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Bruincast: Information for Faculty

 

BRUINCAST F.A.Q.

What is BruinCast?
What is the difference between BruinCast and iTunes U?
Where is the service available?
What equipment & personnel will come to my class?
Is there a charge associated with the service? 
Is the recording method fail safe?
Can I restrict access so that just students that are enrolled in the course may view the material?
How is this different from my normal classes?
Do I need to do anything special at the beginning of each class?
What should I wear?
How should I handle questions from the class?
Can I use PowerPoint and other visual support?
Can I use the chalkboard/whiteboard?
Will students be able to watch the on-line version of the lecture while it is happening?
Does this mean that a lot of students will watch the lectures online, instead of attending class in person? 
How do students access the webcasts?
What should I do if my students are having problems with the podcast website? 
How long will the lectures remain on the website?
Can I get a copy of my lectures on DVD?
How do I sign up?
If I participated in past quarters will I automatically be signed up for the next quarter I teach?
Who do I contact for more information about BruinCast?

 

What is Bruincast?

 

BruinCast is a service offered and subsidized by the Office of Instructional Development to video stream and/or audio podcast regularly scheduled undergraduate lectures.

Video Streaming – Video Streaming allows students to review the class after the lecture is complete.  They are able to see the instructor, the whiteboard, slides, and any image that is showed through the video/data projector.   Streaming video is beneficial because it is not stored on the viewer's computer, taking up hard drive space, nor can it be easily recorded and shared.  Viewers can, also, easily seek and navigate to any point in the lecture.   Video Streaming requires that the viewer is connected to the internet with a high speed connection (DSL, Cable or LAN).

Podcasting – Audio podcasting can be an extremely powerful review tool, when combined with materials made available through an instructor’s course websites.  The biggest advantage of podcasting is that students can subscribe to a course and have that course lecture automatically download to their computer, when it is available.  It eliminates the need to manually check the Bruincast webpage.  Once downloaded to their computer, students can transfer the podcasts to a portable listening device and listen to the lecture anywhere, without requiring an internet connection.  If they choose not to download the lecture and just click on the "Audio" link, the student can begin listening immediately; however, they will be unable to navigate to various points in a lecture until the downloaded content has reached that point.  This is because the Audio files are progressive downloads, while the Video files are streams.
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What is the difference between BruinCast and iTunes U?

Here are the main differences between the Office of Instructional Development’s BruinCast service and UCLA on iTunes U:

•UCLA on iTunes U offers the faculty a place to log in and post their own content, whereas the content via BruinCast is solely class lectures recorded by the Office of Instructional Development.

•BruinCast is a seamless process for faculty, from creation to posting. OID does the recording and posting of content to the site. Faculty do not self-manage content in BruinCast as they do in UCLA on iTunes U.

•With BruinCast, faculty have the option of making their content public or not, whereas with UCLA on iTunes U, all content is public. BruinCast also offers both streaming media and audio podcasts. If the content is available via podcasting, like with UCLA on iTunes U, users can subscribe and have content automatically delivered upon publication.

For more information regarding UCLA on iTunes U, our local instance of the program, please see:
iTunes U Project site
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Where is the service available?

Video Streaming - Courses that are located in streaming equipped rooms are given priority over rooms that would require more technical and human resources to capture the day’s lecture.  Currently the three locations that support video streaming/ audio podcasting or combination thereof are Haines 39, Humanities A51, and LaKretz 110.

Audio Podcasting - This service is restricted to rooms that are equipped.  Current locations are:

 

Boelter 2444 Fowler A139 Math Sciences 4000A
Boelter 2760 Franz 1178 Math Sciences 5200
Boelter 3400 Franz 1260 Moore 100
Boelter 5249 Franz 2258A Perloff 1102
Boelter 5436 Geology 3656 Physics & Astronomy 1425
Boelter 5440 Haines 118 Physics & Astronomy 1434A
Botany 325 Haines 220 Public Affairs 1222
Broad 2100A Haines 39 Public Affairs 1234
Broad 2160E Haines A18 Public Affairs 1246
Bunche 1209B Haines A2 Public Affairs 2214
Bunche 2209A Haines A25 Public Affairs 2232
CS 24 Humanities 135 Public Affairs 2238
CS 50 Humanities 169 Public Affairs 2250
CS 76 Humanities A51 Public Affairs 2270
Dodd 121 Humanities A65 Rolfe 1200
Dodd 146 Kinsey Pavillion 1200B Rolfe 3126
Dodd 147 Kinsey Pavillion 1220B Royce 190
Dodd 161 Kinsey Pavillion 1240B Royce 362
Dodd 167 LaKretz 100 Young 1044
Dodd 170 LaKretz 101 Young 2200
Dodd 175 LaKretz 110 Young 4216
Fowler A103B Lakretz 120


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What equipment & personnel will come to my class?

Video Streaming
A camera operator will arrive, well before lecture, to set up a single video camera and a single wireless lavaliere microphone.  In streaming equipped rooms (Haines 39, Humanities A51, LaKretz 110), there will be nothing more to set up.  In rooms that are not streaming equipped and require auxiliary equipment to capture the day’s lecture, a rack of equipment will be brought in to process the audio and video.  Setups that require multiple microphones or cameras are, currently, beyond the scope of the basic service and will be considered on a case by case basis.  This will require that the participating course's department incur charges, accordingly.

Audio Podcasting
Audio Podcasting does not require a technician to come to the participating instructor’s class.  Audio Podcasting is an, almost, entirely transparent process.  At the beginning of the quarter we arrange, with Audio Visual Services, a lavaliere microphone for check-out to the instructor.  THe instructor will keep the microphone for the duration of the quarter.   He/she is responsible for turning on the mic for the duration of the lecture.  The recording is scheduled and automated at the beginning of the quarter, for each recurring lecture.   Therefore, we encourage instructors to turn on the mic only for the lecture and to turn it off immediately after the lecture is complete.  The automated software process edits out long spaces of silence and the file is, then, pushed live on the web.
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Is there a charge associated with the service?

The basic service assumes a single lecturer using a single microphone.  The basic service is subsidized by the Office of Instructional Development except for Summer Sessions.  Setups that require multiple microphones or cameras are beyond the scope of the basic service, will be considered on a case by case basis, and will require that the participating courses department be charged accordingly.  Additional lectures and make up lectures that meet outside the regularly scheduled time also require a charge to the participating courses department.
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Is the recording method fail safe?

No. Although we make every effort to ensure a quality recording, sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances that result in the recording not being captured. It can be something as simple as a bad battery in the wireless microphone to something as complex as corrupted coding that prevents us from getting the recording. We will do our best to keep you informed, should a lecture not record, and provide help in any issues surrounding that particular instance.
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Can I restrict access so that only enrolled students may access the material?

Yes.  If you choose to have your course restricted to students enrolled in your course, they will have to log on using their UCLA log on ID.  In addition, you can grant access to guests through a simple process.

Please be aware that the audio podcasts are available for students to download to their computer and portable devices.  This means content can be uploaded to other locations. The video content is not available for download, as it is streamed making, it difficult for students to capture and re-purpose the video content.
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How is this different from my normal classes?

Our goal is to make the process no different than any other class you teach. We have, and will continue to, put a great deal of effort into making what we do as unobtrusive as we possibly can. However, we have no illusions that our presence will not have some impact on what you do in the classroom.  At every lecture, a camera operator sets up equipment in the projection booth, if available, in the lecture hall where class is meeting. Having the operator in the booth will make it easier for the students to forget about the webcast recording. You will see the operator and the camera but over time their presence will be undetectable. You should feel free to lecture naturally, as you normally do in the classroom. It is the camera operator’s job to follow you, rather than for you to make any special accommodation to the camera.
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Do I need to do anything special at the beginning of each class?

Not particularly.  However, we have found that it is beneficial (and produces a less abrupt beginning and ending) when an instructor announces the beginning of the lecture with a phrase such as “Let’s begin” and ends the lecture with something like “That’s all for today.”   You can let the camera operator know if you have any special requirements for your lecture. If you plan on doing anything out of the ordinary, it is wised to warn the operator in advance. The more the operator knows about your lecture style and approach, the better he or she will be able to adequately capture what happens in your class.  Please make sure that you are wearing the wireless microphone, that it is turned on, and working.
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What should I wear?

You don’t need to make any particular accommodations in your wardrobe for the webcasts. Generally (whenever you will appear on camera) you should avoid very light or very dark colors. High contrast usually makes the camera’s job tougher. If you wear something very white, the camera will see that as the brightest thing in the picture, correct accordingly and make your face very dark and hard to see. If you wear something too dark, you will probably get lost in the shadows. Finally, it’s best to avoid fine stripes, since they will often cause a moiré pattern that can be distracting.
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How should I handle questions from the class?

Since only you will be wearing a microphone during the class, questions from the class will not be audible on the webcast version. Please restate or summarize the question before you respond. That way, we will have a complete record of the interaction in the classroom.
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Can I use PowerPoint and other visual support?

Yes, we hope you do. The camera operator will follow the action and focus on the screen at the appropriate times.  Please keep in mind that the video image that will ultimately appear on student’s computer screens is quite small. If you put too much on a PowerPoint slide, the detail may be lost in the streaming version. An easy work-around is to make the PowerPoint slides available on the course website, so that students can follow along as they watch the webcast.  Please be aware, if you choose to not restrict your webcasts, the general public will be able to view your lectures. Pay particular attention to the use of copyrighted material in your lectures. If the use of copyrighted material cannot be avoided, please inform the camera operator ahead of time.  As with any class, please plan to arrive early to allow sufficient time to connect your laptop to the projection system.
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Can I use the chalkboard/whiteboard?

Yes, of course. The operator, in the booth will follow, the action during your class. If you choose to use the chalkboard, he or she will ensure that a clear shot of what you have written is held on the screen long enough for students to read and copy it down.
Please keep in mind, the video image that will ultimately appear on student’s computer screens is quite small. If you limit the length of the lines you write, the camera will be able to frame what you have written and make it appear bigger on the screen. An effective strategy is to divide the board into a number of narrow sections. If you plan to make extensive use of the board, please consult with the camera operator.
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Will students be able to watch the on-line version of the lecture while it is happening?

No. At this point, we are not making the on-line lectures available as a live webcast. Normally, lectures will be available for viewing the day following the lecture. If you have a special request to make the lecture available earlier or later we will make every effort to accommodate your request.
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Does this mean that a lot of students will watch the lectures online, instead of attending class in person?

While there is nothing to prevent students from skipping class and watching them on-line later, this is not usually the case.  There is no better time in a student’s busy schedule to attend class than at the time it is offered.  The purpose of our online material is for review and reinforcement of material covered in class.  Large classes (>250) seem to report a larger drop in attendance.  In some cases, attendance drops as much as 20%.  At the same time, faculty that have reminded students of the importance of attending lecture, while warning that they will discontinue streaming if attendance doesn't improve, have had positive attendance results.
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How do students access the webcasts?

Courses are listed on the Bruincast webpage.
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What should I do if my students are having problems with the podcast website?

Please have them contact us via email at bruincasthelp@ucla.edu.  Part of our service is to provide support to the students, so that they can successfully view the podcast content. We are very familiar with the common issues that can affect the viewing of streaming content. Some of these issues are specific to a students particular situation and others exist on a more universal user experience. We would like to avoid having instructors necessitate troubleshooting these issues and we encourage you to direct the students to us, so that we can resolve any issues that may arise.
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How long will the lectures remain on the website?

Course content will be accessable, on the website, for one academic year.  After the academic year is complete, the files will be archived.
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Can I get a copy of my lectures on DVD?

At the request of the instructor, a DVD data disc set can be made. There is a $25 fee for each DVD data disc copy of the course content. These discs will contain the video file and/or the MP3 audio file. Additional and subsequent requests for copies will, also, be $25. Please submit your recharge ID number, along with your request
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How do I sign up?

Sign up online.  As soon as you know the location of your class, you may sign up to have your course video streamed or audio podcasted.  Each quarter, we set out to maximize the number of courses and students we can service, with the available resources.  Priority is given to faculty teaching in streaming equipped rooms. 
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If I participated in past quarters will I automatically be signed up for the next quarter I teach?

No, the processs is not automatic. However, we do make every effort to send invitations to instructors who have previously signed up. Should you wish to have your class podcasted, you can usually sign up ahead of the quarter at the following link:https://www.oid.ucla.edu/webcasts/courses/bruincastsignup
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Who do I contact for more information about BruinCast?

Email us at: bruincast@ucla.edu

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