Lectures Go Live and On Demand
Imagine attending your class lectures wherever and whenever you like. At French universities such as the University of Lorraine and Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC), automated video technology is making this possible via live streaming and on-demand playback.
French universities are testing out new technologies that make it easy to film, stream and watch class content on demand. In April, the University of Lorraine (UL) signed an agreement to equip its 138 seminar halls with the CitizenCam video system.
In September, Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) installed the Omnilive multi-camera system in five of its lecture halls. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) opted for the same service two years ago. For UL digital director Rafael Cabrera, "With the emergence of MOOCs and advances in the technical protocols for image compression, video has become an easy way to create content."
Class without the Crowds
Thanks to these new technologies, students can go back over confusing passages from lectures and catch up on any classes they've missed. According to UPMC professor Philippe d'Arco, the tools "recreate the classroom atmosphere in a way that produces more lively results than just filming a professor reading from a teleprompter in front of a green screen."
For Cabrera, this could even be a way to address overcrowded freshman year lecture halls. He notes, "The more professors are forced to teach under poor conditions, the more interest there is in flipped learning solutions that allow students to use videos to prepare the material before class."
More for Less
At UL, each seminar hall will be equipped with two video cameras: one to film the professor and one to film student interactions. The system also captures content from the professor's computer such as slides and smartboard displays.
Omnilive CEO Cyril Zajac also notes certain financial advantages, explaining, "Before, you needed a lot of money to film using several cameras and qualified technicians to handle post-production. That limited the number of classes you could put online. Omnilive's services address post-production costs and upload time issues."
For Philippe d'Arco, now that the UPMC system is in place, all that remains is to spread the use of these new technologies by getting more professors on board and online.