As tools like Opencast Matterhorn continue to reduce the barriers to entry for capturing and distributing lectures, it is important to recognize that the availability of video alone is not sufficient to improve educational outcomes. Since January 2012, Entwine has collaborated with SWITCH on the Annotating Academic Video (AAV) project with the goal of creating a standardized, open and flexible tool/framework to enable Swiss University faculty, staff and students to annotate video across a mix of platforms including players, video management and learning management systems.
This post provides a first look at the features, architecture and our progress to date with the AAV project.
Why we need annotations in video management systems?
For the past decade, higher education institutions have been adopting lecture capture technologies to improve the academic experience. Although these technologies are proficient at capturing and distributing media to learners, they perpetuate an outdated and passive learning experience by not providing tools for students to enrich, enhance and share media with classmates.
The most common method for teachers and learners to interact with video is via note taking and discussions. The majority of education based video services do not take advantage of the annotations tools that YouTube delivered to the masses a few years ago. Taking into account that today learners and teachers are becoming less and less physically connected, this void is particularly painful as it means that there is not a simple method to comment on educational videos, such as lecture recordings. Simple interaction between learners and teachers through comments is not the only pedagogical benefit of an annotations tool. Most students take private notes during a lecture. The ability to annotate a video lecture has the potential to enrich notes by adding object and timing references to them. Sharing enhanced notes will help other learners and improve relevant information about search results. AAV can also be used for assessment. For example, instructors can evaluate the annotations produced by a student to gauge concept mastery.