Finally, the distributive end also comprises the engage tools. Their function is to engage the user with the video for a more interactive learning experience in an accessible way.
The overall architecture of Matterhorn is service-oriented, allowing users to take advantage of selected features only, should they so wish, thus customizing the product for their needs. Also, the structure allows for easy integration of other services, enabling integration with existing campus infrastructure.
The Opencast Community, just like Opencast Matterhorn, are inclusive in that we welcome contributions and support from any institution or individual dealing with academic video. These contributions can take many forms, from testing to reviewing code or actually contributing towards the further development of Opencast Matterhorn by aligning existing technologies. The community website at http://www.opencastproject.org/ has all the information on this.
Keywords: Lecture recording, academic video, podcast.