Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pilot project under way for video content management service

The university is piloting a new video content management (VCM) service, which eventually will help units manage, share, search and publish video content.

The U-M Library and Information and Technology Services are managing the pilot with a small group that includes The Language Resource Center (LRC) in LSA, the Office of the Vice President for Global Communications, U-M Library and the Institute for Social Research (ISR) and School of Education.

“Units across the university publish hundreds of video files for audiences both internal and external to the university. Services like iTunes and YouTube make it relatively simple for people to publish video content to websites. However, there is no common management system for those videos at the university, nor is there a way to search across departments. Additionally, U-M has no guarantee for control over content in public spaces such as YouTube,” says Stephen Schram, director of Michigan Public Media and a member of the 2010 Video Content Management Task Force that launched, researched and recommended next steps for a VCM solution.

U-M is working with Kaltura, a leader in media content management, on a VCM solution that will enable faculty and staff to easily organize and catalog videos, add metadata (e.g. tags and descriptions that help increase searchability and sharing), and embed media in Web pages and other locations without technical or other expert assistance.

Kaltura was selected after careful consideration of recommendations and feedback from the 2010 VCM Task Force, as well as the university’s Unit IT Steering Committee and IT Commons.

The U-M Library and ITS gave careful consideration to the selection of pilot participants. The participating units deliver a broad, representative variety and volume of content. For example:

• The LRC has a large collection of language immersion videos that integrates with the CTool learning management system.

• The library video collections provide instructors with a large library of video content available to students as part of their course materials.

• The News Service has a large collection of public content.

• ISR and the School of Education are engaged in a collaborative research project in which a large collection of video assets is a primary data-type. This data will become a shared repository available to research partners at universities, public agencies, and private foundations.

Addressing pilot units’ challenges will help answer some critical questions that affect how university affiliates use the new video content management service, as well as how to broaden the service in winter 2013.

“It is exciting to see how Kaltura can be used in course material. Increasingly instructors require students to watch and submit video as a part of their regular course requirement. Kaltura allows a consistent way to do that. This pilot is a great step toward solving our universitywide challenge to manage video content,” says Laurie Alexander, associate university librarian for learning and teaching.

The pilot kicked off earlier this month. The project team will share progress updates with more details about Kaltura features, limitations, and how to contribute information to the project team for consideration in the pilot phase. Email questions or request to join the progress email list at VCM.Project.Team@umich.edu.