Digital Video Management Wiki

ACODE Project Wiki for Institutitonal Digital Video Management

Guidelines for media management in higher education

Guidelines for developing a Media Management Strategy [edit]

A media management strategy and its attendant platforms need to support a policy framework that addresses institutional responsibilities towards student learning, student well-being and personal development, including over-arching accessibility policy objectives.

Video is increasingly becoming an essential element at all levels of Education. Four billion Youtube videos are viewed each day. Online media is the underlying technology supporting the highly successful Khan Academy and xMOOC providers such as Coursera, Udacity and EdX. Our students are “prosumers” of video (ie produce and consume). A sophisticated capability for the management, publishing and distribution of online media is essential to the sustainable delivery of online and blended courses demanded by current and future students.

Perhaps your university already has a significant presence on Youtube, iTunes U or even through MOOCs and is looking for ways to capitalise on the demonstrated uptake of its openly available media via those channels. Online video and other media is being used with increasing frequency and with increasing sophistication globally across all education sectors. Online video is an important medium for recruiting students as well as for Teaching and Learning. It’s also growing in importance for general communication with communities, governments and corporations. Student created media, whether for education, for club activities or personal development also needs a platform that supports the various institutional relationships and contexts in which the students operate.

Higher education institutions need coherent media management strategies governing the use of video across Education (curricular and co-curricular), Marketing, Human Resource development and events. The strategies need to be supported by media platforms that are easy to use, and have storage, management, publishing and distribution capabilities to meet current and future needs.

Objectives of a Media Management Strategy

A strategic plan declares one or more objectives and sets out how those objective are going to be achieved. The following are examples of high level media management objectives:

  • Support student and staff creation, distribution and use of media across all university supported activities,
  • Support the use of university created and distributed media by our partner and affiliated organisations and schools,
  • Support institution-wide, self-organized, cooperative sharing of media assets,
  • Correctly handle protected and unprotected content with respect to copyright and performance permissions,
  • Largely automate the workflow for university-created video distributed to major video publication platforms.


Media Management Capability and Purpose-specific Workflows

Having established the objectives, there's usually more than one way to achieve them. In most cases, decisions need to be made choosing between centralised and devolved strategies. An assessment of the scope of the application is also necessary. The system capabilities required to cover the needs of Teaching are very similar or mostly identical to those required by the Marketing area. But the workflows, the scale of activity and publishing destinations for Teaching are markedly different from those attributable to the Marketing function. So if there is to be one system to meet the needs of both Teaching and Marketing (for example), the range of workflows requiring support also needs to be made explicit. It is the combination of system capability and supported workflow that together determine fitness for purpose, and therefore determine a strategy's chances for success.

It is important to identify the required technical capabilities of the system, the workflows to be supported, the other systems with which data will be shared, and the publishing destinations. The strategy document needs to contain sufficient detail to enable a Business Analyst and/or an implementation team to confidently design and run a trial and know the right questions to ask of intended users in the trial. The strategy should not specify technical solutions.

Example elements of a digital media strategy that elaborate capability and workflow:
  1. Create a central video Hub to serve all the publishing destinations and output formats. (A capability is specified. What are the related workflows and do they need to be supported in any particular way to enable this capability? Some alternative "workflows" follow.)
    1. All authenticated users are authorised to publish personally submitted media assets to any University-branded platform, including the University's LMS, Youtube channel and the media hub. (It is likely that a little more control than this is desirable. Some alternatives follow)
    2. The publication of media assets is determined by role-based authorisation. Users authenticate into roles (eg student) based on their identity within the University. Publication options differ according to the role allocated to a user in the media management system. (This workflow probably requires fine-grained role-based permissions to be supported by the media management system and requires the detailed definition of many roles and their corresponding authorisations, which also need to be maintained over time)
    3. The publication of media assets is the responsibility of suitably trained nominees of the Deans, Heads of Schools, Executive Directors and Directors of Divisions and Business Units. (This workflow also requires role-based permissions but far fewer and easier to manage than in the previous example)
    4. Upload and publication of media assets within centrally supported platforms (eg LMS) that are integrated with the media management system follow the workflow provided by the system integration and is limited to the publication options provided by the system integration. (This may work well for LMS that has its own role-based permissions, but wouldn't cover the need to publish to the University's public-facing web site, unless for example, this is managed via a CMS which also has an integration with the media management system)
  2. Allow staff and students to search and view media in the Hub. (capability with implied workflow)
    1. The system supports centrally managed metadata to assist effective searching by all users (an essential capability, but who creates and maintains the metadata?)
    2. Multiple organisational units (eg Library, Marketing) are able to independently manage metadata for all institutionally owned media assets (capability)
    3. The system supports user-defined, user-specific tagging of media assets and the saving of personal bookmarks and collections (capability)
    4. Users are able to save and re-use searches.
    5. Users are able to set email alerts for notification of changes to the search results of their saved searches.
  3. Media may be submitted from any networked device. (capability with implied workflow)
  4. Analytics and metrics (track inputs and outputs, generate reports, rate effectiveness)Performance, Scalability and Stability (meet audience expectations, audience spikes, storage)Reach anyone, anywhere (including students with disabilities)
  5. Integrate into existing systems (list centrally supported educational technologies)
  6. Support security and Governance
  7. Ease of Use for the end-user, Youtube-like video portal, video embedding capability into online workflow.
  8. Video authoring tools (clip and trim, titling, captions from transcript, bookmarking and indexing, search and discussion forums)
  9. Feed video into third party platforms (iTunes, Youtube, other?)

A Media Platform

Video content types:

  • Lecture recordings
  • Curriculum materials owned by the University
  • Curriculum materials licensed by the University
  • Open Educational Resources used by the University
  • Student assignments and submissions
  • Events (Live and recorded)
  • Student recruitment, promotional material
  • Staff development & training
  • Staff biographies

Publishing destinations or outputs:

  • LMS (Learning Management System)
  • PLS (Personal Learning System)
  • Library searchable catalogues
  • iTunes-U
  • Public web sites
  • Social media sites
  • Student Clubs

Means of upload or access:

  • Automated lecture recording
  • Desktop capture
  • Batch upload
  • File upload
  • Permanent link
  • Webcam
  • Mobile device
  • Live streaming

Media platform implementation options. The following options exist:

  • System hosted locally:
This is the traditional on-premises system that offers the highest levels of control, security and self-determination. The disadvantages of this option are higher resourcing costs, and barriers to collaborations across institutions.
  • SaaS (Software as a Service) hosted by a service provider, “in the Cloud”:
This option is a lower cost option than the first, but has higher business continuity risks because of operational dependency on the service provider. A kind of hybrid model where a local mirror is maintained serves to alleviate the risk of loss of data in the event of catastrophic loss of service (eg from business liquidation or natural disaster). The cost of large data volumes transmitted between the university and the service provider is a concern with this option, but this too can be solved if the Service is located on the AARNet network.
  • An AARNet based service jointly developed for all Australian universities (or the IRU group):
This may be considered a hypothetical option, for which there is no pre-existing example. Nonetheless, there is a prima facie case for a managed service provider to be established to provide a national higher education media management platform with shared costs and scope to promote open educational resources and inter-institutional collaborations. Organisations such as ACODE, CAUDIT and CAUL are likely to support such an initiative. With close attention to governance rules, open access can co-exist with institutional privacy.

Other hybrid solutions taking elements from two or more of the above-mentioned options.

  • Elements of a Media Management Strategy