Case Studies


We would like you to add to this page if you can give case study type feedback on using digital media in your teaching and learning activities, whether that be on the technologies or pedagogies used.

Aberystwyth University's use of video in teaching

We have a number of case studies and pages of support information on our Nexus website for good practice in technology-enhanced learning.

  • Case study from the Department of Information Studies, in which they used digital video for teaching. This project involved the creation of learning objects that included video interviews with professionals working in the field of Information Studies.
  • Case study of Flipcam use in the International English Centre, includes a video interview of the programme coordinator talking about how her tutors use Flip digital camcorders in the teaching of ESL. Initially, students were recorded giving presentations, after which they viewed the recordings together with teaching staff and reflected on their performance. Subsequently, students were given the Flip cams to use for making their own video clips. This was extremely well-received.
  • Case study of video activities for teaching modern foreign languages, documents a training session for language tutors in the Lifelong Learning programme. A wide range of uses is suggested.
  • Poster presented at ALT-C 2010 on supporting staff in the use of digital video.
  • Good practice guide for using Digital Video, includes a clip made by first-time users of the Flip digital camcorder during a training session, as well as the handouts and presentation from the session.
  • Good practice guide for using Campus Pack Podcasting tool for both video and audio, includes a list of ideas for how you could use digital media in teaching.
  • Items on our Nexus site that are tagged 'video' include presentations, case studies, resources lists, and news bulletins from the sector.
  • Annotated resources list for digital video.
  • Web pages outside of our site are tagged 'video' in our Delicious account.

Nexus is always growing. If you have any feedback or suggestions for the Nexus site, please email is-alto@aber.ac.uk.


Lancaster’s support for video

Lancaster has a number of means of support for video on an institutional level. We have created a new Digital Technologies Unit within our Information Systems Services to co-ordinate these and make sure they all point in the same direction.

Streaming Servers

We have maintained a HELIX streaming server and a Windows Media Streaming Server for some time now, and teaching staff have been able to post their own videos to the VLE and external facing website using this, but it was not widely used because the technology required lots of Learning Technology support, and knowledge of video formats.
A Flash Media Server solves this initial problem, in that most browsers (except iPhones!) will play this media, but does not solve the deeper problem – that users need to find the technology simple. Flash Media Server has increased the number of videos used in teaching, but still requires Learning Technology support in most cases to convert file formats. Access to the filestore on the server is almost always done manually, so videos cannot be shared amongst teaching teams very easily.
To make the technology simple, we need is a ‘Media Management Portal’, that handles videos in multiple formats, shares them with other members of staff, and streams to multiple sources, all in one simple to use system.

Video Conferencing/ Convergence

Video conferencing Is proving to be an increasing requirement at Lancaster, especially with the remote teaching aspects of the medical school and the international ventures. Some teaching space is already equipped with video conferencing, with another three planned over the summer, in addition to a growing number of mobile units and equipped meeting space. As a lot of money is being spent on this video conferencing equipment, it would make sense to utilise this for capture and streaming purposes, especially as it provides a user friendly robust turnkey interface which can be easily incorporated into the AV control systems.
Initial investigation has revealed that Polycom and Tandberg both provide video conferencing recording and streaming options in the form of the Polycom Recording and Streaming Servers RSS2000/4000 http://www.polycom.com/global/documents/products/telepresence_video/datasheets/rss4000-datasheet.pdf and Tandberg Content Server http://www.tandberg.com/collateral/product_brochures/TANDBERG%20Content%20Server%20Product%20Sheet.pdf , both of which can capture presenter video as well as h.239 data channel containing presentation content. They can be used stand-alone as well as being incorporated into media management systems and unified communication and collaboration solutions.
Some of the basic functionality of these devices is also currently available through the JANET Video Conferencing Service, which has been used in the past.
Polycom extend the functionality of the RSS2000/4000 with their VMC1000 video management centre.
http://www.polycom.com/global/documents/products/telepresence_video/datasheets/vmc1000-datasheet.pdf
which adds support for managing and publishing content captured by the RSS2000/4000, as well as user generated content, existing streaming servers and streams from external encoders. It also adds features such as event notification via e-mail, moderated Q&A, usage reporting, user authentication.
Currently awaiting a full test drive of the system to see how many boxes it manages to tick.
Costs will vary depending upon the implementation and educational pricing, support contracts etc, however currently looking at around £100k for an initial installation.



University of Surrey

In early 2008 Surrey put out an invitation to tender (ITT) to specifically targeted suppliers for the establishment of a "Media Store and Streaming System". The ITT had this as its introduction:
"Growing interest in and use of video and audio in teaching is driving demands for a robust infrastructure for the storage and delivery of time-based media, whether the source is satellite, Freeview, pre-recorded DVD/VHS/CD or from cameras, audio recording devices etc.
The University is seeking a system (or systems) to ingest, store, catalogue and deliver digital audio and video resources to students and staff."

The ITT then specified in detail what functionality and specification the system would require.

The tender was awarded to Cambridge Imaging Systems for the supply of a much customised and developed version of their 'Box of Broadcasts' (BoB) system.

BoB was launched at the University of Surrey in April 2009. The system is designed to facilitate the easy integration of online time-based media (video and audio) into teaching and learning.
Access to the system is currently only for people with University of Surrey computing accounts. Access the system at http://bob.surrey.ac.uk
The system provides the following functionality:
  • Streamed playback via high quality h.264/AAC Flash
  • Automatic quality toggling based on bandwidth detection
  • Location aware access (off-air recordings only in UK because of ERA+ restrictions, uploaded content available worldwide)
  • Searchable repository of recordings
  • Personalised ‘My BoB’ page to contain a user’s playlists
  • Switchable subtitles
  • Full-screen viewing
  • User rating of recordings
Staff have access to the following additional functionality:
  • Online Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) for Freeview television and radio
  • Schedule recordings from EPG
  • Schedule recordings from a wide range of overseas ‘Free-to-air’ satellite channels
  • Create clips from recordings
  • Create custom playlists of recordings and/or clips
  • Use automatically generated embed code to embed the media player into ULearn (Surrey's VLE), PebblePad, email, PowerPoint or web pages
  • Host University of Surrey owned or licensed material for public viewing
  • Upload local content (functionality restricted to named individual accounts)
  • Ability to restrict uploaded content to specific user groups
  • Ability to make uploaded content available for download
  • Podcast hosting functionality including RSS subscription

The system has been in continual development since its launch on campus.

Enquiries regarding this should be directed to p.burt@surrey.ac.uk