Lecture Capture Resources


Lecture Capture Systems and Support at U-M (2009)

U-M relies on a variety of services and systems for recording classes and events. Many U-M colleges and schools have installed automated capture systems in selected classrooms or can provide mobile devices to faculty who teach in locations without automated recording systems. Following are descriptions of lecture capture systems and support services available in particular schools or colleges and a link to examples of how lecture capture tools are used by U-M faculty.


Lecture Capture Technology Available in Schools/Colleges

Ross School of Business

The Ross School of Business has MediaSite lecture capture and live web streaming built into each of the 20 classrooms in the new building. Faculty can also check out 2 portable MediaSite recorders for use in rooms that are not traditionally used for teaching, for example, in large event spaces to capture guest speakers, panels, etc.

For more information, visit http://www.bus.umich.edu/MyiMpact/DiscoverIT/TechFeatures/LectureCapture.aspx

School of Dentistry

Dentistry uses Apple’s Podcast Producer to automate their student-operated lecture capture system. Five lecture halls are equipped with computers that enable students to record lectures in two forms: audio-only or PowerPoint or Keynote slides synced with the audio. The use of Apple's Podcast Producer makes any Apple computer in the school running OSX 10.5 or later a potential “content capture” device, given the correct login credentials with the Podcast Capture client. This enables faculty to create a presentation from their offices.

The entire capture, encoding, and distribution process is highly automated, and it is a student- initiated and student-run operation. At the beginning of a lecture, a student starts the recording process and then attends the class. At the end of the lecture, the student submits the recording. Within 15 minutes of the lecture’s end, the audio podcast posts to the school’s authenticated iTunes U site, and within two hours the PowerPoint/Keynote synced with the audio file is posted to iTunes U. Students can view these podcasts on Windows and Mac computers, iPods, or other portable media devices.

Dentistry uses an open format for distributing podcasts, so all dental and dental hygiene students and faculty have access to all podcasts. As of March 1, 2009, students had recorded 2,900 lectures.

Two publications describe the development of the project as well as its impact on learning:

For more information about lecture capture and support at the School of Dentistry, contact Daniel Bruell (U-M unique name: danlbee).

School of Education, Ford School of Public Policy, School of Natural Resources and Environment

As yet, these schools do not have technology or support services dedicated to capturing lectures. However, many of these schools loan equipment for self-service, including video cameras and digital audio recorders. Staff support is available, but limited. Faculty at the Ford School, for example, may request a technician to record audio for Ford School sponsored events and classes. Also, the campus lecture capture service CARMA (http://carma.umich.edu) and the broadcast-quality video recording services of Michigan Productions (http://www.michiganproductions.org) can often be arranged for special events. Both operate on a fee-for-service basis.

Contact the following staff to learn more about services and equipment to support instructional and research activities at these schools:
Ford School of Public Policy: Bill Kelly (U-M group name: fspp-facilities)
School of Education: Ron Miller (U-M unique name: ronalan)
School of Natural Resources and Environment: Phil Ray (U-M unique name: philray).

College of Engineering

The College of Engineering has installed an automated lecture capture system in select college classrooms, shared facilities, and special purpose rooms. Sixteen classrooms and two recording studios are equipped with lecture capture recorders. Faculty who teach in one of these locations can use the automated system to record lectures and other class activities. Information about and instructions for the automated lecture capture system and support services can be found at http://www.engin.umich.edu/inst-tech/leccap.

For more information, contact the CAEN Hotline at caen@umich.edu

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA)

Lecture capture is available in select rooms via Blue Review (http://bluereview.lsa.umich.edu/). Blue Review captures the audio from the instructor's microphone and any information that is projected. The instructor then receives an email when the recording is ready for download; instructors may also choose to have the recordings go directly to CTools. Following is a list of rooms where this service is available:

  • Angell Hall Auditorium A
  • Angell Hall Auditorium B
  • Angell Hall Auditorium C
  • Angell Hall Auditorium D
  • Chemistry Bldg. Auditorium 1200
  • Chemistry Bldg. Auditorium 1800
  • Dennison 170
  • Dennison 182
  • East Hall Auditorium 1324
  • Kraus 2140 (Natural Sciences Auditorium)
  • Lorch Hall 140 (Askwith Auditorium)
  • Modern Languages Building Aud 3 (Room 1200)
  • Modern Languages Building Aud 4 (Room 1400)
  • Undergraduate Sciences Building 1230
  • Undergraduate Sciences Building 1250
  • Undergraduate Sciences Building 2260
  • Undergraduate Sciences Building 4153

Alternately, audio or video recording equipment may be borrowed from ISS to record one's own lectures using screen capture software such as Profcast, Camtasia, iShowU, or Jing.

Medical School

The Medical School’s student-operated lecture capture system records approximately 900 fifty-minute lectures per year for the first- and second-year classes. All lectures are recorded, unless a faculty member requests otherwise (a rare occurrence, usually invoked when a patient confidentiality issue is encountered). A student records each lecture by operating a video camera within the Medical School lecture hall.

Access to the videos is password protected, and the recorded lectures are made available in four formats: streaming video (RealMedia), downloadable video (mp4), audio (mp3), and audiobook. All of the formats work on both the Mac and Windows computer systems, and the downloadable formats are playable on various handheld devices (e.g., iPods and mp3 players). Information about lecture capture and support services at the Medical School can be found at http://www.umms.med.umich.edu/msis or by contacting Chris Chapman (U-M unique name: chapmanc).

School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Although the School of Music, Theatre & Dance doesn’t have automated lecture capture systems, portable audio and video recording equipment is available for faculty, staff, and students to reserve for use in recording classes, rehearsals, and performances. In addition, some rehearsal and performance venues have systems installed for making audio and video recordings of rehearsals and performances. Large ensemble performances are recorded by School staff and made available for faculty and students via streaming over the web. Other class listening materials can also be made available online in this way. For more information, contact Greg Laman (U-M unique name: glaman).

College of Pharmacy

The College of Pharmacy uses Camtasia Relay to automate the process of capturing and distributing lectures. A web interface allows for convenient management of accounts, encoding preferences, and destinations for the various files. Faculty can log in, select a recording profile, and control the recording playback. Once a recording has been made and processed, it can be sent to multiple locations, including iTunesU, CTools, Sitemaker, and IFS.

Recordings can be done offline, and the Camtasia Relay client will automatically transfer the file the next time the computer is connected to the network. Temporary files are automatically removed from the presenter’s computer after recordings have been successfully processed by the server. There are automatic recovery features in case of system crashes or other mishaps, and users can log in to the website to check the status of their recording.

The administrative utility in Camtasia Relay keeps a detailed history of metadata associated with a recording. The College of Pharmacy is currently hosting the service in partnership with the School of Public Health and the Blue Stream Project. Contact John Johnston (U-M unique name: johnpj) for more information.

School of Public Health (SPH)

SPH faculty have the following options for selecting lecture capture technology:
Mediasite.  Mediasite is a physical device with proprietary software. SPH has a portable unit that can be used in any room with high-speed connectivity to capture a presenter’s audio, video, and slides. The unit is capable of broadcasting the session in real time to remote participants. The recordings are saved to the Mediasite server, from which they can be streamed on demand. The unit produces excellent quality recordings, but requires an operator from the SPH Informatics and Computing Services (http://www.sph.umich.edu/computing) to be present during the recording.

Camtasia Studio.  Camtasia Studio software can be installed on any PC computer. It is used primarily to pre-record lectures for on-demand playback in distance education courses. Faculty can use Camtasia to record lectures in a designated studio or in their own offices. Camtasia Studio captures whatever appears on the presenter's computer screen, plus the audio and (optionally) video of the presenter. This tool is particularly good at recording software demonstrations and live editing or annotating due to its capability to capture screen content at a high frame rate. The recordings can be saved in multiple formats for streaming or other forms of distribution. The tool allows users to pause, resume, or re-record and also has robust editing functions, such as adding title slides, captions, transitions, zoom-ins, and reducing noise.

Camtasia Relay.  Camtasia Relay requires installation of a simple, easy-to-use "recorder" on the presenter's computer. It currently does not record video, but captures audio and the computer screen at a high resolution and high frame rate. Because of its simplicity, only minimal user training is needed. The presenter can use a predefined setting ("profile"), press Start and Stop buttons, and submit the recording. The recordings are processed on the server side according to the profile chosen. Camtasia Relay is capable of producing multiple output formats, as well as saving to a variety of locations.

Saba Centra.  Saba Centra is a webconferencing system used at the School of Public Health to support distance learning programs. It has a built-in recording function, allowing automatic recording of live sessions on a local machine. The recordings will be automatically saved in a proprietary format on the Saba Centra server and can be viewed on demand later.  The tool also offers the option of saving a recording as an "executable" file, which can be downloaded and played back on a user's computer without being connected to the server.

For more information, visit http://www.sph.umich.edu/computing or contact Vlad Wielbut (U-M unique name: wlodek)

Examples of Screen or Lecture Recording Software Programs
Many direct screen recording software programs are available for faculty to use for recording lectures and events. Below are several examples:

Fee-Based Resources Available Campus-Wide

Campus Automated Rich Media Archiving (CARMA)

CARMA is a digital, lecture archiving service at the University of Michigan. Its founders have recorded 1700 talks in eight different countries and have developed automated recording and archiving technology that enables rapid, inexpensive, and high-quality capture of lectures. CARMA integrates video, audio, presentation slides, and whiteboard or blackboard notes into one high-resolution video file in addition to compressed web versions (RealPlayer, QuickTime, and Flash). The service enables the recording and posting of events on the web, including presentations, workshops, seminars, or classes. For more information, visit http://carma.umich.edu

Michigan Productions

Michigan Productions has experience in educational, documentary, and motivational program production and offers a full range of professional video production services to the University community. Services include single- or multi-camera set-ups for any live event in any location (on or off-campus). Michigan Productions staff can assemble and process the recording into a finished program and deliver video or audio in any format you need. For more information visit http://www.michiganproductions.umich.edu

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