Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Update on Work Package 2

Update on Work Package 2

Last week, our team met at the Learning Technologies Conference 2008 in London, making use of one of the breaks from a hectic schedule to catch-up on what we’ve done so far and how we envisaged the project to pan out in the future.

The aim of our work package to recap is:

To implement professional development strategies for staff in Human Resources, Information Systems and Services (ISAS), and Library Services, for the integration of institutional and non-institutional virtual spaces.

There were various scenarios in which we could have addresses the aim however we thought that we’d tackle something that was a common problem that would involve all our departments. Therefore we settled upon the task of digitising and repurposing of multimedia training/learning materials whose content was still valid but medium had somehow become, or was becoming obsolete. After digitisation, the multimedia would be converted to various formats that are common presently, but also perhaps valid for any future devices. We all agreed that the technology industry was headed towards mobile devices as being one of the primary way of delivering content to.

So far we have investigated:

• The types of mediums used for training/learning materials in our support departments:
o CD-Rom (Flash, Shockwave etc)
o Digital Video (mp4 , mov, wmv etc)

• We identified DVD (video/ROM) and CD-ROM share similar characteristics; and VHS and Digital Video share similar characteristics and so the process of conversion of Digital Video and VHS should follow a similar route and be prepared and uploaded on a streaming server. Where as a DVD (video/ROM) and CD-ROM should be uploaded to an ‘application networking’ server such as IRIS.

• For trial purposes a VHS training material was digitised and uploaded to the streaming server, and a CD-ROM on the Library’s Citrix server.

• Digital video was optimised to stream rather than downloaded to the device, as ISAS had seen a substantial growth with streaming video rather then downloaded to a device.

Some of the outputs that we have produced:
• “How-to” manual for staff to convert their old multimedia titles to newer mediums.
• A report in exploring the limitations of copyright policies for converting training/learning multimedia.

Future Work planned:

• Test converted multimedia on a range of devices
• Update “How-to” manual with recommendations for optimal devices
• Write to creators and vendors to negotiate for relaxing of some copyright policies by introducing a new pricing model (Pay per view) for older titles.
• Presentation of “How-to” manual at e-learning symposium

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