Powerpoint at a distance.
June 9, 2005 7:19 AM   Subscribe

We have separate campuses and lectures from one are often transmitted from one campus to another so students don't have to travel. Problem: many lecturers use powerpoint projections, filming the lecturer at one end doesn't always show up what's happening on screen, what's being pointed at, etc. [MI]

Can anyone suggest solutions for dealing with this. We have 2 screens at this end so could show potentially show different things on screen. Potential solutions : 1) Filming both lecturer and screen separately. 2) Having stuff set-up so that presentation is being shown simultaneously on screens at both sites (ie so mouseclick moves moves to next slide on both screens). What's likely to be easier/cheaper? How should we go about whatever you recommend? Do you have better solutions? (Yes, I'm not very technical, and neither are our IT support)
posted by biffa to Technology (5 answers total)
We usually have the screen filmed, but if the lecturer is talking for awhile or making a point with his or her hands, the person taping cuts to the lecturer with a second camera pointed at him/her. You can always pause the video to view the powerpoint slide, as long as you don't miss any of them.
posted by gramcracker at 8:06 AM on June 9, 2005

I took a class last semester where we did this sort of thing. Generally, they'd show the powerpoint except when seeing the teacher was important.

Eventually our tech guys figured out how to do picture-in-picture, so they'd put the shot of our professor in the corner of the screen, on top of the powerpoint slide. I think the prof was the one most impressed by this, but it worked pretty well.
posted by katieinshoes at 8:14 AM on June 9, 2005

We used an excellent application called Apreso to record lectures in my recent class. It works extremely well, and is reasonably priced.

The way it works is this: the lecturer installs the program on their computer/recorder and when they want to start the presentation, they hit the record button on a mini-toolbar in power point. That is the extent of training that the lecturer needs. From than on, apreso will:
1) Capture the slides shown in real time
2) Annotate them with time marks
3) Record audio

At the end of the day, the output is a "front" HTML file and a directory filled with audio and image resources. All you have to do is open the HTML file in IE, and it will use the media player and fancy DHTML to play back the presentation in real time. You can freely skip slides, rewind/fast forward, go to slide by number, thumbnail or approximate time, etc. I can go on and on, but suffice it to say that this app has been the most value technology has ever added to mine (and my classmates) learning.

At least in our situation, we found that having an audio of the lecture that is correlated in real-time to slides shown was the optimal combination for learning - recording a video of the lecturer himself was not very useful. If that is needed, I think Apreso will support recording a simultaneous video to the disk as well.

Apreso has a demo of the app on their site, but for some reason they show a movie of it instead of the real thing. If you'd like to see a real-life example of apreso output from my class, email me (meta[underscore]alex[at] hotmail[dot]com) and I will give you access to my class web site with presentations from our class (extra valuable if you ever wanted to learn 1st year med school anatomy)

Ah wait, here is an example of actual app output on their web site. Oh well, I think their example presentation sucks, if you want to see one of mine the offer still stands :)
posted by blindcarboncopy at 9:48 AM on June 9, 2005

Penn State uses a system that does essentially what you want for their distance ed courses in the Acoustics graduate studies program. You might try looking up their website or calling/emailing them to ask what they are using. (I can point you to the exact people, if it's not obvious on their webpage.)
posted by achmorrison at 12:16 PM on June 9, 2005

Thanks all, I'll look up the stuff you recommend and pass it on to our tech guys. Cheers.
posted by biffa at 2:39 AM on June 10, 2005

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