Academic Video in the Portuguese High Education Network: the EDUCast@fccn project

Samuel Martins, Hugo Ribeiro, Rui Ribeiro, Nelson Dias


Since 2010 it was developed an innovative partnership initiated by the Portuguese Foundation for National Scientific Computing (FCCN), by SWITCH (the institution that manages the Swiss Network Technology Research and Education) and the University of Porto (U.Porto). These three European institutions have developed a work of exploration and discussion under the auspices of TERENA (Trans-European Research and Education Networking) during the various forums for collaboration, innovation and knowledge sharing that this institution regularly promotes. Thus, was born in Portugal the project Educast@fccn that can be considered the simplest national service to manage educational video from recording to the distribution process. This service is based on a technology platform for production, editing and video distribution that allows full autonomy to the user in all the process. In addition to the innovative technology, this service provides to all High Education Institutions (HEI’s), in Portugal, the integration into a professional structure that supports the production of audiovisual content for e-learning and blended learning in each institution and a great possibility of scaling the production on each one of the institutions. The specific logistics of each HEI in Portugal and the specific teaching of each academic community are some of the major challenges faced by technical staff, administrative staff and educational support staff of these institutions when trying to find an appropriate solution for the provision of audiovisual content. Therefore this professional network structure also ensures a high level of service support, and consequently, a great confidence to the teachers and other audiovisual content producers in the various academic communities in Portugal. But this project also allowed, since its inception, to consolidate a national community of experts in content development for e-learning and blended learning, especially the audiovisual components. The U. Porto also positioned itself as a pivotal entity in this privileged national network of experts on audiovisual content on education through the training of 80 employees spread across 37 HEI’s in Portugal during the last 2 years. In addition the U.Porto released a set of complementary initiatives ranging from training, workshop sessions and distance learning courses about this technology and this service. This was an ambitious step of this big national project that allowed to build a set of technical teams specialized in the production of educational content and that directly support the academic communities of their own institutions. Currently this project is confirming the high expectations of those involved and is creating even bigger expectations to the future. About 37 HEI’s joined the EDUCast@fccn project with 2306 users and 5882 videos produced and integrated in 748 channels of project platform. These significant quantitative results are the visible part of a set of technological and logistic conditions to start a strong manifestation of significant qualitative results regarding the educational impact of this project in the daily activities of teachers. Aspects such as the better management of lectures that are traditionally less appealing, the attractiveness of the educational contents created through video, the improved productivity of teachers through the recording of audiovisual content, the release and allocation of teaching time for productive activities and to the interactive direct support to the student or even the increase of the students' interest in certain content that traditionally would not be so appealing, are just a few issues that constitute these qualitative aspects.


Video; education; e-learning; b-learning.

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DOI: 10.7250/eunis.2013.012


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EUNIS 2013


ISBN  978-9934-10-433-6 - online