Using Video for a Flipped Classroom Part One: Why Your Instructors Should Flip Their Classrooms

Over the last decade, flipped classrooms have gained popularity in classrooms of all levels –– from grade schools to universities. In a flipped classroom, students watch videos of lectures and other supplementary content, and come to class prepared to discuss and apply what they learned. This method is particularly useful in universities. Flipped classrooms allow students to stay engaged and more actively learn during class time, get more quality face time with their instructors and learn at their own pace, all with proven results.

With more modern tools available to universities and accessible for students than ever, all college-level instructors should implement flipped classrooms to achieve better learning outcomes.

Why Switch to a Flipped Classroom?

Engaging and Interactive Lessons

Active participation holds student interest much more than sitting in silence and listening to an instructor’s lecture. When students are provided with background materials before coming to class, they’re armed with a baseline understanding of a topic and can better comprehend additional concepts and apply their learning during class time.

More Valuable Student-Instructor Interaction

Instead of just listening as they hear information for the first time, students can bring questions they thought of ahead of time. Instructors are present to answer their students’ prepared questions, ensure students are moving in the right direction and assess their understanding. This also allows students to make better connections with their instructors during class time, instead of additional office hour visits that may not fit in with their schedules.

Self-Paced Learning

Learning at one’s own pace is particularly important for students with visual and hearing impairments or other disabilities. A flipped classroom makes lecture and other content more accessible for learners with special needs, and provides the opportunity to clarify any content with instructors during class time.

Proven Results

Not only is a flipped classroom beneficial in theory, teachers have seen the positive results firsthand. In a Flipped Learning Network survey of 453 teachers, 67 percent reported higher test scores –– especially for students in advanced classes or students with special needs –– and 80 percent noted better student attitudes.

Teachers have noted positive student results in flipped classrooms. Learn more.
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Common Objections to Flipped Classrooms: Debunked

A Flipped Classroom Means More Work for the Instructor

Some believe that flipped classrooms are a burden for already busy instructors because they require more planning for class time in addition to preparing lectures. However, when instructors can use class time to interact with students and answer questions instead of just lecturing, their office hours won’t be as busy. And, they’ll be able to more effectively assess students during class periods, allowing them to use less of their own time grading.

According to the Flipped Learning network, in that same survey of teachers mentioned above, 99 percent of teachers who flipped their classes said they would do it again the next year. Clearly, instructors don’t view this method as a burden.

Some Students Won’t Watch Lectures Outside of Class, Others Won’t Attend Class

Another common objection to flipped classrooms is the belief that some students won’t actually watch lectures before coming to class or other videos necessary for background knowledge and will instead just rely on what’s discussed in the classroom. Others believe that students simply won’t attend class when the lecture and other videos are available online.

On the contrary, students will know that they need to watch the videos to understand what’s going on during classroom discussions, and instructors can assess students’ understanding during that class time. Also, instead of skipping class, students will actually look forward to more engaging classroom sessions where they can interact with one another and instructors for a more hands-on approach to content.

In the next blog in our two-part series on flipped classrooms, we’ll talk about how your university can implement the video tools necessary for flipping classrooms. In the meantime, contact Ensemble to request a free trial or schedule a demo of our platform.

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Want to learn more about using Ensemble Video in your flipped classroom?

We deliver the most dynamic, secure and affordable education video solution to colleges and universities across the country. Download our Stetson University case study to learn more about what Ensemble Video can do for your school.


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Using Ensemble’s Video Security Features at Your College

Whether you’re abiding by video licensing rules or protecting content for students and instructors, implementing video security features at your college is extremely important. That’s why we’ve made providing a wide range of video security features a priority.

While other providers offer a handful of video security features, Ensemble Video’s security capabilities are truly unique. Here’s how:

Flexibility of security structure

Through Ensemble, video security features at your college include a host of options from the highest, institution-wide level all the way to the most granular, video- or user-specific level. This flexibility of security structure differentiates Ensemble Video from other video platform providers.

You can select individual security settings for:

  • a single video

  • a course library

  • an entire organization (i.e. a business school, media studies department, etc.)

  • an entire college

Our flexibility of video management allows you to easily make individual changes to video security settings at every one of these levels.

Additionally, Ensemble Video offers the flexibility of selecting AND/OR options for each of these settings. Each security setting can be connected with “AND” and “OR” statements, adding further logic to video security features and your college. For example, you can require a viewer to have a login AND be on campus to access a video, or you could require a viewer to be on campus OR have a login to access that video.

Ensemble Video’s security capabilities are truly unique. Here's how.
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Flexibility of security features

The most important feature you need to secure your university video content is the ability to restrict video viewing to your college’s learning management system (LMS), which is typically done by limiting viewing to certain web addresses. This is a crucial feature for protecting licensed videos and ensuring your college stays compliant with licensing requirements.

In addition to only permitting video viewing through LMS via restricted web addresses, Ensemble offers an array of additional options to protect video security, including the ability to:

  • Restrict video viewing by IP address. This feature allows you to restrict video viewing to a specific lab, room or even individual computer. For example, a video may only be viewable from your library. This video security feature also allows you to remain compliant with video usage rules.

  • Restrict number of concurrent video viewers. If video licensing requirements also dictate that only one person can view a video at one time, Ensemble Video offers a feature that allows you to limit number of viewers. So, if video licensing allows only one viewer to watch Avatar, we can help.

  • Restrict videos by requiring a login form or password. With this feature, users log in with their campus username and password to view a video. This way, only individuals associated with your college can view a video. This feature also provides the added benefit of improved video tracking. With username login, an instructor can report on which students are watching videos and for how long.

  • Restrict videos to library, organization or entire institution. Ensemble Video enables administrators to enforce security settings to specific libraries, organizations or institutions. For example, if you would like an instructor’s media library content to only be viewable in Moodle, you can use the library-specific security restrictions. If you would would like your Business School’s media to be limited to on-campus viewing, you can use organization-specific security restrictions. And if you would like your entire institution’s media content to be restricted to your Identity Provider AND/OR an IP address range, you can use the institution-specific security restrictions area to enable this setting.


When you onboard with Ensemble Video, our team works directly with you to ensure the video security features at your college are set to exactly what you need. If there are any video security needs unique to your college, the Ensemble team will help you figure out how to achieve them.

Our team is constantly working to implement new features based on customer needs, and we strive to quickly make any improvements based on your feedback. With that in mind, the upcoming version of Ensemble Video will have improved statistics reporting for LMS and user viewing data, among other improvements.

To explore our video security features at your college, request a free trial or set up a demo with the Ensemble team.

comparison guide ecoverIn addition to end-to-end security features, what else should you look for in a campus-wide video platform?

Every college is different. That’s why it’s important to find the right video platform that fits your school’s most pressing needs. Download our comparison guide to learn what you should look for in a video platform and how Ensemble Video performs in comparison.


Beyond Lecture Capture: 3 Creative Uses for Video Technology in Higher Education

Many universities use a video platform to only record and share lecture videos, but access to a more comprehensive video platform provides additional opportunities for students and other university stakeholders like staff and students’ families to engage with video. Beyond capturing and sharing lecture videos, your university can pre-record and broadcast or live stream various materials and events including:

Supplemental course materials and video assignments

Encourage your instructors to take advantage of your university’s video platform by recording and posting additional seminars and review sessions online for students. These materials may not be necessarily required for the course, but they can help students grasp the course material and further prepare for exams and class discussions.

More and more, instructors are introducing video assignments as a way to challenge their students to think outside of the box of more traditional essays and exams. As modern communication increasingly becomes more visual and video-centric, video assignments help students strengthen those skills and explore new ways of showing they understand course content.

To facilitate successful video assignments, ensure your students have a simple way to submit them, like a Video Dropbox.

Guest speakers, sports and other special events

Students who are studying abroad, are unable to attend events for health reasons or are studying off campus should still have every opportunity to get the most out of their college experience. Guest lecturers, special speakers, assemblies, pep rallies and other special events are even more impactful when they’re accessible to all students, both on and off campus.

If your university does not already broadcast sporting events on television, you can live stream football, basketball, volleyball or any other sporting event that fans would like to view.

Use a video platform that live streams video through an HTML5 player to ensure the stream is compatible with a wide variety of devices and browsers. This will guarantee the largest possible number of viewers can access a stream at once.

Graduation ceremonies

The families and friends of students who attend out-of-state or international schools will still want to witness their loved one’s graduation ceremony, but may not have the ability to physically travel to see them. In this instance, live streaming your university’s graduation ceremonies allows anyone the opportunity to take part in the experience.

You can follow our 10 tips for live streaming graduation ceremonies including testing your stream ahead of time, ensuring great audio and video quality and monitoring the stream on many devices to guarantee a successful event.

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Are you having trouble deciding which university video platform is best fit for your needs?

Even when you know the value of a university video platform, deciding between available products and solutions can be intimidating. Download our comparison guide to learn what you should look for in a video platform and how Ensemble Video stacks up to the competition.


4 Ways a University Video Solution Empowers Students With Disabilities

There’s simply no excuse for universities not providing easily accessible technology to help students with disabilities learn and thrive academically. However, the U.S. Department of Education reports only 17 percent of disabled college students make use of classroom learning accommodations, perhaps because they feel discouraged from doing so. This doesn’t have to be the case. Tools for creating a more fair, equitable and fulfilling learning space for all are readily available, and video is one of them. Here are four ways a university video solution can help level the playing field and make classes, lectures and campus-wide events accessible for students with disabilities.

Here are 4 ways a university video solution empowers students with disabilities.
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Video Playback Empowers Students to Learn at Their Own Pace

For students with dyslexia, dysgraphia or other related learning disabilities, keeping up with an instructor’s pace can be overwhelming. Without access to technology that makes it easy to review course materials outside of class, these students can risk falling behind their peers. Lecture capture and playback allow students to re-watch lectures, pause to take notes or revisit specific topics and hone in on confusing concepts at a slower speed.

Instructors can also provide students with supplemental video resources for self-guided learning. With screen and audio capture, instructors can record screen movements as they verbally guide students through class PowerPoints, presentations and more. Recorded review sessions like these provide additional organization, structure and depth for students with attention disorders like ADHD, who may otherwise struggle to connect the dots between key concepts.

Closed Captioning and Audio Solutions Empower Hearing- and Visually-impaired Learners

All universities should implement a university video solution equipped with closed captioning. Closed captions allow students who are deaf or hearing-impaired to read along with instructor-led lectures, course videos or live streams.

Instructors can manually create closed captions or seek a university video solution with automatic closed captioning. They can then use a closed caption editor to increase the accuracy of automatic captions to ensure students are receiving the right information from the video.

Interactive transcript is another feature that enables hearing-impaired learners to further engage with video content. Users can search within a video and navigate to an exact moment by simply clicking on the word they’re seeking. Students who prefer to opt-out of video entirely can download a full-length transcript and read the lecture with a screen reader or on their own in their preferred language. This is a great way to increase the accessibility of your videos and broaden your audience reach.

To ensure content is accessible to blind or visually-impaired learners, instructors can use audio capture to record themselves reading over lecture slides, study guides, course rubrics and other course materials. Additionally, audio description––sometimes called video description, described video or visual description––can provide supplemental narration for blind and visually-impaired students of visual media like television and film, dance, opera and visual arts.

Seek a university video solution with superior-quality sound during video playback so visually-impaired learners can listen to and digest audio recordings and descriptions from anywhere, on any device.

Live Streaming Guarantees Real-Time Access to Lectures and Other School Events

Students who are injured, physically impaired, struggling with chronic illness or unable to attend lectures for any other physical or mental health-related reason shouldn’t have to fall behind in their courses just because they can’t be in the classroom.

A dynamic university video solution will offer live streaming functionality that records and broadcasts in real-time to any webpage, LMS, blog or portal for students to watch remotely. Instructors and faculty can automatically live stream lectures through classroom-installed video hardware, and remote students can follow along without having to catch up on old lectures after the fact or ask other students for class notes.

Students can also view live streams of other campus-wide events, like school pep rallies, guest speakers, sporting events, concerts and more in order to stay connected to campus life even when they can’t be physically present.

Ready to see how Ensemble’s university video solution can empower your students?

Ensemble Video is dedicated to providing the technology resources necessary to make learning accessible for all students. From innovative lecture capture, to the most comprehensive closed-captioning options available, we’re here to help your students excel. Contact us or schedule a demo today.

Are You At Risk? Why It’s Important to Protect University Media Content

Information security is the number one priority for higher education information technology leaders and has been for the last three years. But even though data protection is a major concern for IT, many universities don’t have risk management strategies or plans in place to stop a data breach in its tracks.

Ninety-one percent of deans predict their schools will offer more online programs within the next decade. As this happens, institutional leaders must understand cybersecurity threats and the consequences that can result if they fail to secure online course materials. Here, we’ll talk about what’s at risk when you don’t protect university media content and steps you can take to secure videos and other valuable intellectual property.

Your academic institution is at risk if you don't protect university media content. Here's why.
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Unwanted Third Parties Can Steal and Sell Your University’s Intellectual Property

If your university’s media content is not restricted via permission-based security model, it is accessible to anyone, including those with unsavory intentions. Public access allows anyone to view, download and potentially sell or distribute your university’s lectures, videos and other valuable course materials for their own personal gain.

To protect university media content, choose a video platform that restricts viewing by IP address or web address or grants exclusive viewing access through your university’s LMS, Active Directory or LDAP. Then, students and faculty can easily log in to the video platform with their already-existing campus username and password. And if you’d like to even further protect your university’s intellectual property from theft, consider hosting your video platform on your own internal server.

Your University Needs to Uphold Licensing Agreements

Many videos, movies and audio content included in course curriculum can only be distributed under stringent licensing agreements. Video use restrictions vary depending on licensing rights, but can include limited concurrent viewers, modification and distribution restrictions, designated screening locations and more. If universities break these licensing agreements, the legal and financial consequences can be steep.

A simple permission-based security model may not be enough to protect university media content and fully honor licensing agreements. Your university should seek a video platform that offers a robust set of viewing restriction options like the ability to limit the number of viewers streaming a video and set designated screening locations.

Your University Wants to Maintain Privacy for Faculty and Students

In some courses, instructors, students and other faculty will share sensitive information that should not be accessible to people outside their course, department or university. To more effectively protect university media content that should remain private, seek a video platform that offers permission-based security models ranging from macro to micro levels.

With Ensemble Video, faculty can restrict viewing of the most sensitive video content to just one person, only students enrolled in a specific course, or faculty and students within a specific organization or university department. These system-wide security settings effectively maintain privacy at even the most granular level.

Don’t Wait to Secure Your University’s Media Content

comparison guide ecoverDownload our At-a-Glance Comparison Guide to learn what questions you should ask when evaluating your institution’s security needs, and see how Ensemble Video compares to the competition in regards to security options, features and functionality.

And if you have any questions about Ensemble Video’s robust security features, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to set up a demo or trial so you can take Ensemble Video for a test run.


What to Prioritize in Your Campus-wide Video Solution

Dozens of companies claim to provide the best campus-wide video solution, and every one offers countless features. Through all of this clutter, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what your university should prioritize as you search for a video platform.

In addition to baseline considerations like centralized video management, lecture capture and a custom-branded, private “campus YouTube,” what are the most important things to think about before making your final video platform decision?

Here are the seven features you should prioritize as you search for the most effective campus-wide video solution for your university.

Here are 7 features you should prioritize when searching for a campus-wide video solution.
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1. System-wide Security Settings

Universities need to protect intellectual property, licensed content and other course materials from unauthorized users. To secure private content, your campus-wide video solution should come equipped with end-to-end restrictions for videos and playlists. This ensures only authorized faculty and students can view and manage your content.

With Ensemble Video, students can log in through their university’s LMS, LDAP or Active Directory to gain secure and exclusive access to class lectures and live streams. If you want to further customize security settings across departments, courses and users, Ensemble Video offers a full menu of security options, including password protection, IP address or IP range restriction, concurrent viewer limits and more to meet your unique needs.

2. User-friendly Interface

Your instructors and students have varying levels of technical knowledge, so your campus-wide video solution must be easy to use for each video content manager and viewer. Every function–– from lecture capture to video management and video publishing––should be intuitive and straightforward.

One of Ensemble Video’s most user-friendly features is our Ensemble Video Dropbox tool for easily harvesting student assignments. With just a few clicks, instructors can quickly set up a Video Dropbox, create a unique URL and share that link for students to seamlessly upload video and audio files for grading.

3. Flexible Media Management

Many universities––especially large universities––need to efficiently manage media assets across several internal departments, individual libraries and users. If this is a pain point for your university, large or small, your campus-wide video solution should provide flexible institution-wide media management.

Ensemble Video offers a scalable and flexible management framework that allows universities to customize a hierarchy of user roles across departments and media libraries. So, whether your university needs a centralized, decentralized or hybrid management model, your faculty can easily share video and audio content to authorized users and groups.

4. Automated Media Workflows

The right campus-wide video solution should provide automated, end-to-end video workflows that support the diverse video capture, management and publishing needs of your faculty and students.

Ensemble Video offers several media workflow features that make video content delivery across devices easy for users of all skill levels, including:

  • Custom automated workflows to accelerate large-scale file ingest and encoding of content from video recorders, live streams or media files from your old video solution;

  • Streamlined lecture capture to remove stress from recording and streaming instructors’ lectures by scheduling and recording lectures on demand; and

  • Automatic video conversion to standardize video format for multi-device viewing based on the viewer’s available bandwidth.

5. Robust Integration Capabilities

To ensure your new campus-wide video solution doesn’t disrupt systems already in place, it should seamlessly integrate with your university’s existing hardware, software and LMS.

Ensemble Video’s ability to integrate with the tools you already use will save your university money and time on duplicate services, investments and research, making your transition to a new video platform hassle-free.

6. Compatibility Across Devices

Today’s students expect online coursework and class lectures to be readily available anytime, anywhere, so your campus-wide video solution must be compatible with any device, desktop or mobile.

Ensemble Video’s dynamic encoding tools and Adaptive Bitrate streaming guarantee a smooth playback experience, no matter the connection speed or viewing device. Whether students are in their dorm room, at the library or on the go, they’ll have access to course video content.

7. Affordability

The right campus-wide video solution will not only meet your functional requirements, but fall within your university’s budget. To ensure you’re getting everything you need without overspending, avoid solutions with unexpected, pricey add-ons or essential features sold separately. Instead, seek a solution that offers a wide-range of services at a single cost.

Ensemble includes all the tools and features your university needs to upload, manage and share video content at the most competitive price point on the market.

Want to learn more about Ensemble Video’s campus-wide video solution?

campus-wide video solution

We deliver the most dynamic, secure and affordable education video solution to colleges and universities across the country. Download our Stetson University case study to learn more about what Ensemble Video can do for your school.

campus-wide video solution

Give Your Instructors a Break: How to Streamline Lecture Capture

As universities integrate digital media into instruction to stay competitive, faculty is often expected to quickly master and use video technology for lectures, class discussions and more.

For some, this additional responsibility can be overwhelming and stressful.

If you want to balance your university’s need to provide cutting-edge technology with your desire to ease the transition for instructors, you should aim to provide video tools that make the capture and publishing of lectures as easy and automated as possible.

With Ensemble Video, your university will be able to give instructors a break from the common headaches caused by many of today’s technology resources. Want to see just how simple it can be to streamline lecture capture? All it takes are these three steps.

How simple is it to streamline lecture capture? You can do it in 3 simple steps.
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Step 1: Install Recording Devices

With our lecture capture solution Ensemble Studio, your university won’t have to set up complex video hardware or invest in expensive equipment. Our team will work directly with your IT staff to install the Matrox Monarch LCS or the Matrox Monarch HD lecture capture hardware in lecture halls and classrooms.

The Matrox Monarch devices are small, affordable and easy-to-use recording appliances that can be installed in just about any campus location. Both the LCS and HD models can record lectures, livestream events and immediately publish videos for on-demand viewing at the conclusion of each recording session.

In addition, the Matrox Monarch LCS is a unique video recorder equipped with two video inputs, which allows instructors to pair video of themselves with presentation slides or other lecture materials for an enhanced side-by-side or picture-in-picture viewing experience. That’s a major improvement over the typical setup, in which video, audio and a computer source are combined into a single stream.

Step 2: Set up Publishing Destinations, Schedule Lectures and Start Capturing

Once you’ve installed the Matrox Monarch LCS or the Matrox Monarch HD, your university will be ready to streamline lecture capture with Ensemble Studio.

Before capturing their first lecture, each instructor should choose the destination(s) they want their recordings to publish to, such as a course playlist, LMS playlist or website. Then, instructors can choose to capture lectures on an automated or an ad hoc basis. Those who choose to automate lecture capture can schedule the date, time, location, recurrence and publishing destination of their lecture recordings through your institution’s IT team or on their own with administrative access. Those who prefer to record on an ad hoc basis simply press record and stop within their Ensemble Studio account, and their video is then securely saved in their library.

At the end of each recording (whether it is scheduled or captured ad hoc), lectures and complete livestreams automatically publish to the instructor’s desired destinations for on-demand viewing. Immediately after the class is over, students can begin watching the lecture and reviewing the material on their own schedule, from any device.

Step 3: Customize the Viewing Experience (Optional)

Following publication, instructors may want to supplement their lecture recordings with other materials to enhance student understanding. Instructors can customize the viewing experience and add additional depth to their lectures by layering clickable annotations over their videos or adding relevant attachments and links. Additionally, if an instructor thinks their lecture is too long or repetitive, he or she can also trim video content to the desired length for optimal viewing time and relevancy.

Ensemble Video also offers various captioning options for instructors to make lecture videos accessible to all students and further streamline lecture capture. Instructors can use the automatic captions feature, or use the free closed captioning editor to easily create captions. Once captions are in place, students can use the “search inside video” functionality to search captions and instantly jump to points of interest inside lecture videos.

Are you ready to streamline lecture capture at your university?

Schedule a demo or request a trial with Ensemble Video today to learn more about how Ensemble could benefit your school.

Finding the right video platform to handle your university’s unique and dynamic needs can be tough.

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Are you starting to think about looking for a new video platform, but unsure whether it’s really worth making a switch? We’ve developed a brief, 10-question quiz to help you figure out if it’s time to make a change.

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Five Reasons Why a University Video Platform Will Make Your Instructors’ Jobs Easier

Five Reasons Why a University Video Platform Will Make Your Instructors’ Jobs Easier

There is constant buzz about the increasingly important role video is playing in student learning. Universities of all shapes and sizes are providing opportunities for students to watch lectures outside of class and learn at their own pace.

But students aren’t the only ones who benefit from an increased emphasis on video. Many professors and instructors report that they’re more effective when they use video to supplement lectures and classroom instruction. In order to truly realize the benefits of video, however, instructors need access to a university video platform that streamlines video capture, publishing, management and engagement. Here are five ways a university video platform will make your instructors’ jobs easier.

Here are five ways a university video platform will make your instructors’ jobs easier.
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1. With a university video platform, instructors can automatically record and publish video content

With a platform like Ensemble Video, universities can use scheduled lecture capture to ensure every lecture is recorded and published automatically. Instructors don’t have to worry about making sure their technology is functioning correctly or remembering to press “record” before they begin a lecture. They can simply focus on teaching, and the video platform will handle the rest. With Ensemble Video, video files are also automatically encoded to a standardized output for multi-device viewing.

If your institution uses a learning management system (LMS) to manage coursework, your university video platform should be able to integrate with it seamlessly and publish content directly to each course’s LMS page. If you’re not using a LMS, automatic web publishing tools make it easy for instructors to publish videos or video playlists on virtually any website.

Taking advantage of automation means instructors can spend more time teaching and engaging with students, and less time managing video content.

2. With a university video platform, instructors can track and monitor student engagement

Students at universities that use a video platform can re-watch lectures and class videos whenever they want, on any device. As they do, instructors get access to valuable viewer analytics.

Instructors can track content popularity, see how students interact with media, learn which sections of their videos are most popular and more. To further enhance student engagement, instructors can create video annotations that direct students to more information on core topics covered in class lectures or to supplement materials on frequently re-watched video segments. If students want to revisit a more granular topic, they can also “search inside” the video for any word or phrase used by the instructor and jump to that moment in a single click.

Access to viewer analytics allows instructors to see what topics students are struggling with and what course material is the most popular. With this information, instructors can design lesson plans that effectively cater to student needs.

3. With a university video platform, instructors can be more creative

Video has a wide range of educational applications that go beyond lecture recordings. Many instructors are finding that integrating video into their class curriculum makes lectures more dynamic and keeps students more engaged.

Some instructors are creating blended learning environments where traditional lectures are supplemented with digital media and computer-mediated activities. Others are experimenting with the flipped-classroom approach, through which students learn new material by watching lectures outside of class and then reviewing material in the classroom through instructor-led discussion, problem-solving activities and more.

The creative possibilities are endless, but no matter which route they choose to take, a university video platform gives instructors the tools they need to use video to foster better student outcomes.

4. With a university video platform, instructors can more easily assign, receive and grade student work

The most robust university video platforms are equipped with a video and audio dropbox feature. Through this feature, students can easily submit video and other media content for grading. Upon submission, their media assignments are automatically placed into a private media library for instructors to view, edit and then publish for public viewing if they wish.

This easy process gives instructors the freedom to assign creative projects without worrying about the technical side of managing student submissions. In return, students can creatively showcase what they’ve learned, and instructors can even publish the best student projects for class-wide viewing using their university’s video platform.

5. With a university video platform, instructors can bridge the gap between academic and practical application

With a university video platform, teachers can add value to their lessons by showing students how course topics connect to the real world and testing their aptitude with different skills. If, for example, your university has a job training program that tests students in realistic simulations or scenarios, features like automatic lecture capture make it easy for instructors to record students in action, watch their performance afterward and provide meaningful feedback. This approach is used commonly in sales training, medical school OSCEs (objective structured clinical examinations) and more.

No matter the field ––business, science, medicine or the arts––a university video platform helps instructors train students to excel post-graduation.

Is your university ready to take advantage of a video platform like Ensemble Video?

A university video platform makes it easy for instructors to manage media, create an engaging learning experience and improve student outcomes. Ready to learn more? Take a look at our higher education case studies or set up a demo to see the power of Ensemble Video for yourself.


Why Youtube Isn’t Enough For Your University

Why Youtube Isn't EnoughFrom classroom lectures to special events like graduation, your university needs customization options to meet your wide range of video needs. And YouTube just isn’t enough. Read Ensemble Video’s resource to learn about the 15 limitations you’ll get stuck with when you rely on YouTube.

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How to Host Lecture Videos at Your University

As universities begin to integrate digital media like video lectures more deeply into class curriculum, it’s becoming more important than ever for instructional technologists like you to carefully select the right video platform for your school.

The first thing you should think about when making this decision is how your university will host its video content and technology. Do you want to self-host your video platform, or host it on the cloud? Both are popular models, but understanding the key differences between them will allow you to make an informed decision. Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of each option as you consider how to host lecture videos and other video content.

Here's what you need to know about cloud-hosted vs. self-hosted video platforms.
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Cloud-hosted video platform

Quick setup process

Through a cloud-hosted deployment, or software as a service (SaaS), your university can quickly leverage the full functionality of an education video platform without installing the technology onto your local network and in your data center. The setup process for a cloud-hosted video platform like Ensemble Video’s takes as little as one to three business days, so this is a good choice for universities that want to have their video platform up and running quickly.

Zero in-house maintenance

Unlike a self-hosted video platform, a cloud-hosted video platform requires no in-house maintenance in order to stay up and running. Because the cloud server is fully managed by Ensemble Video, your team won’t have to manage servers or installations, and all software and license updates will be completely automatic. All you need to manage your cloud-hosted video platform is a personal computer or mobile device.

Smaller higher education institutions generally do not have the desire or IT team necessary to update, backup and maintain a self-hosted platform, so for them, the cloud is a convenient solution. But cloud-based deployments aren’t just for small schools. There are many larger universities that decide they’d rather host their video platform in the cloud to minimize the workload for their IT teams. We have cloud-hosted customers with many users in various locations who manage tens-of-thousands of videos for multiple internal departments.

Streamlined costs

Cloud-hosted video platforms require less upfront financial commitment. Instead of investing the resources necessary to build your own internal server, you can simply pay a monthly fee for your cloud service, get it up and running almost instantly and cancel whenever you’d like. When you’re considering how to host lecture videos, cost will undoubtedly be a concern, so keep this in mind.

Self-hosted video platform

Full customization capabilities

Self-hosted video platforms are a good fit for universities looking for full customization capabilities through complete control of their internal servers and additional technology resources. Self-hosted video platforms support self-organized administrative management, flexible media management and an unlimited number of institutions, organizations, media libraries and users operating within the platform. With this option, administrators can manage media assets inside their data center and seamlessly upload video content to their video platform. If your institution places a high premium on control and flexibility and has emphasized these concerns already in discussions about how to host lecture videos, self-hosting may be the better solution for you.

Increased reliability and technical efficiency

Because all data is stored and managed locally through a self-hosted video platform, no video or media content will be lost as a result of an internet issue. Internet outages are inevitable, but with a self-hosted solution, you minimize the risk of losing access to lecture videos if an outage occurs.

At larger universities, it’s likely that a high number of users will be uploading and viewing videos simultaneously. Depending on your university’s bandwidth, network saturation problems could arise with a cloud-hosted solution. Self-hosted solutions are better equipped to handle large amounts of internal viewership, and are more reliable and efficient when serving a high volume of users on campus.

Increased content and system security

With a self-hosted video platform, it’s possible to enforce system-wide security settings. Users and administrators enjoy end-to-end security features, where they can control user, playlist and password viewing restrictions, video access, privacy updates and more.

Because all media content is hosted on your internal server as opposed to a third party server, self-hosted platforms are also less susceptible to hacks by external users.

Implementing the right deployment model for your university

Now that you better understand the difference between cloud-hosted and self-hosted deployment options, the next step is to choose and implement the right model for your institution.

If neither option feels exactly right for your university, don’t worry. In addition to our cloud-hosted and self-hosted solutions, Ensemble Video offers hybrid variations of the two deployment options, and we’d be happy to work with you to design a deployment option that is the perfect fit for your needs.

To get a better feel for which video deployment option might be best for your students, faculty and university media department, take a look at the Ensemble Video trial options or set up a demo today. Our team will be with you every step of the way to answer your questions as you continue to explore the question of how to host lecture videos at your university.

10 Tips for Live Streaming Graduation

Can you believe it? Yes, it is May and it is graduation season. We know that many faculty members are preparing for graduation ceremonies and likely planning their summer activities. We also know many of the students are looking forward to starting their careers post-graduation. Unfortunately, not everyone is coasting at this time of year. The audio video department and/or the media services team at your school is likely hard at work getting ready for the biggest event of the year — graduation. We all know that many family members and friends will be in attendance, but not everyone can make it so a live stream will be expected. How do you easily live stream your graduation to your audience? Here are ten tips to help you not only successfully stream your graduation, but also create a great experience for your viewers.

  1. Create the Live Stream in Ensemble Video (or your VCMS). Make sure you create and assign an “On Air” and “Off Air” thumbnail to visually inform your viewers when they can access the live stream on their viewing device.
  2. Leverage the Right Live Streaming Encoder:  Many media services departments are using live streaming encoders like WireCast, Open Broadcaster or the Matrox Monarch LCS/HD to stream their content through Ensemble Video (or your VCSM).
  3. Test Live Streams Ahead of Time. If you can’t test your stream ahead of time, don’t have high expectations on graduation day. Make sure you can test from the streaming location so you can address network, video or audio issues before the day of your event.
  4. Hard-wire when Possible. We love Wi-Fi, but not that much. Make sure you find a way to use a hard-wired Internet connection to ensure you have the best/most reliable connection possible so you have the best results possible.
  5. Produce & Stream Great Quality Audio. You can’t have a great live stream without great audio. There are three key components to producing good audio: use a quality microphone, place the microphone in the appropriate location, and optimize the recording environment. Want more info? Please review this blog article if you like; there are some great tips for producing great quality audio.
  6. Pre-make Graphics for Wirecast, Open Broadcaster or Encoding Software. If you plan to use graphics, overlays, lower thirds or other name graphics that will be threaded into your live stream production, please do this in advance and do a test run ensuring the graphics are optimized for the stream.
  7. Optimize Your Stream. Make sure you optimize your stream for mobile and desktop viewers. As you know graduation ceremonies are typically on the weekend and many of your viewers will be on the go. Expect a large portion of your viewers to view on smart phones and tablets, while some will be on old-fashioned computers.
  8. Promote Your Graduation Live Stream! We truly appreciate a technically sound production, and promoting your event is just as important as the graduation broadcast itself. A beautiful show doesn’t mean anything without viewers. Invite family members, educators, friends, and the rest of the community to watch the graduation live stream!
  9. Schedule Email and social Blasts in Advance: Make your life easier on the day of the graduation live stream. Please schedule all your email, social and online communications in advance so you can focus on the technical aspects of the live broadcast. If you can’t schedule all your communications, make sure you delegate this responsibility to another staff member.
  10. Monitor Your Graduation Live Stream on Many Devices. To do this, just tap into your live stream on computers, smart phones and Tablets using a variety of operating systems to ensure your stream is working properly on the devices that your viewers will be using. Typically, we recommend testing on Mac and Windows desktop browsers, Android phones/tablets and Apple phones/tablets.

Finally, consider this a bonus tip, remember to use Ensemble Video’s Live Capture or Record Live Stream feature! Yes, your live streams can be  auto-recorded in Ensemble Video if you use our Live Capture option. You can also use our traditional live stream option and start on-demand recordings of your graduation live stream. With that said, we always recommend saving an extra copy to a drive on your camera or devices. If you use Ensemble Video to record your event while you are live streaming you’ll have a viewable VOD file ready for your audience immediately after the event. That means NO EDITING for you (or another staff member) and you can share your event shortly after it ends!

If you can take the time to work through the ten tips to help you successfully stream your graduation, you will take advantage of an amazing opportunity to engage alumni, students and your community members! Good luck to the students, faculty members and especially the AV or media professional streaming the event!