Wald, Mike, Wills, Gary, Millard, David, Gilbert, Lester, Khoja, Shakeel, Kajaba, Jiri, Li, Yunjia and Singh, Priyanaka
ENHANCING LEARNING USING SYNCHRONISED MULTIMEDIA ANNOTATION.
In, EUNIS 2009: "IT: Key of the European Space for Knowledge", Santiago de Compostela, Spain,
23 - 26 Jun 2009.
Audio and Video has become easier to record and store but while users can easily bookmark, search, link to, or tag the WHOLE of a recording available on the web (e.g. YouTube) they cannot easily find, or associate their notes or resources with, PART of that recording. This project therefore addresses the important user need of making multimedia web resources easier to access, search, manage, and exploit for learners, teachers and other users through developing Synote, a unique web based application that supports the collaborative creation of synchronised bookmarks called Synmarks, containing notes, tags and links. Synote has been developed using JAVA and the Google Web Toolkit and is able to play audio or video recordings stored by users on their chosen web accessible space. Since the Synote server only stores the text annotations, millions of hours of recordings can be catered for. The performance, efficiency and effectiveness of Synote was evaluated by using it with students and teachers for a number of undergraduate courses and this has shown that they like using Synote and want more recordings and lectures to be available in this way. Synote enables learners to: search text transcripts for specific topics and then replay recordings from that point; read captions to support learning style preference, deafness, or a second language; learn more easily from the colloquial style of transcribed text; insert a bookmark to be able to continue later from where they left off; link to sections of recordings from other resources or share these sections with others; tag and highlight sections of recordings/transcripts to revisit later for clarification; annotate recordings with notes and URLs of related resources to support revision; annotate recordings of group meetings to provide evidence for assessment. Synote enables teachers to: index their recordings using syllabus topic tags; provide synchronized slides and text captions to accompany podcasts; identify which topics need further clarification from learners’ notes and tags; provide feedback on learner-created recordings of presentations; tag recordings with URLs of related resources; link to and re-use sections of existing multimedia without having to edit the recording. A typical example scenario that demonstrates the use of Synote is: "Mike records a narrated PowerPoint of his lecture and as the students are leaving his class he uploads this into Synote which automatically creates a clickable index from the slide titles and a transcript synchronised with the recording of his voice and the slides. He quickly adds some questions students should think about for next week as well as the URLs of some other resources (including a section of a recording he made the previous year) and synchronises these with the relevant parts of lecture. By the time Sally, one of Mike’s students, sits down at a computer all Mike’s material is available on the web allowing her to search the slides and text transcript and notes for specific topics and then replay the recording from that point, automatically highlighting currently spoken words. She annotates the recording at specific points with notes made from the text book to aid exam revision and also tags and highlights a section of the transcript she doesn't understand fully for Mike to clarify. Before going to lunch and logging off she prints out some information she wants to discuss with her group and inserts a synchronised bookmark into the recording to be able to continue later from where she left off."
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