Thursday, May 31, 2012

Camtasia automatic captioning?

The issue of creating captions is something that comes up very frequently and we would like to have all videos captioned but it will take a huge amount of time. Now Camtasia offers the possibility of automatic captioning bu using the Speech-to-text feature, which automatically creates captions from voice narration or audio on the timeline. It has to be trained, and can only be used in the PC, but i think it is a good solution, if the instructor uses his / her own PC to create the mini lectures with Camtasia.
Here a tutorial on how to do it:

Peer reviews

Creating surveys for peer review seems to be a task that many faculty find themselves immersed into at one point of the year, especially when team assignments are an important part of every students' grade. UCLA decided to make it easier for all, and they have created a site that allows users to create peer reviews... Prof. Sachdev shared with me the site, and it think it deserves a closer look... some instructors may find it really useful.

Customizing embedded YouTube videos with EmbedPlus

EmbedPlus is a service that promises to enhance the way that YouTube videos display when they are embedded on a page. For users who intend to embed videos in WordPress, there is a WordPress-specific plugin that can be installed onto the blog's dashboard. For all other uses, the application on the EmbedPlus website itself walks users through the process of customizing the embedded content.

I tested this out with the following video from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a YouTube-based vlog adaptation of Pride and Prejudice:

Since our eLearning Team blog is hosted by Blogspot, I used the web application of EmbedPlus. First, it asked me to enter in the video's URL. Then, I had to check whether I intended to post the code on a WordPress blog (if "yes", the page gives instructions for installing the WordPress plugin).

The next step involves selecting customizable options for the embedded video: 
  • video size
  • start/stop time -- which would be handy if you want viewers to skip ahead to a specific timestamp rather that viewing the entire video
  • scene markers -- perhaps more useful for longer videos, or important points within a lecture
  • real-time reactions -- which displays pop-up comments on the video from YouTube, Digg, Twitter, and Reddit
  • annotations -- this adds annotated notes at specific points within the video
Screenshot of the EmbedPlus Options window
Of any of these functions, the scene markers and annotations might be the most useful to embedded video lectures in online courses. I doubt the usefulness of the real-time reactions option, but left it checked in the above video for curiosity's sake.

At this time I still have not tested the WordPress plugin version of this service, and depending on how the video displays on this blog, it may or may not be worth further investigation for use in eLearning. Still, the customizable display options seem to be potentially useful. I'm looking forward to testing its functionality with real lecture recordings.

EmbedPlus online service

Explanatory blog post by 404 Tech Support