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Transcripts and closed captions in Lecturecast (ASR)

Silvia Giannitrapani20 September 2022

From 20th September 2022, media transcripts will be automatically applied to the closed captions track if they meet the 90% confidence score threshold.

We have activated automatic transcription and closed captions by default in Lecturecast as an additional supporting tool to provide fully accessible videos for our students as part of UCL’s digital strategy.

Aside from being an aid to viewers with auditory impairment, transcripts and captions can be extremely useful as a study tool.  Students often search large amounts of text using keywords to pinpoint passages of interest; Lecturecast transcripts, which are searchable and synchronised with the recording, allow similar searches of video presentations.

Lecturecast has built-in ASR (automatic speech recognition) to produce recording transcripts. Transcripts are automatically created for any media uploaded to Lecturecast and are available to viewers once a recording’s audio file has been processed.

Closed Captions use the same ASR file as the transcript but are not available if they do not meet the 90% confidence score threshold or until the ASR file has been ‘applied’ to a recording (until then the CC button in the player will be inactive).

Closed captions will NOT be automatically applied to:

  • New recordings with a confidence score lower than 90%
  • New Zoom videos automatically transferred to Lecturecast
  • Older recordings made prior to the 20th September 2022.

Closed captions can still be manually applied using the ‘apply to CC’ button in the transcript editor after review/corrections are made.

See below an example of what a transcribed lecture with closed captions would look like:

Lecturecast player with both transcripts and closed captions showing

Lecturecast player with both transcripts and closed captions showing

 

Further information and detailed instructions are available on the ‘Transcripts and closed captions in Lecturecast (ASR)’ mini guide.

Please contact lecturecast@ucl.ac.uk with any questions.

 

Assessment hackathon event – Collaboratively exploring the digital assessment challenge  

Anisa Patel28 March 2022

“In a digital era, how can we design assessments differently and better?” 

This is the question that a group of more than 35 key partners in UCL’s teaching and assessment community gathered to consider last week. Hosted jointly by ARENA and Digital Education, the group comprised academics, students, the Digital Assessment team, Faculty Learning Technologists, professional services staff and representatives from UNIwise (suppliers of our digital assessment platform, AssessmentUCL).  

Attendees were split into teams of mixed disciplines to share their experience of assessment at UCL and bring forward ideas and recommendations on how digital assessments could look in the future. 

The breadth of representation made for a rich and varied discussion and enabled each partner to express their principle areas of focus: 

  • From our student representatives we heard a genuine desire both for continued improvement enabled through assessment feedback not just marks and for assessments to test modern-day marketplace skills (e.g. distilling information, writing reports).   
  • Our academic representatives expressed their overarching concern to do the right thing by our students: seeking to understand and share methods and tools for designing assessments to help students in future life.
  • Our Digital Assessment team focussed on ways to build and share capabilities within faculties enabling us to connect academics, students and technologists and ways to understand and share how technology can support innovative assessment design both now and in the future.  
  • Like our students, our Faculty Learning Technologists focussed on the importance of feedback (or “feedforward”) which is easily accessible, timely and meaningful: enabling students to act upon it.  
  • Our Professional Services representatives focused on how to connect people to ensure that fantastic work around assessment design is shared widely and to ensure that academics and faculty teams are all aware of the tools and supporting resources available to them. 
  • Our UNIwise representatives were interested in all points raised: keen to consider how future enhancements to the AssessmentUCL platform might facilitate the continued evolvement of digital assessment. 

Group discussions were wide ranging and often raised more questions than answers but surfaced a clear desire to continue the conversations about the issues raised and to focus on how we share knowledge to maximise the depth of expertise in assessment design across departments. 

Next steps 

As a result of the discussion, Arena and the Digital Assessment team will focus their attention on the following key themes over the coming months:  

  1. Enabling assessment design knowledge sharing: Helping academics and others involved in assessment design to understand what is possible and how to achieve it. Ensuring clear information channels and networks are established to enable academics and others involved in assessment design to share experience and learn from the experience of others as well as raising awareness of existing resources and support.  
  2. Continuing to improve the markers journey: Exploring how to enable flexibility in marking where one may allocate all work to all markers and each takes one off the top of the pile and can go to the next unmarked (or not yet started to mark script), to ensure that there is no loss of marks when marking allocations change pre/post marking. 
  3. Continuing the conversation: Building on the foundations and links established during this event, we plan to set up a learning lab through which staff and students can continue the discussion around how we can design digital assessments differently and better using existing mechanisms like the Chart tool, as well as rethinking how assessments are delivered currently to make them more applicable to real-world situtations and careers.
  4. Working collaboratively with suppliers and academic colleagues to shape enhancements / design solutions to particular issues: We hope to connect key members in Departments with our suppliers Uniwise to workshop and work through desirability and current system functionalities.

If you would like to join events like this in the future, please let us know by contacting assessments@ucl.ac.uk.

Global Search in Moodle

Rod Digges22 November 2021

Moodle’s newly introduced global search function allows anyone in Moodle to locate a range of content including documents, forum posts, descriptions of activities and more. Search is accessed by clicking on the magnifying glass symbol found at the top right of pages within Moodle.

Staff and student searches are restricted to courses and areas within those courses where their Moodle permissions give access, i.e. courses on which they are enrolled either as students, teaching or administrative staff and where searched materials are visible to them. Students, for example, would not have search results returned from hidden courses or hidden sections/content within visible courses.

After entering a search term and pressing the return key, results are shown with additional fields allowing searches to be more narrowly focused. In addition, a range of search modifiers including wild card, boolean and proximity search characters give even more ways to refine searches.

For details of the tool and how to refine searches see this guide.

 

Global deactivation of Portico Mappings

Zaman Wong9 November 2021

Portico mappings on Moodle pages were globally deactivated this morning, 9 November 2021.  Enroled students will retain access to their Moodle courses.

How will this impact students on my course?

  • Students who are already enroled on a Moodle course WILL continue to have access to that Moodle course.
  • Students who join a Module on Portico WILL NOT be automatically enroled onto the corresponding Moodle course.  Students can still be manually enroled.
  • Students who leave the module on Portico WILL NOT be automatically unenrolled.

Moodle and Portico mappings

If Portico mappings are active on a Moodle course, student enrolments on that course are automatically updated overnight to mirror the student registrations in Portico.  Consequently, students who change courses or withdraw from their studies are automatically enrolled or unenroled from the Moodle course when their Portico record is changed.  Usually, this is desirable when students change/drop modules within the first few weeks of term.  However, if students are automatically unenroled after they have been awarded any grades, these grades become inaccessible, which can be very problematic.

Note: the ‘inaccessible’ grades, submissions and logged activity are not deleted, and can be accessed again if the student is re-enroled manually.  But, when a student is no longer enroled on a course, there is just no way to view their content.

Why deactivate Portico mappings?

To reduce the likelihood of this particular ‘inaccessible/missing grades’ problem occurring, Portico mappings are deactivated on all Moodle courses, six weeks into each term.

Can I re-activate Portico mappings on my courses?

Yes.  However, please assess whether you risk losing access to some students’ grades before you do this.  Once a mapping is active, students will be automatically enrolled or unenrolled that evening.  See instructions on re-activating Portico enrolments

Note: Portico enrolments can be deactivated within the course at any time by anyone with Course Administrator or Tutor access, thereby stopping any automatic changes of students enroled on the Moodle course.

Moodle Boards – a virtual post-it note activity added to Moodle

Rod Digges16 September 2021

Moodle Boards have been added to the variety of activity options available in Moodle courses. A Board allows students and staff to add post-its to a virtual board where they may be organised and optionally ranked. Post-its may include plain text, images, links and YouTube videos.

On the Board, Students can:

  • Add a new post with any of the following:
    • A heading.
    • Some text.
    • A link.
    • An uploaded image.
    • An embedded YouTube video.
  • Edit or Delete one of their posts.

They can also do the following depending on the board’s settings:

  • Move their notes among columns.
  • Star (vote up) someone else’s post.

The teacher can set up the activity with the following options:

  • A closing date for submissions.
  • How the posts are ordered in a column, by date or star count.
  • Whether posts can be starred – by students, teachers, or neither.

On the board a teacher can:

  • Move any of the posts from one column to another.
  • Download a copy of the board contents.
  • Download a spreadsheet of submissions of the students.

 

A Moodle mini-guide for the tool is also available.

Lecturecast Live – UCL’s new live streaming feature

Jill Reese10 September 2021

Lecturecast Live is a new feature within Lecturecast, UCL’s video capturing service, and installed across 180 teaching spaces. It now facilitates live streaming of in-classroom sessions, which remote students can access via their Moodle courses in the same manner as Lecturecast recorded teaching events. This is one of the basic hybrid teaching options introduced for the 21/22 academic year.

The live streaming function should be selected when scheduling modular events for which remote students need synchronous video transmission of a teaching event. UCL is a campus-based institution with the primary mode of teaching and learning designed to be face to face, and thus live streaming is not enabled by default.

Scheduling Lecturecast Live 

Course administrators will first access Lecturecast Scheduler and complete the initial steps to search for a CMIS booked and confirmed event. Once the teaching event is located and its tickbox is selected, users can either select ‘Create Event’ if it has not yet been scheduled for capture or ‘Edit Event’ to modify an already scheduled capture event. Lecturecast Live is an option listed within ‘Additional Capture Info’ (see image).

The edit schedule pop up window is shown with an arrow pointing to the new tickbox to 'Enable live stream'.

The box next to ‘Enable live stream’ must be ticked and the schedule saved. Please see step 3.3 in the Create & Edit an Individual Schedule Lecturecast Scheduler guidance.  

Bulk scheduling with live streaming has also been enabled. Please note that it can only be used when creating new schedules.

Moodle course administrators and tutors will not need to take any additional steps in Moodle to link and enable live streams than they have for other Lecturecast events. 

 

Accessing Lecturecast Live 

Students will not need to take any additional steps in Moodle to access live streams than they have for other Lecturecast recordings. 

Both students and staff will see which sessions have been scheduled for live streaming, or are currently live streaming, by the addition of a ‘LIVE’ icon to the right of the event name within Echo360 (see image). Upcoming live streams are in grey while current live streams are in green. 

List of past, current and future teaching events listed in Echo360 interface. Live streaming scheduled events noted by 'Live' icon next to event title.

The video interface will open once the event is selected. If the live stream is upcoming then students and staff will see a countdown until the live event begins. If the event is currently live streaming then students and staff will need to click on the bottom left option ‘Show Live Stream’* (see image). We recommend reminding students of this step should they encounter difficulties starting the live stream. 

 

Video interface with the option 'show live stream' highlighted in red

*We are providing feedback to Echo360 on student and staff experience in accessing the live streaming function. Please contact lecturecast@ucl.ac.uk with any comments and suggestions. 

 

Benefits 

  • Fully integrated with Moodle so students will access live streaming teaching events in the same way that they currently access Lecturecast recordings. 
  • Live streaming is automatic once scheduled. 
  • Students have the same view as Lecturecast recordings, which include the in-room video feed of the lectern and a feed of the presentation materials shared using the in-room audio-visual system. Audio continues to be captured using in-room mics. 
  • If students have connectivity issues, they can reconnect to the live stream or view the recording via Moodle once the teaching event is completed and the video has been processed and made available. 
  • Teaching staff can access viewing analytics as they would with any Lecturecast recording. 
  • Available via web browser so no additional software required. 

Considerations 

  • Of the basic hybrid options for 2021/22, Lecturecast Live is the least interactive for remote students taking part in synchronous teaching and learning because it is a one-way video stream. 
  • There may be a ten second delay or more for those viewing the live stream.

Future roadmap 

  • The Lecturecast Scheduler tool will continue to be enhanced to further facilitate the scheduling of live streaming. 

 

Documentation 

Detailed guidance on using Lecturecast, including the scheduling of live streaming, can be found in the Lecturecast Resource Centre wiki.  

Resources for basic hybrid teaching options can be found via the following: 

Basic Hybrid Teaching in UCL’s Spaces for Term 1 of 2021-22  

Support for staff teaching on-campus and online students together  

UCL Education Planning FAQs and Town Halls 2021-22 

 

Case Studies 

Echo360 Webcasting & Livestreaming articles https://echo360.com/category/webcasting-live-streaming/  

Digital Education are keen to understand which live teaching tool you use and perhaps more importantly how you use it. Please contact lecturecast@ucl.ac.uk if you would be willing to share your experiences in a case study.