Announcements

Your Personal Library

Filed in Announcements by on December 14, 2018

Haven’t you always wanted a grand English country house with a dedicated library? Well, now you’ve got one! A dedicated library, I mean. The dedicated library I’m referring to is your personal library on Echo360.

The personal library on Echo360 is a repository for all the videos “owned” by you. This includes lecture captures recorded in a classroom, your personal capture recordings, or any other video file you may have uploaded to the system. All users of Echo360 have their own library and since Echo360 is licensed for the community, if you are in instructor, student or administrator,  you too can have your own library.

The library shows a thumbnail of each video along with the title and date of creation in a grid fashion. You can search the library through referencing the video’s title or by using one of the filters.

 

But the beauty of the library is what you can do with the videos after you’ve found the one you want. You can share it. By clicking on the chevron on the top right of the thumbnail, you can access options.

 

If you choose share, you can share it with a course.

The form allows you to choose which of your courses you want to share it with. After you’ve picked that, tell it you want this video to constitute a new “class”. (Echo360 basically thinks of videos as classes.) Give the “class” (aka your video) a name, then you can ignore the start date/time/duration if you just want the video to be available now.

 

Clicking “publish” at the bottom of this form (not pictured) makes it available in your course site.

Sharing is just one of the fun things you can do in your personal library. You can also download, edit and rename your videos. But stay tuned! In early 2019 the personal library is getting a makeover.

My favorite aspect of this make-over is increased searchability of your videos. (Hey – some of us have a ton of videos in there!) Soon, finding the video you need will be even easier.

If you would like to learn more about your personal library, please come to the Educational Media Community of Practice meeting on December 18th at 10am in the campus center. As always, if you have any questions please let us know by emailing edmedia@wpi.edu. Happy Capturing!

Engaging Viewers During a Live Stream

Filed in Announcements by on August 24, 2018

WPI had more than 6500 lectures recorded over the past year, at least 3600 of which streamed live.

Live streaming is one way to share your classroom lectures with students who may be remote. This is particularly helpful for online instructors whose students may be all over the world. It also helps instructors whose students are at home, watching the lecture in their pajamas. 

In today’s world, it’s not enough to simply deliver lecture content: best practices call for engagement. One way to make this happen is through the Q/A tool in Echo360.

Echo360 is the lecture capture system in use at WPI. It’s deployed in multiple classrooms on campus and can be used as a media creation tool from instructor’s personal computers. But live streaming only happens from classrooms at WPI.

To access a live stream, students log in to their Canvas site. They click on the Echo360 button on the left-side menu and then navigate to the day’s class. A class that’s streaming live will be designated by a green “LIVE” button, as shown below.

Once a student has joined the stream, they can access the Q/A tool on the top of the player window. It looks like a thought bubble with a plus sign.

 

Adjunct Teaching Professor Christopher Wood, of Fire Protection Engineering, has been utilizing the Q/A tool for several years. Wood teaches both online and face to face sections of courses.

“I don’t generally have a lot of students physically in class, so I look to get ‘live’ feedback about my teaching with regards to whether I’m successfully communicating my intended message,” he wrote in an email interview. “Having the online students comment or ask questions helps get that live feedback so I can address it while I’m still capturing the class.”

Wood started to use question/answer interaction tools while streaming in order to build more community. The Q/A tool in Echo360 compliments the way he uses the discussion board in Canvas.

“I think it’s very easy for online students to feel isolated and I want to break that down as much as possible,” he wrote.

 

To use the tool, professors and students can click on the bubble + icon, as shown in the picture above. A text entry window opens on the right of the video stream.

Live participation, in radio or tv, typically involves a screener who decides whether a question or comment is fit to go out live. While the Q/A tool has no such function, Wood has never had any problems with inappropriate questions or answers.

According to Wood, if a student were to post something inappropriate he would simply shut off the projector in the room, thereby disabling the visual part of the stream.

“I don’t think this is too much of an issue,” he wrote. “but again, I’ve never had the problem and wouldn’t avoid doing this (Q/A  tool) just because of that minimal risk.”

For more information about using the Q/A tool during your live stream, email edmedia@wpi.edu.

The Art of the Chunk

Filed in Announcements by on July 31, 2018

When recording an educational video, sometimes it’s easier to click the start button than the stop button. But WPI’s instructional designer Caitlin Keller is here to offer guidance on when enough content is enough.

“As the average person can only hold 4 – 7 bits of knowledge in working memory at a given time, it is important to break new material down into chunks that are digestible,” she says.

Beth Wilson, Adjunct Teaching Professor for WPI’s Corporate and Professional Education, purposely makes her videos chunky. She says she tries to keep her videos under the 10 minute mark.

“I have to really convince myself that the material can’t be condensed or partitioned to run over,” she says.

Wilson, who teaches Computer Science and Systems Engineering, creates an average of 4 videos per module for each course. “I could read an hour course overview, but I think the sections help the students digest the pieces better,” she says.

Keller agrees. “The act of chunking video is a great step in helping students stay focused on specific content,” she says.

Brent French, Director of Finance and Operations and Adjunct Teaching Professor at the Foisie Business School, says that for him, 20 minutes is a “sweet spot.”

“Over the past six years I’ve taught (about) 35 sections of graduate students with professional experience, and 20 minutes of presentation seems to coincide with what they are used to in a workplace setting.  For undergraduates who are accustomed to longer lectures, 20 minutes might be too short, but for working professionals 20 minutes fits.”

One trick that helps keep videos to a digestible duration is writing a script. In her Online Faculty Institute, Keller advocates for script writing as a part of pre-production planning for curricular content that is delivered via video.

Wilson, a former student of Keller’s, found this technique particularly helpful. Wilson was initially interested in this technique as a way to make her videos hearing accessible. Students could download the script if they could not listen to the audio.

But in addition to accessibility, Wilson found that creating a script helped her stay on track. “When I write a script, I am less likely to detour on a story that is fascinating but irrelevant,” she states.

In 2014, researchers at MIT analyzed data from 2.5 million EdX video viewing sessions. The analysis showed that students were the most engaged with videos of 2.5 minutes in duration. At WPI, educational videos range from about two minutes to three hours, with the instructional design and technology team encouraging the shorter end of the range.

But length is not the ultimate determinant of a video’s efficacy.

“I judge the quality of my videos by how well the students do on the related assessment,” writes Wilson. French echoes that thought. “If they watch videos it’s apparent in their work on papers and exams,” he states.

For information on how to create and share educational videos at WPI, feel free to contact edmedia@wpi.edu or call 508-831-5220.

Echo360 – WYSIWYG

Filed in Announcements by on November 9, 2017

Many of you are familiar with the old processes involved in sharing your videos. I wrote about them here. But things have changed. Now the process for getting your videos into Canvas modules is easier, thanks to the new Echo360 WYSIWYG button.

When you create a new page, you can see the WYSIWYG button. It looks like this.

echobutton

 

This new feature enables you to share a video within a content page without going anywhere else to create a public link or grab embed code.

So now, if you want to include video in a content page you’re making, you just click on the WYSIWYG button and from there you can browse through the videos you’ve created on Echo360’s cloud platform. These are all the videos for which you’re considered the “owner”.

echobutton2

Choose one, and decide how you’re going to share it: your choices are embed code or link.

echobutton3

Here’s what your content page looks like with the video embedded at a 640×360 size. The name of this module, as you can see, is Echo360 WSYIWYG. Why is that? Because I always mess up the S and the Y when I’m typing this acronym.

echobutton5

And here’s the content page with the video link. The video is called Sophie Test Video.

echobutton-link

There are some finer details which this post doesn’t get into – like a toggle for requiring people to authenticate (type in their user name and credential) and autoplay. You can also set the video to start at a time other than the beginning. You don’t really need the authentication option. Students are already authenticated by the time they get to your course site in Canvas.

I hope this whirlwind tour of the Echo360 WYSIWYG editor was helpful! As always, if you have any questions, please email edmedia@wpi.edu.

 

Helpful Resources for Educational Media at WPI

Filed in Announcements by on August 29, 2017

Greetings, Educational Video Producers at WPI!

Here is a list of blog pages and a wiki site that might help you in your media production endeavors.

Viewing and downloading videos in Canvas

Viewing + downloading Echo360 videos in Canvas

Lecture Capturing – Getting Started
https://wp.wpi.edu/edmedia/2017/08/03/lecture-capturing-getting-started/

Choosing how to display your videos in Canvas
https://wp.wpi.edu/edmedia/2017/01/30/allclasses-vs-link/

Wiki for Educational Media workflows in Echo360, PCAP and Ensemble
https://wiki.wpi.edu/edmedia/Index

At WPI we primarily use Echo360 and Ensemble to create and share videos, although other options are available. Feel free to email edmedia@wpi.edu to ask any questions or make suggestions.

 

 

Viewing + downloading Echo360 videos in Canvas

Filed in Announcements by on August 29, 2017

canvas-echo360

This post will explain how students can view and download Echo360 course videos from Canvas.

First, all videos are available through the Echo360 class capture button. This is on the left-side menu.

Once they click on the Echo360 Class Capture button, they’re taken to the Echo360 interface within Canvas.
It shows all the videos.

To play a video, students click on the row of the video they want or they can click on the green arrow button. From the drop down menu, they can choose view.

The player window looks like the image below. To get back to the list of all the videos, click on the icon that looks like a bulleted list, on the upper left.

echo360-canvas3

 

If you choose, students can download your videos.  To access this option they need to click on the green button with the arrow on it. That releases a drop down menu and students select “Download original”.  Students have the option to download your videos, unless you turn off this option. (You can turn off this option in settings, which is next to analytics on the top right.)

echo360-canvas5

 

But what if you want videos incorporated into modules?

To incorporate a video into a module, you can either post a public link or you can post embed code.

A public link is a link that plays without requiring logging in to echo360.  Public links can be added as an external URL content item to a module. To create a public link,  click on the green button on the row of the video of your choice.

Choose details.

details

This brings you to the player window. Just below the video window, you can see the Sharing tab. Click on it.

sharing

This is where you can find the options to generate a public link. Click “Add Public Link” to create the public link.  You can then paste this as a content item into a module.

publiclink-embedcode

Or, if you’d like to embed the code into a page, you can click on Embed. Then click on copy.

embed

 You can create a new page for the embed code or edit an already existing page. Once you’re in a page, click on HTML editor.

html-editor-in-page

From here, you can paste the embed code. Then click save and publish.

publish-embed-code

 

I hope this has been a helpful introduction to sharing and downloading your course videos in Canvas. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at edmedia@wpi.edu.

Lecture Capturing – Getting Started

Filed in Announcements by on August 3, 2017

Lecture capturing is a service offered through the Academic Technology Center at WPI. While the word “capturing” may make you feel like you have to give chase, here at WPI it just means recording your lecture.

When you “capture” a lecture, you can record the graphics, video and audio that are associated with your lecture. You can capture your lectures in a WPI classroom or remotely, via software.

Once your lecture is recorded, you can share it with your students.

Currently, WPI has 26 locations on campus with the capability to record lectures. Here is a list:

WPI Main Campus
Atwater Kent 116
Atwater Kent 219
Atwater Kent 233
Fuller Labs, Lower Perrault
Fuller Labs, Upper Perrault
Fuller Labs, room 320
Goddard Hall, room 227
Higgins Labs, room 031
Higgins Labs, room 116
Higgins Labs, room 202
Higgins Labs, room 218
Kaven Hall, room 116
Kaven Hall, room 202 (display only)
Olin Hall, room 107
Olin Hall, room 109
Olin Hall, room 218
Olin Hall, room 223
Salisbury Labs, room 104
Salisbury Labs, room 115
Salisbury Labs, room 305
Salisbury Labs, room 411
Stratton Hall, room 106
Stratton Hall, room 202
Stratton Hall, room 308
Washburn Shops, room 229
Washburn Shops, room 323

Gateway Park
50 Prescott St. (Gateway II): room 1226
60 Prescott St. (Gateway I): room 1002

Once you know you want to record your lectures you should make sure that your course is meeting in one of the rooms listed above.

Then, the next step is to fill out the form located below. This form collects the information we need to know to set up your lecture capturing and access to the system. If you plan on being a repeated capturer of lectures, you might want to bookmark it.

http://www.wpi.edu/+echorequest

Whether you are recording from a classroom or from the privacy of your office or home, you still need to fill out the form above. Once the Academic Technology Center receives your information, we will talk to you about next steps.

If you have any questions about getting started with lecture capturing at WPI, please let us know by emailing edmedia@wpi.edu.

Announcing the EdMedia CoP

Filed in Announcements by on March 23, 2017

We have so many users with so many different questions about how to get videos to students that we thought it’s time to get everyone together. That’s why we’re convening the EdMedia Community of Practice here at WPI.

The EdMedia COP (with no law enforcement capabilities, I assure you 😉 ) will be a forum for educators and staff who need to capture educational content and send it out as video. We’ll explore how this happens and answer any questions that arise.

We hope you can join us!

EdMedia Community of Practice

March 30, 2017

11 – 12pm

Mid-Century Room, Campus Center, WPI

As always, if you have any questions email edmedia@wpi.edu.

Choosing how to display your videos in Canvas

Filed in Announcements by on January 30, 2017

In my last post, I discussed how students and instructors access the course videos in Canvas.

echo360-canvas1To sum it up, the videos can be accessed from the Echo360 Class Capture menu item, shown in the picture here.

By clicking on this item you get into the collection of videos you have recorded or uploaded to your course.

But what if you wanted to show the videos in another place on your Canvas site? Like in a module?

You have two options.

One is that you can share a public link. The other is that you can embed the video. This post will walk you through how to do both.


First, here’s how you create a public link. From within Canvas, click on the green button on the row of the video of your choice.

Choose details.

details

 

This brings you to the player window. Just below the video window, you can see the Sharing tab. Click on it.

sharing

This is where you can find the options to generate a public link or embed code. Click “Add Public Link” to create the public link. Click in the public link field to copy it to your clipboard.

 

publiclink-embedcode

Click on embed to generate the embed code. Then click on copy.

 

embed

To display either the public link or the embed code in Canvas, you can add it to a page in a module or just a page. You can create a new page for it or edit an already existing page. Once you’re in a page, click on HTML editor.

html-editor-in-page

From here, you can paste the embed code. Then click save and publish.

publish-embed-code

You can add add the public link for the Echo360 just by pasting it into the page in the rich content editor. You can see below I’ve done both.


embed-public-link-final-page


 

And why would you want to embed video versus sharing a public link?

Caitlin Keller, Instructional Designer at WPI, wrote: “I tend to push for embedding onto a content page simply because it helps with workflow within the module.” However, she notes, “any set up is really a case-by-case scenario.”

One difference between embedding video and sharing a public link is that embedded videos are shown in a smaller player window. So if you want your video to be played from a larger player, then you can share the link. Clicking on the link will open up a new tab in the browser and the video will display at the size of your browser window.

Word of warning – if you choose to share your videos within modules, also make sure the Echo360 app is connected on your site. Why? Because students may want to download the videos. They can’t download the videos from the public links or the embedded player, but they can download the videos when accessing them through the Echo360 app.

If you have any questions about displaying your course videos in your course site, feel free to email edmedia@wpi.edu.

Echo360 access in Canvas

Filed in Announcements by on January 9, 2017

Echo360 recently moved to a new platform and this has affected the way it appears on your course sites.

canvas-echo360

This post will explain how students can access the course videos from Canvas, how they can interact with the videos and how you can see what they are doing.

First, all videos are available through the Echo360 class capture button, as shown here.

Once they click on the Echo360 Class Capture button, they’re taken to the Echo360 interface within Canvas.
It shows all the videos.

To play a video, students click on the row of the video they want. The video should start playing.
Or they can click on the green arrow button. From the drop down menu, they can choose view.

 

 

Below is the player window. You can see the player controls at the bottom of the window. On the top left are three buttons.  The top one, which looks like a bulleted list, allows viewers to “exit the classroom”. This takes you back to the homepage for Echo360 within Canvas.

 

echo360-canvas3

(A quick translation: Echo360 considers videos to be “classes”. When you are watching from the player interface, you are in a “classroom”.)

 

 

Below the bulleted list on the top left you can see two thought bubbles and a flag. These are student interaction buttons. By clicking on them, students can write down their questions or raise the red flag of confusion at specific points in the video’s timeline.

Here’s the neat thing. You as the instructor can see your student’s points of confusion as well as their questions.

Echo360’s new platform (I mentioned at the beginning it’s new) has an analytics capability. When you’re at the homepage for Echo360 within Canvas, you can see an analytics option on the top right.

 

 

 

 

If you click on that, you can see a variety of analytics, like how many times your video has been viewed, if any confusing areas have been flagged, and if any questions have been asked.

For more information on Echo360’s analytics, click here.

Finally, students have the option to download your videos, unless you turn off this option. (You can turn off this option in settings, which is next to analytics on the top right.)

 

echo360-canvas5

To download a video, students click on the green button with the arrow on it. That releases a drop down menu and students select “Download original”.

I hope this has been a helpful introduction to the way Echo360 appears in your course site. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at edmedia@wpi.edu. Happy recording!