Blog

How to Scale Lecture Capture Campus-Wide: A Use Case from the University of Sheffield

How to Scale Lecture Capture Campus-Wide: A Use Case from the University of Sheffield

By the end of 2017-18 academic year, every student at the University of Sheffield will be able to view any lecture online immediately after class and access the video on-demand from their computer or mobile device, thanks to the University’s expansion of Echo360’s lecture capture technology campus-wide.

Driven by student demand for lecture capture technology as a standard across the university, as well as the university’s priority to maintain its’ standing as a world class university with a unique student learning experience, the expansion is part of a new campus-wide “opt-out” policy, whereby all university lectures will be automatically recorded unless an instructor or department “opts-out” of recording their classes. The expansion, which began in Summer 2016 with appliances installed in 56 lecture theatre spaces, is expected to be gradually phased in, with the goal of classrooms to be 100% opt-out by the end of the 2017/18 academic year.

“Beginning in the summer of 2017, we will increase our capability to include every teaching space that has a student capacity of 40 students or more,” says Dan Courtney, Learning and Teaching Systems Support Manager. “This will allow us to record all of the teaching sessions that are flagged as a lecture-type session and will total 112 spaces campus-wide.”

One of the 56 lecture theaters currently equipped with Echo360 lecture capture technology
One of the 56 lecture theaters currently equipped with Echo360 lecture capture technology

But scaling technology across campus doesn’t come without it’s challenges, most notably, ensuring faculty buy-in and user adoption.  To navigate these obstacles, the University focused on easing administrative burden for faculty by ensuring a seamless, easy to use system that is automatically integrated with current campus technologies.

“There are two things that have really helped with user adoption,” says Courtney. “First, we do not require our lecturers to do anything different. They only need to show up to their room and begin to teach as they always have done. We only ask them to turn on a microphone. Once they do that, their lectures are recorded automatically and published to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) so that students have access to them immediately. This has really put instructors at ease.”

The second thing that helped with the rollout is a unique piece of software that integrates Echo360 with the university timetabling software, Facility CMIS, a program that allows departments to schedule lecturers into specific rooms and lecture theaters. Sheffield is among the first universities in the world to integrate Echo360 with the campus scheduling system.

“The CMIS integration is a key part of our IT organization being able to deal with the increased scale of adoption of lecture capture at the university,” says Courtney. “We developed a Java application that takes scheduling data from CMIS and puts it directly into Echo360. This helps us to ensure that lectures are being recorded and lets departments manage the opt-out process. By next year, if they wish to opt-out, they only need to click a flag in the system. Otherwise, every session will be recorded.”

Read new use cases and trends in learning and get them straight to your inbox by subscribing to this blog.

 

4
15