Author Archives: actteam

ACTT Proposal for the Adoption of Panopto

Why

The ACTT recommended a fall 2016 Panopto Pilot, following the spring 2016 evaluation of streaming media and video asset management services. 10 Undergraduate and 8 MIIS courses used Panopto for video streaming. Students that also used Canvas in their courses could access video from Panopto, however they had to log in again. Some faculty at MIIS also used the webcasting feature successfully, including interactive discussion and note-taking features. Sharing videos via Canvas site embedding and through a link has resulted in a good user experience, however it currently requires separate logins to Canvas and Panopto platforms.

Panopto has indicated that it would add the following features to the video streaming service by December 17th:

  • Quizzing — Instructors can add multiple choice, multi-select, and true/false questions into any video using the Panopto editor. Viewers can take quizzes in the interactive player, and instructors can access real-time reports of all responses.
  • Captions — Users can access Panopto’s machine-generated speech-to-text captions and modify them in the video editor. In addition, users can customize the color, size, and position of captions during playback.
  • Primary Video Switching — For multi-camera recordings, video creators can switch between primary video feeds using the Panopto editor.
  • Enhanced Editing — Adding the ability to upload custom thumbnails, and to upload and manage slides within the video timeline.

A shortcode plugin for WordPress has been added to sites.middlebury.edu/sites.miis.edu. Currently it is not possible to add a Panopto video to Drupal, but other schools have solutions for embedding in Drupal that they are willing to share.

Feedback on Panopto has been generally good, and it has been useful for the classes that did use it. Departments are interested in the service that Panopto provides.

 

Recommendation Summary

The Academic Cyberinfrastructure Transformation Team recommends adding Panopto to the ITS fiscal year 2018 budget.

  • Middlebury contracts a Panopto enterprise license for 3-5 years
  • Middlebury encourages Panopto to provide better integration with Canvas
  • This will enable the decommissioning of Middmedia, Muskrat, and other video streaming services in a separate project. This should be considered at the end of FY19.

 

 

Implementation Timeline

Most of this work has been accomplished during the Fall 2016 pilot of Panopto. There is some work being done by Panopto technical staff to provide better integration with Canvas, they have let us know it is scheduled to be completed by December 17, 2016.

What Who When
Budget Proposal January 2017
Budget Decision May 2017
Panopto Pilot continues Spring 2017
Test LTI – Pilot Spring 2017
Implement Panopto including SSO and Canvas LTI Media Services and Academic Technology June-July 2017
Train Middlebury and MIIS HelpDesk & Media Services staff June-July 2017

Support

Outline of responsibilities

What Who
Panopto Support available to users 4 authorized contacts may receive support via: phone, email

General users may use chat and web tickets

Pedagogy/Instructional Design-related support Primary: Academic Tech, DLC, DL

Backup Support: Media Services

Administrative-use support (core functions) Primary: Media Services*
Other academic support (creativity & innovation project, student internship w/ or w/out credit, faculty research, symposium) Primary: Media Services

Backup Support: Academic Tech, DLC, DL

Training Media Services, Academic Tech, DLC, DL

 

* Conversations are occurring to identify course-related and administrative department support for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

 

ACTT Proposal for the Adoption of Zoom

Why

We investigated alternative web conferencing services for remote work, collaboration, and online learning. Our Adobe service provider will be discontinuing their education pricing for Adobe Connect licenses, doubling our costs.

A number of services were identified; some of them were also being investigated through the IT Unified Communications project. We first inventoried the features of each service and then identified the top three services to compare with Adobe Connect. 15 people from ACTT Core group and extended ACTT at Middlebury and Monterey groups compared the user experiences of the three services with Adobe Connect and each other.

Zoom was selected because it had the best user experience of the services identified after having tested it in all three categories named above: remote work, collaboration, and online learning. It had a good reputation amongst users and was being successfully implemented in a variety of mission-critical contexts: an online class, in an Envisioning Middlebury community initiated conversation attended by 30 people on the topic of distance collaboration and remote work, in a global virtual nonproliferation education forum coordinated from Monterey, and in a variety of other use cases. The enterprise license cost was also comparatively lower.

Integrated access to reliable, scalable, and flexible web conferencing for all Middlebury students, faculty and staff will be realized by adopting Zoom at the enterprise level (all Middlebury). The potential impact of this investment in shared resources include improved communications, outreach, and teaching innovation.

 

Recommendation Summary

The Academic Cyberinfrastructure Transformation Team recommends adding Zoom to the ITS fiscal year 2018 budget, replacing prior services.

  • Middlebury contracts a Zoom enterprise license for one year
  • Middlebury contracts with CirQ LTI to allow Zoom-based web conferencing for online and hybrid courses to be available through Canvas

 

Cost

Proposed FY 18 Zoom cost: $41,000 annually

Host licenses for all Middlebury users, 470 100 capacity meeting rooms and ten 500 capacity meeting rooms. In addition to offering a web conferencing solution, Zoom has the potential to phase out and replace existing video conferencing services, a significant savings for Middlebury over the next few years.

Comparative cost of Adobe Connect:

Actual FY 17 Adobe Connect Cost: $18,000

Proposed FY 18 Adobe Connect Cost: $36,000

  • (discontinuing educational discount)
  • 80 host licenses and 2 webinar rooms accommodating 500 users

 

Implementation Timeline

Most of this work has been accomplished during the Fall 2016 pilot of Zoom. Also, the pilot license will be extended during Spring 2017 to transition users from Adobe Connect to Zoom.

What Who When
Budget Proposal January 2017
Budget Decision May 2017
Extended Zoom Pilot, Transition people away from Adobe Connect Spring 2017
Test LTI – Pilot Spring 2017
Implement Zoom including SSO and Canvas LTI Media Services, CSNS and Academic Technology June-July 2017
Decommission Adobe Connect January-May 2017
Train Middlebury and Monterey Institute  HelpDesk staff June-July 2017

Support

Outline of responsibilities

What Who
Zoom Support available to users Tier 1 Vendor support via: phone, email, chat
Course-related support Primary: Media Services*

Backup Support: Academic Tech, DLC, DL

Administrative-use support (core functions) Primary: Media Services*
Other academic support (creativity & innovation project, student internship w/ or w/out credit, faculty research, symposium) Primary: Media Services

Backup Support: Academic Tech, DLC, DL

Training Media Services
Academic Consultation Academic Tech, DLC, DL

 

* Conversations are occurring to identify course-related and administrative department support for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

Notes for In-progress Project Presentation for Web Conferencing

Bob C.

Where we are at with the project.

act.middcreate.net/site/projects/web- confercing – service

Adobe Connect has been in Production for a few years. Adobe’s change in pricing structure, created impetus to review options. ITS was looking into options for unified communication with telephone which may have had some options.

Oct 11th, update narrowed selection to Zoom and Blue Jeans. Zoom actively being tested.

Mack P.

Adobe price change caused review. What do we currently get from Adobe connect? Could be tied into replacement of legacy phone system, which had been previously reviewed and recommended, but not funded. Skype for Business was piloted, but determined not to be phone system for Middlebury. ITS Media Services was brought into looking into telephone systems which have some video conf features(presence, chat…).

If new phone system is funded it would have Jabber for video and chat.

Decided to pursue a separate product for academic web conf.

Zoom and Blue Jeans have similar feature set. Zoom is approximately ½ of the price of Blue Jeans, Blue Jeans has some features that Middlebury wouldn’t benefit from(ability to host 500 person meeting). Zoom would lock in price for a term. Blue Jeans would match Zoom for one year only, then increase to approximately $98k. Prior users of Blue Jeans have given negative review of product for meeting use.

Zoom feedback to date has been positive. Easy to start each course.

Joe A.

Reviewed spreadsheet of services we reviewed, initially 10 services. Narrowed to 3-4 offerings. Vidyo was dropped due to cost and inclusion of video conf equipment, older tool without modern feel. Down to 3 services.

ACTT had a “round robin” where over the course of a single meeting, we took a first pass of all the services, 15 mins per service with large group. Zoom, WebX, Blue Jean and Adobe Connect, tracked issues and reminded ourselves why we are departing from Adobe Connect. Follow up meeting identified Zoom and Blue Jeans, as preferred options. Zoom allowed everyone to be visible on the screen, Blue Jeans limited to 9, others would fall off. Blue Jeans prioritized quality to speaker. Zoom quality seemed more consistent. Moved forward with Zoom pilot, one class had already requested Zoom.

Joe A. demo review following Zoom practice. Recorded to test feature in Zoom.

Screen sharing allows option to present slides, but presenter remains in presenter mode for slideshow. May be allowed only with two screens.

Video of call participants can be turn on/off be each participant.

Power, Source, Filter: Vocal production of sound.

Explication of slides.

Played Ted video via Youtube.

Issue with getting video fullscreen, common with other video conf options. Need to share desktop to share full screen, can’t do it via application sharing.

Audio needs to be shared with application. Mack P. knows the tricks.

Video recorded as MP4 file. Pilot saved locally.

Pay version allows for cloud recording.

Dotty, Hebrew Course and Zoom.

  • Prefer freedom to do what they want with recordings. Exported out of Adobe Connect.
  • Improved entrance for students.
  • Less issues with bandwidth for international students.
  • Adobe Connect frequently had issues with Flash
  • Has been using Zoom in the ‘democratized’ format with similar size videos

Mack P. Review:

  • Mack P. has better success getting people up and running during meetings. 100% self starting
  • Been working well with Polycom room systems.
  • Polycom client often been blocked by firewalls of travelers.
  • Built in phone line has allowed people to call into sessions.

Sean M.:

  • Been testing Zoom during meetings
  • Preferred over Google Hangouts
  • Testing Friday with large meeting

Bob C.

  • Plans to test Zoom with Critical Issues Forum that previously used Adobe Connect, connecting with High School Teachers
  • This use case involves recording for viewing later, wants to pull prior videos from Adobe Connect
  • Did a test with Zoom recording which was positive.

Question how to view the suite of people of people coming into session, when something is being shared.

Option to raise hand is not readily visible.

Can make the active speaker large.

Need to develop best practices and training to go along with the tools.

Zoom does have a webinar format, which may have more participant functions.

How long to we envision best of breed for variety of use cases?

Polycom room equipment needed in room. Polycom servers contracted for 2 more years, Zoom maybe able to replace some of that functions.

Zoom Webinar has more options.

Notes for In-progress Project Presentation for Panopto Pilot

  • Panopto status update
  • Recap of original charge and proposal, history of project including Media Core process and funding. General consensus that Pantopo isn’t perfect but is pretty good, and definitely the best of all available options. The goal is to make a proposal for FY18 by January. Current Panopto contract runs through June.
  • Q:Will legacy streaming platforms, MiddMedia, archived items be a part of this process?
    • A:Not during this initial phase; with the decline in available data space, eventually we’ll need to examine those assets.
  • Rate of video storage has increased x20.
  • Most Panopto views are administrative, with some faculty using it for courses as well.
  • Students don’t have to leave Canvas to view videos in Panopto, but do have to log in again. Panopto creates a new user using single sign-on credentials. A Panopto viewer window embedded in Canvas will popup a login window; the issue is with what Canvas passes to Panopto. This issue is on Panopto’s development timeline, tentatively for late fall or winter. We’re meeting with them as well, working on code.
  • Embedding in WordPress doesn’t work, trying to write some code for that. We should be able to turn on a Panopto plugin for WordPress.
  • Some faculty are using Panopto at MIIS, have also used the webcasting feature successfully, including interactive and note-taking features. Sharing videos through a link has resulted in a good user experience. This is the legacy of Panopto as a lecture capture platform; perhaps we should talk about that while we’re talking about video conferencing. Should remember that Panopto charged based on views.
  • Q:Heather has asked whether we can embed Panopto on Sharepoint pages
    • A: not at present.
  • Thoughts on recent training? Seems pretty straightforward. We have two hours of training left, most topics are also available through support documentation and video.
  • Windows version of Panopto software has many more features than the Mac version (e.g., the focus feature); we may get questions related to that difference.
  • Panopto rep did send statistics on first training session; the analytics are very thorough with very specific usage info. Panopto may have applications for original research.
  • Panopto is currently not embeddable in Drupal because of the way Drupal filters code, but other schools have solved this issue; may take some work to make it possible.
  • Searchability is limited to English only, users will need to upload a caption file for other languages. Users can also supply keywords to make videos more searchable.
  • Q: If we do additional training, can we focus on other features?
    • A: Potential for more creative uses than simply streaming video.
  • Lecture capture is a non-starter at Middlebury; faculty don’t want it and the costs were prohibitive. MIIS can still use it that way. May be useful for making guest speakers/special lecturers available to students abroad.
  • Part of the proposal to continue Panopto would be a 3-5 year commitment to encourage user investment in the platform.
  • Media workload at MIIS is increasing, so we’re looking to Panopto as a possible assist in that regard. The goal is for self-service, self-empowerment. Lots of need to cover recurring classes, to record and make available later, which has been difficult to staff and organize. There may be some capacity to use Panopto to automate some of that process, but it would require upgrading a space to achieve it.
  • Feedback on Panopto has been generally good, and good enough to go forward.

ACTT Meetings ACTT In-progress Project Presentation for Web Conferencing Service

Tuesday, November 8, from 3-4pm
LIB 105A or Zoom room https://middpilot.zoom.us/j/846802386

The new ACT Team process includes in-progress project presentations. These presentations are meant to inform the community about how things are going, what has been done and what still needs to be done, what is going well and what are the challenges.

In this meeting we will talk about the Web Conferencing Service project.

  • Share what has been done, so far.
    • The results of the round-robin, what services were removed from consideration as a result
    • Current use of services under consideration.
  • Discuss what still needs to be done.

In-progress project presentations are open meetings, anyone may attend.

ACTT In-progress Project Presentation for Panopto Pilot

Tuesday, November 1, from 3-4pm
LIB 105A or Zoom room https://middpilot.zoom.us/j/846802386

The new ACT Team process includes in-progress project presentations. These presentations are meant to inform the community about how things are going, what has been done and what still needs to be done, what is going well and what are the challenges.

In this meeting we will talk about the video streaming service and the Panopto Pilot.

  • Review the training that occurred on 10/25
  • Share what has been done, so far.
  • Discuss what still needs to be done.

In-progress project presentations are open meetings, anyone may attend.

Notes for Google Apps and OneDrive Project Presentation

  • Cloud Services: Google and Microsoft
    • Goal: provide better (cloud-based) services to the community
  • Infrastructure
    • Storage
      • Available from anywhere
      • Private, secure, encrypted
      • Scales to demand
    • Access to info
      • Collaboration and sharing
    • Familiar and consistent
  • Why are we doing this?
    • Better consume our resources
      • Home directories on middfiles are 25TB
      • Grows a half TB a month
    • Enhance service offerings
      • Available anywhere on most any device
      • Scalable and efficient use of eresources
      • Cost effective
      • Highly available
      • On demand automatic provisioning
  • What we can provide
    • Google apps for edu
      • No longer in beta!
      • Online collaboration
      • Drive
    • 365
      • Online collaboration suite – word, excel
      • Software distribution (local office install)
      • Onedrive
      • More nuanced levels of licensing and access – differences between MIIS and Midd College, working through those issues
    • Email in the cloud!
      • Fully hosted or hybrid model
  • Where we are now
    • Groundwork has been laid
    • All midd users automatically have GAfE account
      • Including access to apps, drive, and youtube
    • All midd users automatically have an O365 account
      • College students can install local copies of Office through O365
        • Only for residential students, MIIS students can access cloud-based Office suite
      • Everyone has accounts but they don’t have access yet
    • All active directory groups exist in both GAfE and O365
  • Still to come
    • A series of projects as opposed to one big unveiling
      • Documentation and education project
      • Microsoft’s online collaboration apps
      • OneDrive and GoogleDrive
      • Home use software distribution Faculty/Staff
      • Everyone currently has access to Google Apps (but most people don’t know)
      • Everyone does not currently have access to OneDrive – still to come
      • Cloud-based email still to come
  • Decisions that still need to be made
    • Which service do we recommend to people?
    • How do different groups collaborate effectively?
    • Do professors choose one or the other?
      • Will students need access to both?
    • Others?

 

Questions

  • Do we want to offer the same level of support for both or favor one?
    • One platform may be better for certain uses than the other
    • We like the idea of a default/one that is better supported
  • Any support requests re: Google to date?
    • A few calendar items, nothing major
    • Most people are using web interface
  • I’m a student with a google account that I use for school work – I graduate and move on. How do I transition my work to my private account?  (Bill)
    • No fee, but there will be some hoops/procedures to go through
  • I’m a student with a Microsoft account that I use for school work – I graduate and move on. How do I transition my work to my private account? (Bill)
    • Currently more complicated than Google
    • Everything that is cloud-delivered is free
  • Do we have an inventory of what’s been turned on by Google Admin? (Joe)
    • Yes, a list can be shared
    • When you’re logged in you can see a list of some applications, but not all of them
  • How does a faculty member associate Google resources with a course?
    • A Course Hub integration would be helpful here; it’s currently tough to find the right group in Google
      • Create the resource, connect with the correct student group
    • With OneDrive, groups can own files/documents – more ownership-based management than Google-drive
      • If group owns documentation, data management is simpler from an administrative perspective. Group membership should be able to shift seamlessly
      • This is a nuance we’ll have to figure out between Google and OneDrive
  • Monterey and Midd campuses have the exact same access to this functionality? (Bill)
    • Yes, only difference is residential component for the College (Office installs)
    • This is an example of “big M” Middlebury thinking
  • For a guest lecturer or auditor, they could be added to a Google folder not a group?
    • Another nuance that needs to be explored/determination needs to be made about what to recommend to faculty
  • In terms of announcements/messaging/role out, does Course Hub integration need to be in place first?
    • We need to have nuances largely figured out before we make an announcement
  • So what’s the rollout timeframe?
    • Timeline needs to include various project teams
    • Probably not reality to have ready for fall 2016 roll out
    • Do we need to roll both platforms out at the same time?
      • It would behoove us to roll out the recommended platform first
  • We need to give faculty clear instructions about procedure change, as they are not accustomed to provisioning folders themselves (Joe)
    • Now they will need a folder with the appropriate permissions
  • What’s the motivation for having both services?
    • We have to have some of each. Google is already pretty ubiquitous in usage across Middlebury. We have to roll out Microsoft because of software distribution. Or do we? We can control what Microsoft functionality is available to avoid too much overlap with Google.
    • Encryption/security implications – Microsoft is superior to Google in this respect
    • Google doesn’t work in China – Jeff Cason currently testing OneDrive in China
    • A potential differentiation could be
      • Academic – Google. Administrative – Microsoft.
        • In reality this won’t happen
  • While Microsoft is in beta, the move to single sign on for everyone seems like a big step (Bob)
    • MIIS users having to sign on with @middlebury.edu account
    • We want to promote access to Google Apps – it would be disappointing if we couldn’t make an official announcement to the MIIS campus this fall even if the Course Hub integration is not in place.
    • What happens when students graduate? Some of our students are only here for a year, some do Peace Corps during their degree – leave campus for 2 years and come back.
      • How do the nuances of those different user needs get managed? We need an exit strategy.
    • Exit strategy for individuals and Middlebury as a whole is important.
  • Where is this project in terms of the ACTT life cycle? (Bob)
    • Should OneDrive be rolled out the same way Google Apps was?
      • Resource constraints
  • Is there a downside to MIIS announcing Google Apps rollout to campus? (Bob)
    • When Microsoft is rolled out, there may be an inordinate number of help desk tickets from people who want to migrate content from Google to Microsoft
    • It depends on when OneDrive becomes available
      • Timelines are not currently known, several different project teams
  • 2,000 Google Apps accounts active before syncing took place
  • There was already a OneDrive instance at MIIS that was being used by 40 people – no administrator
  • There’s nothing stopping any Middlebury user from using Google Apps (they just don’t know about it)
    • We are currently not fully committing or walking away from either