Tag Archives: video

New UF COE Teaching Tools: Turnitin, Kaltura, and CometChat

The use of open source software that is maintained and developed within the COE allows us to quickly add new tools for teaching and learning. For the past couple of years, we have been able to roll out new features nearly every term, and this fall is no different. We look forward to showing off some of the new tools we have recently implemented and, as always, welcome and appreciate your input.

red and gray Turnitin logo

Turnitin Plagiarism Detector

Turnitin is the leading academic plagiarism detector, utilized by teachers and students to avoid plagiarism and ensure academic integrity. Now you can use Turnitin in your online or blended course, without you or your students ever needing to leave the course site. As a teacher, you can add a “Turnitin assignment” to your course, and student submissions will automatically pass through Turnitin’s filters, where they will be checked against other published works as well as other submissions within the course for authenticity.

All of the features of the normal Turnitin system are available, but you and your students won’t have to manage another password, or go to a different site to grade or submit online assignments. The grades for Turnitin Assignments will show up by default in the Moodle grade book, and you can even add feedback on submissions right on the submitted document.

For more details on how to use Turnitin in your online or blended course, feel free to download the complete documentation, or contact us at onlinesupport@coe.ufl.edu.

Kaltura Video IntegrationKaltura "creating together" logo

Kaltura is a difficult product to describe, because it does so many things. We have used Kaltura for almost 2 years now to distribute video content for the COE, but we have recently integrated it with Moodle. Now you can quickly and easily add video resources to your online or blended courses, without leaving your course.

You can greatly enhance your presence in online courses by capturing video directly into your course. To do so, simply ‘Turn editing on,’ and click ‘Add a resource…Video’. This will bring up options to either upload a video from your computer, or capture directly from your webcam. You can even allow students to add videos as assignment submissions using the ‘Video’ assignment type.

For more details on how to incorporate videos into your online or blended course, feel free to contact us at onlinesupport@coe.ufl.edu.

CometChat window

CometChat Real-Time Communication

CometChat has been available on our Community site for a few months now. We’re excited that it will also be available in Moodle starting this fall. With CometChat, you and your students can type chat, video chat, and even share documents and files without ever having to leave Purlieu.

On the Community side, anyone you add as a “friend” will show up in the blue bar at the bottom of the screen while you are blogging or sharing bookmarks. On the Courses side, anyone who shares a current course with you or your students will be available to chat whenever they come online. You can even start a “Chatroom” and invite students to join you to collaborate on a document or discuss an assignment. Think of it like a really simplified version of Elluminate that is available anytime.

For more details on how to use CometChat, feel free to contact us at onlinesupport@coe.ufl.edu.

final cuts

Well, after about a 6 weeks of work, I finally was able to get a rough cut together of my little video, ‘Information: the new Ritalin.’ It took quite a bit of post-production wrangling to get it in to a watchable state. But I am happy with the way things eventually turned out.

I’m still amazed how much more work it took to get live video in HD1080i60 in the same sequence as computer screen capture in HD1080p30. Let’s just say there was a lot of math and garbage matte layering involved, and leave it at that.

However, I got some really positive feedback and I am in a good position to tighten up what I have now into a solid final cut. I would like to be able to post a clip, but I don’t really know how I would do that. The video is in 1920X1080 resolution, and a lot of it is in an even wider aspect ratio (something like 2.5:1), making it pretty unfit for streaming on even the fastest connections and/or viewing on anything less than a nice LCD or HD display.

It was also tough getting the dialogic screen capture text readable from more than about 2 feet from a screen. I plan to keep cracking at it, but I’m not really sure I have the technical chops to “make it go.”

All in all, working in video again was a really satisfying experience and I’m glad the audience who has seen it found it mildly thought-provoking. That’s about all I was aspiring toward.


post-production party

A few days ago I finished production on the video I have been working on. I plunged headlong into the post-production phase on Wednesday. It’s definitely bringing back some memories. I’m really excited about digging in with a digital razor.

Thus far I have encountered the requisite issues inherent in using cracked software to accomplish a task I haven’t attempted in almost 2 years. I was admittedly nervous about working in Final Cut Pro for the first time in a goodly while. But once I was able to open and update the app, the controls quickly started feeling comfortable again.

I have about 3 hours of HD video between the live action stuff shot by my friends at HNP and the screen captures I have done over the past few weeks. The goal is to cut it down to around 3 minutes. The more I look at it, the longer I think it will take to fit everything in coherently. I have developed a plan of attack for the early stages of the editing process. But I’m really nervous about pulling off the split screen narrative thing. The narrative will be driven primarily by the “dialog” portrayed in the screen capture portion, and the video will depict me acting as something of a Greek Chorus, gaping at the strange goings-on.

Let’s call it an experiment in my ability to depict a Human Computer Interaction…quite literally.

more mental video churnings

For the past few days I have been helping out my old partners at High Noon Pictures work on a narrative short. Getting to run the boom and work as a production assistant again has really got things rolling in my mental map of the video I plan to put together in the next couple of weeks.

I am devising a skeleton script and planning all the “scenes.” I don’t really know if my ideas can be considered scenes, but that’s neither here nor there. The working title is ‘Information: the new Ritalin.’ I’m happy with the way my ideas are starting to take shape. I was having trouble figuring out how to work dialogic interaction between a person and a computer. Then I realized there is a constant dialogue inherent in Human Computer Interaction, represented by none other than ye ol’ blinking cursor. The computer’s “thoughts” could easily be represented by typing in text fields in any number of applications.

Within hours of my realization I found the following video on YouTube. I have to admit I was a bit disheartened that it’s already been done. But I think I have a slightly different application of this narrative device.