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Capturing and Disseminating What Happens in the Classroom

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Educause Quarterly Volume 27, Number 3, ISSN 1528-5324


Universities increasingly employ information technology to distribute elements of their educational programs beyond campus borders and to find new uses for the intellectual capital they produce. Some faculty, with varying support and success, are moving course materials--and sometimes courses themselves--to the Internet to reach wider audiences. Institutions may record selected presentations--formal lectures by prominent visitors and other special events--to digitize and serve over the Web. For many outside the university, however, the quintessential campus experience is the interaction of a good teacher and bright, eager students in a classroom. Many would welcome the chance to observe this interaction, even if they could not participate directly. Although instructors commonly put reading lists or papers on the Web for wider audiences, such postings do not convey this important, but ephemeral, classroom experience. Unfortunately, capturing this experience for distribution can be frustrating and costly. The Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning (CTTL) at Rice University has been working to capture classes unobtrusively for distribution beyond the campus. CTTL created classrooms in which it can control cameras, lights, and sound remotely, leaving the normal interaction between teacher and students undisturbed. It developed tools to create digital videos of lectures and discussions with any accompanying computer presentations and demonstrations, videos, music, slides, or other materials. It built a large multimedia server to store the captured classes and to serve them on demand to a wide community of users within and beyond the Rice campus. In a previous article from this journal, the authors described their network architecture to improve streaming video to an off-campus community. In this article, the authors discuss the classrooms and related control facility, as well as the multimedia repository. They also discuss the ways in which their system supports academic efforts at Rice. (Contains 1 figure, 1 table and 3 endnotes.


Daugherty, H., Cohn, J. & Gorry, G.A. (2004). Capturing and Disseminating What Happens in the Classroom. Educause Quarterly, 27(3), 60-62. Retrieved June 6, 2023 from .

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