SINN03 eProceedings

    Automation Techniques for Broadcasting and Recording Lectures and Seminars

    Robert Mertens and Rüdiger Rolf
    Zentrum zur Unterstützung virtueller Lehre der Universität Osnabrück (virtUOS)


    E-Learning plays an increasingly important role in modern university teaching. One fast and easy way to produce high-quality content for selected E-Learning scenarios is broadcasting and recording lectures and seminars. Due to cost-efficiency in courses shared by two or more universities and the possibility to communicate with experts from far-away locations, broadcasting technologies such as video-/audioconferencing provide an attractive addition to live courses. For conventional lectures, recordings have proven to be valuable as they make it possible to repeat important parts of the lecture for students, who were unable to attend or for those who did not grasp specific topics during the lecture.
    For most lecturers however, these new technologies are hard to use since they require constant attention and specialised technical knowledge. It is thus crucially important to reduce technology-interaction during recording and broadcasting in order to facilitate the use of these promising technologies. In the first part of the talk, we will identify a number of criteria for automating and thus easing the use of broadcasting (using video conference technology to share a lecture between two universities) and recording a lecture (to provide the recorded material to students at the home and other universities) while maintaining and in some cases even improving the quality of the filmed material.
    When broadcasting a lecture it is important to move the camera's focus to where the attention of an interested student is (to the professor, who is speaking, or to the student, who is asking a question) and to select the best audio and video inputs for this position. The automation software must make it easy for lecturers or their students to indicate what should be broadcasted.
    In recording a lecture it is essential to enrich the video with a synchronized representation of the material presented by the lecturer, i.e. PowerPoint slides, simulation programs, videos. The event of changing a slide must automatically be linked to the exact position in the video. Thus the video is synchronised with the sequence of slides the students follow on their screen.
    In the second part of the talk we will analyze to what degree these criteria are fulfilled by existing systems and we will give a brief overview of state-of-the-art technology in this field.



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