Tag: lecture capture

See hear

A dragon from our University collections © The University of Edinburgh CC BY https://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/f9p45v

I have a long relationship with speech-to-text technology.

In 1998 we had a room in Student Services where students would go to talk to Dragon Dictate. The more they spoke, the less it understood, the more they would laugh, the more it would transcribe their laughing.  It was a very popular  service as a ‘pick-me-up’.

By 2012 I managed a large collection of contemporary educational oratory -the Oxford Podcasts collection, which includes some fine examples of inspirational rhetoric and clearly communicated ideas. Our interactions with voice recognition software, however, had been frustrating. During the project the team explored various solutions including both automatic translation and human transcription services. We began a project to explore how to best represent the content of our podcasts in text. By focusing on keywords generated by recognition software we were be able to give a searchable interface to users before they listen and represent the amount of relevant content within. Blog post April 2012

7 years later the challenge of making academic audio collections accessible continues to be one which is high in my mind as we roll out lecture recording across the campus at Edinburgh. We’ve been tailoring our Replay roll-out to support the university’s policy for Accessible and Inclusive Learning .

Some people have asked if we are going to have subtitles on our lecture recordings as default. The answer is no, but  we are exploring  creative ideas on how we could do it.

My experience is that automated speech to text although improving, is not fully there yet. And costs remain prohibitive, so transcripts or subtitles are not automated in the lecture recording system. Specialist language in lectures remain tricky and are often subtitled badly. It is also difficult for the transcription to discern whether the lecturer is quoting, reading, muttering or joking. The kind of ‘performance’ and content some of our colleagues deliver would need a highly nuanced translation. All UK HE struggles with this challenge and colleagues are anxious that their speech is not misrepresented by a poor quality subtitle which might be more confusing for learners. Blog post August 2017

The overarching objective of our new project for 2019  is to establish and evaluate an initial pilot Subtitles for Media service and make recommendations for future sustainability and resourcing.

The initial focus will be on designing and piloting a service which can scale and improve the usability/ accessibility of our front facing media content through the addition of subtitles and transcripts as appropriate. The service design will aim to include all users and will be primarily concerned with publicly available University media content hosted on Media Hopper Create, EdWeb or one of the University’s Virtual Learning Environments.

The project will have three strands:

  • Testing the feasibility, viability and cost of a student-led transcription service 

A 3-month pilot will allow us to understand what is needed to establish a sustainable programme of work to support our ambitions based on the outcomes of this pilot phase. The students will gain paid work experience and new digital skills. There is already a thriving market in the local region of students who offer proofreading, transcription, audio typing, subtitling and translation services in their spare time and from home. We will work with academic colleagues in the School of Sociology (Dr Karen Gregory) to research the emerging ‘gig economy’ to understand how best to establish an ethical model for piecework in this area.

  • Research and Development

The project will strike a balance between evaluating and costing a model for a growing service, and Research and Development to ensure we keep sight of technology trends in this area and understand how they might influence service development over time. We will run a series of events to engage with other organisations and our own technology leaders in this field to ensure we understand and are able to take advantage of technology developments and opportunities for funding or partnerships.

  • Improving digital skills and promoting culture change

We aim to move towards a culture where subtitling our media is standard practice at the point of creation, not only because of changing legislation but because it promotes engagement with our media for the benefit of our whole audience, and at the same time promotes digital literacy and digital skills.

In order to achieve all this, the Subtitling for Media Project will:-

  • Establish and evaluate an initial pilot service of a student-led subtitling service
  • Develop a costed plan for an ongoing service including support and service management
  • Make recommendations for future sustainability and resourcing
  • Ensure students are trained to deliver a pilot subtitling service
  • Create an ethical model for student piecework in this area
  • Deliver training and guidance to enable best practice in media creation
  • Develop an understanding of current and future technology to support accessibility and ensure our developing service remains in broad alignment

As part of the ISG vision for the University of Edinburgh we aim to support all digital educators in making informed choices about their digital materials. Through this project to establish a new service, staff and students will develop digital skills in creating and using accessible digital materials.   Benefits will include supporting staff and students to understand how and why to make learning materials accessible, and development of digital skills in support of wide scale engagement with digital education. The Subtitling for Media Project will establish and evaluate an initial pilot service and make recommendations for future sustainability and resourcing.

Make your choice

We’ve launched our opt-out policy for lecture recording,  it will apply to all lectures in enabled rooms from the beginning of semester 2 in January. We expect to be recording around 13,000 lectures for 2,000 courses.

If you want to opt-out you need to do that now.

The Replay Scheduler is a simple online tool for the management of lecture recording scheduling preferences and to enable opt-out.  This is available for use now.  You must ensure your preferences are actioned in the Replay Scheduler if you wish to opt-out.  Your Course Organiser will be able to either give you access to the Replay Scheduler or act on your behalf. 

Student helpers on hand to help get started with lecture recording.

If you don’t do it in advance, remember – you are in control of what happens in a teaching space.  If the recording light changes to red to indicate that a recording is taking place, simply press the light to pause the recording.  The light will change to flashing amber.

Student helpers will be available for the first week of teaching to provide ‘on the spot’ support.

lecture recording and the law

Wise Owl from the University Collections https://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/txp932

We’ve had some questions about the legal bits of our University of Edinburgh lecture recording policy. I’m not a lawyer, but I know some good ones.

Here, thanks to our excellent Policy Officer Neil, is our explanation:

The policy task group considered the intellectual property and data protection implications extensively during development and we’re confident that the new lecture recording policy is legally compliant.  We took detailed advice from the University’s lawyers and Data Protection Officer, from the School of Law’s academic IP expert and from the ISG Copyright Service, in addition to the evolving versions of the very helpful JISC guidance.

In terms of Data Protection:

  • Uses:  The policy clearly defines and limits the purposes that a lecture recording may be used for, including an “essential purpose” of allowing the students on a Course to review their lectures.
  • Lawful basis:  We’re using legitimate interests of the University in providing the service to its staff and students as the lawful basis for processing personal data within the Media Hopper Replay service.  The Data protection Officer and lawyers were very clear that this is the appropriate basis (and that the consent lawful basis would actually not be appropriate for a number of reasons, including ensuring consent is freely given, given the power imbalance between the University and either a member of staff or a student, and some of the implications for implementing any withdrawal of consent once a recording has been made.
  • Sensitive data:  There is a clear requirement in the policy to obtain written consent from a data subject before recording sensitive personal data.
  • Retention:  There is a clear retention period and disposal policy for the recordings.

We have undertaken a Data Protection Impact Assessment and there will be an updated privacy statement for the service that will both be published in due course.

In terms of Intellectual Property:

  • Rights in recording:  The policy recognises that the University, the lecturer and any students who make a contribution to the lecture will each hold some intellectual property rights in the recording.  (The University is the producer and at least in part the director of a recording, and the lecturer holds performer’s rights in the recording.)  In a collaborative approach, these rights will be retained by the respective rights holders who will licence the University and/or the lecturer to use the recording for the defined purposes.
  • Further uses:  It spells out that the University, the lecturer, a student or anyone else may not use the recording for any other use without further agreement from all the rights holders.
  • Lecturer opt-out:  If a lecturer does not wish the University to use a recording containing their performer’s rights, they will be entitled to arrange not to make the recording in the first place.  The lecturer has complete control of whether or not to record a lecture, whether to pause recording, and whether and when to release the lecture to the students.
  • Student opt-out:  It provides for students not to be recorded or – if necessary – to request their contribution deleted, and for students to know in advance which of their lectures will or will not be recorded.  We understand there are practical limitations on keeping students out of shot in some smaller venues but haven’t seen specific problems in practice.
  • Third party copyright:  The policy reiterates the standards required in terms of permission, licence and citation when using third party copyright materials in a lecture, whether or not it’s recorded.  The  ISG Copyright Service will produce specific guidance on use of films, broadcasts or musical excerpts within recorded lectures and on openly licencing recordings if preferred.

I hope that helps.

 

dealing with relationship breakdowns

Picture taken by me of a projector at the National Museum of Scotland. No rights reserved by me.

This is the session I’ll be presenting at ALT Conference next month.  It’ll be filmed and streamed apparently.

edit: Recording here https://altc.alt.ac.uk/2018/sessions/next-expect-locusts-dealing-with-relationship-breakdowns-18-47/

What happens when things go wrong? How resilient is the relationship between edtech and educators when we are tested by strikes, snow and sedition? How do we best learn from critical incidents? Can breakdowns in trust be repaired? What will we do when it happens again?

The relationship between professional learning technologists and academic colleagues is a finely balanced one. Professional learning technologists offer technology solutions to teaching problems and encourage innovations in pedagogy and learning. Learning technologists bring technology into classroom spaces on campus and online and ask colleagues to embrace it. Learning technologists assure academic colleagues them that the technology is there to help not replace them. We ask for trust, understanding, communication. As part of the business, however, our IT services are a key in ensuring business continuity, supporting students beyond contact hours and mitigating the impact of disruption to time and place.

Early 2018 saw an unprecedented period of industrial action at many UK universities. Never before in the 25 years of ALT have so many colleagues protested for so long against their employers, and never before has there been so much technology available to those employers to mitigate the impact of that strike. Where should learning technologists loyalties lie when they are asked to provide systems such as VLEs and lecture recording services which can be used to keep the business of learning and teaching running? When support is withdrawn and communication breaks down what agency do you have?

In addition to industrial action by learning technologists and academic colleagues who are members of the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) in March we also saw extreme weather events across the UK resulting in school and university closures which left many staff to stay at home and work remotely and many students to access their materials in distance learning mode. As the strikes and the snow dragged on the edtech polices and practise in many large institutions were tested. The UCU were vocal and vexed by the use of recorded lectures with or without expressed permission. Large collections of openly published lectures and learning materials, which had once been hailed as assets of great value came under scrutiny as strike breakers and motivations for institutional support for OER were questioned.

Session content: evaluation and reflection

This experimental and exploratory session will give ALT participants the chance to consider their own ethical positions with regard to strike action, business continuity, policy and practice in educational institutions and learn from insights and lessons learned by the learning technologist community. The session will be of particularly interest to CMALT holders who reflect on their own professional practice and colleagues who hold responsible roles as service owners, service operations managers and senior managers.

It is hoped that this session will be the start of a wider, longer conversation about disruptive events, professional roles, management negotiations, actions short of a strike, and the impact on academic buy-in for technology which disrupts learning and teaching.

Previous, related blog posts

http://thinking.is.ed.ac.uk/melissa/2018/03/06/woke/

http://thinking.is.ed.ac.uk/melissa/2018/02/22/strike-that/

http://thinking.is.ed.ac.uk/melissa/2018/03/07/teach-out/

http://thinking.is.ed.ac.uk/melissa/2018/02/28/glue/

References

Schön, D. (2008). The reflective practitioner : How professionals think in action.

Tripp, D. (1993). Critical incidents in teaching : Developing professional judgement. London: Routledge.

Lam, W. (2002). Ensuring business continuity. IT Professional, 4(3), 19-25.

Lecture Capture Emerges as Key Resource for University Business Continuity Planning; Echo360 Sponsors October 1st Business Continuity Planning Webinar for Higher Education. (2009, September 23). Internet Wire, p. Internet Wire, Sept 23, 2009.

McGuinness, M., & Marchand, R. (2014). Business continuity management in UK higher education: A case study of crisis communicationin the era of social media. Business continuity management in UK higher education: a case study of crisis communication in the era of social media. International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 17 (4). 291 – 310.

Resources for participants

2018 UK higher education strike https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_UK_higher_education_strike

Collective bargaining and Beatrice Webb https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrice_Webb

lecture recording policy-have your say

Picture taken by me in the street. No rights reserved by me.

The University has offered lecture recording on an opt-in basis for around ten years and recently made significant investment to provide a new central lecture recording service, Media Hopper Replay, in September 2017.  The new service is running successfully so far with a good many colleagues using it to deliver recordings of their lectures for their students to review.

Beginning the second semester of our new service we have more than 60,000 recordings made to the end of December.  It is very popular with students with around 190,000 student views.  December was the top month for replaying content – over 70,000 hours.

 We are consulting, on behalf of Senate Learning and Teaching Committee,  on a proposed new lecture recording policy to support us in consistently delivering the benefits of the service both to students and to staff. .   Please submit your responses or questions by 19 February 2018.  

The new policy seeks to maximise the number of lectures recorded, and hence the consistency of the student experience, while retaining appropriate scope for a lecturer to opt out of recording a lecture where the interests in not recording outweigh the interests in recording.  It is intended that the lecture recording policy will provide the necessary clarity and reassurance to lecturers and students on data use, data security and data protection; intellectual property rights within the recordings; avoidance of copyright infringement; and equality of access to lectures and recordings. 

Assuming the new policy comes into force in Summer 2018, it will dovetail with an integration of the lecture recording service and the timetabling system and with an expansion of the service to cover nearly 300 rooms.  Indeed, given the ongoing expansion of the service, the availability of comprehensive training, and continued demand from students, I would encourage colleagues in all Schools to consider initiating or expanding their use of the service this semester. 

For the text of the proposed policy and full supporting information, please review the consultation website that is now available to all staff and students.  (EASE authentication required.)  While the consultation encourages colleagues and students to contribute to aggregate responses, it also leaves open the option for them to respond individually. 

In addition to responses from Heads of Schools, Colleges and Support Groups, we are also seeking the views of the trade unions, of students via the Students’ Association and of conveners of the Knowledge Strategy Committee, Library Committee, the Directors of Teaching network, the Lecture Recording Programme Board, Academic User Group and Engagement and Evaluation Group.

We’d like to hear from you.

what will you watch?

Students watching Replay highlights. Picture from University of Edinburgh Image collection. CC BY https://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/a93pr4

We are more than two weeks into term now at University of Edinburgh.
Lectures are being recorded.
The sky has not fallen in.
The service is called Replay.
Students like it.
Staff like it.
We are gathering data.
The learning technology teams have shown themselves to be expert in the jobs they do.
The learning technology teams have shown themselves to be excellent in the jobs they do.
I’m not shocked.
Well done all.

 

what to watch

PERFORMANCE COSTUME 2009, LEILA DEARNESS © Edinburgh College of Art http://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/xc5j6y
PERFORMANCE COSTUME 2009, LEILA DEARNESS © Edinburgh College of Art http://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/xc5j6y

The University is targeting an improved student digital experience by investing several million pounds in a state-of-the-art lecture recording system to cover 400 rooms in over the next 3 years.

We want to make sure that your thoughts and ideas on lecture recording are gathered so they can be used during our investigations with suppliers.  Having your thoughts included within the process will make sure we make the most of this opportunity to enhance the experience for students and academics at the University of Edinburgh.

The ability to watch lectures again as an aid to revision is immensely popular with our students already and capturing video and audio recordings of lectures at scale will supplement the rich set of online resources that already exist to support learning.

There are many proven benefits to making recordings of lectures available including supporting students for whom English is not a first language and ensuring that our face to face lectures are available in an alternative format for students who require it. Not having to take notes at speed allows students to focus more on what is being said and use valuable contact time to ask questions, knowing that notes can be reviewed and improved later.

We have created 18 use cases for lecture recording.  We want you to look at these use cases and think ‘how should this work?’  We want you to think of this in terms of usability and your workflows when using the service.
The creation of policy around lecture recording at this scale will form a separate piece of work, these workshops are about the functionality.

We also want you to tell us which use cases are your priority.

Finally, ‘what are we missing?’  We want you to suggest any use cases not covered.

https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=showEventDetails&scheduleId=22280&start=51

looking, learning, lecturing online

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 09.55.19
Image from the British Library who have generously digitised the archive of Spare Rib. http://www.bl.uk/spare-rib. Some of it even as OER. This is the cover of Issue 72 . Please contact copyright@bl.uk

I find myself writing papers to support the institution-wide roll out of lecture capture again. You’d think I would have nailed this by now.

I always find it interesting to note that on the one hand colleagues are concerned to see evidence that lecture capture will not affect lecture attendance and on the  other that it should be proven to bring about new ways of teaching.  So it should bring no change and yet bring change. Which is a big ask for any tech.

At University of Edinburgh we talk a lot about ‘digital shift’. That the digital should transform and offer new ways of learning rather than just replicate the old ways. So my challenge is to show how students will learn in new ways using the digital version of a lecture while still valuing the analogue lecture above all.

I have been looking for information about how students attend lectures, and about how they use online materials. Recorded lectures are the digital version of the lecture and are available online as resources.

It seems like in general, the universities are on the right track.  59 UK Universities replied to the UCISA TEL survey saying they have lecture capture systems to create digital recordings, and students replied to the Student Lifestyle survey to say that they rarely miss lectures.  They also want even more online materials.

 

61% of students said they never missed a lecture, up from 52% who said the same thing in our 2010 survey. But 38% of respondents admit they do miss the occasional lecture, with students failing to turnup for around one teaching engagement a week on average (0.9). Those doing medicine or a health-related subject are most likely to have a 100% attendance record (74%), despite their relatively high number of lectures. Those doing arts and humanities subjects are also more conscientious than most (68% never missed a lecture), while maths, computing and technology students are most inclined to miss lecture (52% regularly skipped a class). The majority of students (55%) state that they use online resources over traditional text documents (23% favoured these), with 21% stating they use a mix.

Those who most heavily relied on online study resources were, unsurprisingly, those doing maths, computing and technology (48% used online resources for most of their study) compared to 22% of trainee medics and 26% of law students. Men are slightly more likely to rely heavily on online materials (57% said they used more online resources) than women (52% did), while second and third year students (55%) were also greater users of online resources than first-years (52%).

Only 8% of students used standard textbooks, journals and photocopied hand-outs for most of their study, though this rose to 10% for those reading business and management or a social science subject. The survey indicates 43% of students said they would prefer to use online study resources – slightly fewer than the 55% who actually use this method – compared to 26% of respondents who said they wanted to use paper-based resources in general, with 38% stating a preference to use both.

The Sodexo University Lifestyle Survey, 2016