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Jul 06

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Lecture capture on a budget

The benefits of lecture capture and distribution are numerous and substantial as already demonstrated by leading institutions all around the world. Unfortunately the technology and services to provide lecture capture and distribution are prohibitively expensive for many institutions and organizations. Instead of five figures for classroom lecture capture installations, how about three figures per classroom? Instead of six figures for infrastructure costs how about four figures? Bringing costs down a lot for lecture capture opens the doors for many more classrooms to be captured and shared. By using free and open source software along with readily available commodity hardware, we (the department of Instructional Technology & Distance Education) plan to do exactly that in the foreseeable future. Throughout the journey we’ll be sharing our successes and failures with those at other institutions and organizations who have similar goals.

For the last few months several platforms for video distribution and lecture capture have been evaluated internally including Opencast Matterhorn, KalturaCE, iTunes U, Mediasite, YouTube EDU, and various other platforms and services. Out of everything evaluated so far Opencast Matterhorn and the rest of the Opencast community projects stood out in the crowd as having the greatest potential and greatest flexibility in an academic environment while also being free and open source. Some other important factors in why we chose to run with Opencast Matterhorn are below.

  • Designed for an academic environment by accommodating features like captioning (with OpenCaps)
  • Customizable encoding and distribution workflow to handle multiple outputs (browsers, mobile devices, physical media, etc.)
  • Hosted internally so other aspects of the platform are customizable
  • Integrated capture agents with central scheduling and management
  • Multiple stream capturing and synchronized playback (professor, presentation media, audience, etc.)

For more information about Opencast Matterhorn and related projects, see the Opencast website.

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.tamuc.edu/innovations/lecture-capture-on-a-budget/

1 comment

  1. mobilt bredbånd

    We have thorough experience with Opencast Matterhorn. I believe you’ve made a good choice. Good luck.

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