Tag Archives: lecture capture

UCISA bursary helps award winner advocate for lecture capture

Ed Stout
Support Services Manager
Leeds Beckett University


EUNIS 2017 Conference, Münster, Germany

Ed Stout was funded to attend this event as a 2017 UCISA bursary winner

Having been very fortunate to be selected for a UCISA bursary in 2017, I was delighted to have had the opportunity to attend EUNIS17 in Münster, Germany. The event is a very well attended European conference and I quickly noted that there were only a select few delegates representing institutions from the UK. This offered me a valuable opportunity to network with peers from across Europe and obtain some positive insights into Higher Education in other European institutions. A key discussion point that particularly sparked my professional interest surrounded a session entitled “Panopto: Using Video to Enhance Informal, Formal and Blended Learning Approaches” presented by Denis Staskewitsch highlighting the use of video in academic delivery. Whilst currently, we at Leeds Beckett University offer an ‘opt in’ service for lecture capture using Panopto video platform, this currently does not include video capture. The session was primarily attended by peers from Scandinavian HE institutions where their strategy appears to fully support the use of video for lecture capture and delivery. The benefits were thoroughly discussed and I took a lot from the level of delegate engagement during this session.

Since returning to the UK, I have been keen to promote the benefits of video capture realised in other institutions by seeking conversations and/or meetings with key influencers within my home institution. I hope to positively influence change for our students and encourage the benefits that were so enthusiastically highlighted by peer institutions. Whilst these conversations have been very positive, there is still more to be done before video lecture capture becomes a standard within Leeds Beckett University. I am however, encouraged that select technical and academic colleagues are now more positive about the potential of video enhanced lecture capture/delivery and the fact that I am helping to shape discussion around future university strategy is highly satisfying.

Following my attendance at EUNIS17, I returned to Leeds Beckett University to report lessons learnt to colleagues and team members through our IT Services Weekly Management meetings and more localised team meetings along with many related, ad hoc discussions. In preparation and application for the UCISA bursary, I had committed to ensuring that I share the knowledge and key elements learnt with both colleagues and the wider UCISA community. I therefore decided that one of the best ways to communicate and indeed remember the diverse range of sessions was to actively blog about my experiences during the conference. My blog posts can also be found at http://www.edstout.co.uk/blog/. I found that blogging was not only good for sharing my thoughts and opinions of the conference topics but also really helped to cement my understanding of the discussion points. My blog was circulated via a departmental report to colleagues across IT Services at Leeds Beckett University and this furthered interest from some colleagues who read it and wished to understand more about specific topics. Additionally, within our department we formally review and report back to a Development Panel on our experiences on any training, conference or event that we attend, to ensure that we maximise any future benefit for both departmental personnel and financial resource.  I had encouraged a member of my team to also apply for a UCISA bursary for the SCHOMS conference which he went on to thoroughly enjoy and I continue to encourage colleagues to apply for the new bursary round.

Whilst in Münster at the conference, I found it really easy and enjoyable to network with other IT professionals from a diverse range of European institutions. The event was set up in such a way that there were plenty of opportunity to meet and discuss common interests with peers both within formal and informal surroundings. Most of the delegates were very forthcoming in conversations and the beauty of HE sector sharing was prominent in almost all interactions. I found it highly enjoyable to discuss professional similarities and differences with others and came away from my four day experience with an enhanced enthusiasm for potential technical solutions to common challenges within our sector. I made a few contacts from my attendance at EUNIS17 and it was interesting to learn how our home institutions are confronting comparable challenges.

As one of my next steps after the conference, I have been in contact with another bursary winner, Ben Sleeman, from the University of Greenwich. Ben has blogged about his visit to the AETM conference in Australia and about visits to a number of Melbourne universities, including Deakin University. At Deakin he interviewed, using Panopto, the Senior Audio Visual Engineer and Tech Lead in the eSolution team about a range of the university’s AV solutions, which may help areas of focus at Leeds Beckett.

In addition to my advocacy of further developing our Panopto lecture capture service at Leeds Beckett, I also took away the importance of identifying key strategies to enhance our digital transformation in order to stay competitive within the sector. I heard great evidence of how digital assessments are helping to improve both student and academic satisfaction particularly in Scandinavian universities both through the “Inspera: Digital Assessment in Norway – A Case Study from the University of Bergen” presentation by Sofie Emmertsen and associated conversations. I therefore intend to keep abreast of opportunities within this area that would enhance our technical delivery to the student experience at Leeds Beckett University.

Interested in applying for a UCISA bursary? Then visit UCISA Bursary Scheme 2018.

Benefits of receiving a UCISA bursary






Salman Usman
Academic E-learning Developer
Kingston University London



I attended the EUNIS Congress 2015, and a pre-conference workshop on electronic management of assessment (EMA), from 9-12 June 2015. Both the events were hosted by Abertay University, Dundee. My attendance at the aforementioned events was made possible by the UCISA bursary scheme. This report details the benefits that receiving a UCISA bursary had to my professional development, to my institution, and potentially to the HE IT community.

The conference and associated workshop have contributed greatly to my professional development. They have provided me with valuable insights into current and emerging trends in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), as well as approaches to research in TEL. With the fast-changing world of technology, and my workload over the last few months, it has been hard for me to keep on top of the latest developments in TEL. In view of this, the conference provided me the time and opportunity to catch up. With a recent move to online coursework submission and feedback at my institution, and an increased emphasis on providing students with formative assessment opportunities through technology, the EMA workshop was particularly useful for comparing, evaluating, and informing my institutions’ approaches and practice.

The highlight of the event was the fact that it was pan-European, with delegates from over 20 EU countries. Therefore, I was provided a rare glimpse into the European TEL landscape. I also received some useful tips on taking notes electronically, and on travelling to conferences. Additionally, although I have been supporting academics in using Twitter in their teaching practice, it was the first time that I had used Twitter myself at a conference. I have realised that it is a great way to not only keep up with other concurrent sessions and the audience response, but also to remain in touch with fellow delegates – the Twitter handle is the new business card. I met some great people, and feel that I am better placed to identify partners for funding bids and future collaboration on TEL projects.

I wrote four blogs for the UICSA website detailing my account of and reflections on the conference and workshop. The process of writing blogs was very useful, as it prompted me to reflect on what I have learnt and gained. The blogs were disseminated by UCISA through Twitter and the UCISA JISC mailing list, and also through the EUNIS website. I hope that the blog posts were found useful by those who read them. The blogs were also shared with members of my faculty’s education committee. I also shared some of the e-learning and learning design tools that I came across at the conference and workshop with my faculty through a monthly newsletter on TEL, and with colleagues in a central university department related to academic development.

The conference hosted a wide range of suppliers and service providers of e-learning services. These included learning management systems, lecture capture, assessment and feedback tools, and plagiarism detection tools. My institution was carrying out a review of its learning technology provision at the time, and, being a member of the learning technology review group, the conference and exhibition provided timely insights in current technologies and trends.

 Interested in applying for a UCISA bursary? Then visit UCISA Bursary Scheme 2018.

In-class apps, lecture capture, Twitter tools and recruitment aids




Salman Usman
Academic E-learning Developer
Kingston University London

EUNIS 2015: Learning technologies and tools

This is the second in a series of blog posts on the EUNIS Congress 2015 and a pre-conference workshop on electronic management of assessment and assessment analytics. The first blog post covered the theme of assessment and feedback. In this post I will be reporting on the various learning technologies and tools I came across at the conference.

App for facilitating teacher-student communication in lectures
RWTH Aachen University in Germany has developed a mobile app for its students for in-class communication and interaction. The app allows students to anonymously send messages (usually comprising questions) to the lecturer that the lecturer can read and respond to accordingly during or after the lecture. Students can also send photo messages which can be useful in sending images of handwritten formulas and drawings that are difficult to type or draw on smartphones. The lecturer can choose to display or hide these messages from the class. A moderation feature allows student helpers/teaching assistants to moderate messages and assign priority before passing these on to the lecturer. In addition, the app also allows lecturers to conduct in-class polls: lecturers display multiple choice questions to students through lecture slides or read them out verbally and students use the app to respond with the desired answer option.

There appears to be no formal evaluation carried out for the app but nevertheless it seems to be a potentially useful tool to facilitate interaction between lecturers and students particularly in Iarge lectures. Although Twitter backchannels are a popular mode of communication, the anonymity of messages and the option to moderate them are advantages the app offers. In addition, the app combines class room polling and messaging thereby increasing its utility.

Poster on the in-class communication app developed at RWTH Aachen university

Poster on the in-class communication app developed at RWTH Aachen university

Panopto lecture capture
Panopto is a lecture capture system that has been around for some time and is being used at a number of UK HEIs. However I only got the chance to see the system at the conference and I must admit, I was impressed by the capabilities it claims to offer. The following is a list of some of Panopto’s features and potential benefits:

  • The search facility enables users to search audio (through speech recognition technology) and any word that appears in the video (either through optical character recognition (OCR) or by indexing PowerPoint slides)
  • Videos can be transcribed and hand writing on whiteboards can be converted to text through OCR. This helps in making these resources accessible
  • Students and staff can leave comments underneath a video à la YouTube which can promote discussions, debates and exchange of ideas
  • Analytics provides information such as who has watched which video and for how long. This can help lecturers track student engagement and help/support those students who are less engaged
  • Students can bookmark videos and add notes to the video which are saved with the video to be accessed again
  • Students can record their own videos through a mobile app and share with lecturers and colleagues. This feature can be used in a variety of ways such as recording evidence on field trips, sharing recorded reflections on topics with lecturer/cohort etc.
  • Features such as live web casting and screen casting allow the tool to be used for more than just lecture capture (e.g. developing resources for flipped lessons, streaming online lectures for work-based learners etc.).

Although audio and video search add to the tool’s usability, I wonder how accurate the audio recognition and optical character recognition are? If you have used Panopto before then you may like to share your experience using the “Leave a Reply” form below this post.

Twitter tools
If you are using Twitter for learning and teaching, then the following tools can extend the number of ways the platform can be used with students:

  1. Tweetwally lets you aggregate tweets around a topic or hashtag and display as a “tweet wall” to students in class. You can also save your tweet wall and publish it on the internet or embed within a VLE.
  2. Buffer allows you to schedule your tweets (and posts to Facebook and LinkedIn) so that these are sent at the time and date you specify.
  3. GroupTweet enables multiple contributors to tweet through a single Twitter account without needing to share the account password. This allows trusted contributors to tweet from a single account and can facilitate group activity.

Recruiting participants for research made easier
Recruiting participants for research, and in the desired numbers, can be one of the most challenging stages of a research project. Call for Participants is a website that aims to address this issue by providing a platform for researchers to advertise their research and recruit participants. The website is free and easy to use. Once a project has been advertised, the website sends the information to anyone who matches the researcher’s criteria and also advertises it on its Facebook and Twitter pages. The website is a result of the Jisc Summer of Student Innovation programme where students are invited to work with Jisc to create technology solutions to improve learning and teaching, research and student life. I think that this is a great example of a student-led initiative that aims to find solutions to real world challenges.

Conference programme and abstracts are available here. The EUNIS Congress 2016 will be held at Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece from 6-10 June 2016.