BOB NATIONAL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER

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1 BOB NATIONAL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER

2 BoB National is a shared online off-air TV and radio recording service provided by the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC) to subscribing UK higher and further education institutions. BoB (short for Box of Broadcasts) enables all staff and students within subscribing institutions to record and watch formerly broadcast TV and radio programmes under the terms of the ERA Licensing Scheme. BoB was originally launched in 2009 and now has over 150,000 users from more than 50 subscribing institutions. BoB users can search for programmes that are already in the archive, record new TV and radio broadcasts from UK channels, create and share clips and playlists, and embed them in virtual learning environments (VLEs) and presentations. All recorded programmes are then kept indefinitely and are shared by all users. BoB is a flexible system that supports different learning styles and needs, whilst making the use and discovery of valuable educational content easy and instant. Early 2014 saw the most substantial upgrade to BoB since its original launch. The upgrade was the result of a partnership project between the BUFVC, Jisc and the BBC and formed part of the Research and Education Space initiative (see back cover). The upgrade delivered the addition of hundreds of thousands of hours of new programmes, as well as new key features and an improved user experience, including: access to over 800,000 BBC TV and radio programmes from 2007 onwards, resulting in an archive of more than 1 million programmes almost ten thousand hours of digitised programmes from ITV, Channel 4 and Five ten foreign language channels a new website look and improved navigation an extended 30 day recording buffer searchable rolling transcripts and thumbnails ios compatibility so you can watch BoB on your handheld devices the ability to easily create clips and clip compilations, and share programmes and playlists via social media and on VLEs the option to make comments on programmes a one-click citation to reference programmes in your work. BACKGROUND The University of Manchester is the largest single-site university in the UK with approximately 39,000 students and 10,400 members of staff. It offers over four hundred degree programmes to its international student body via four Faculties: Engineering and Physical Sciences; Humanities; Life Sciences; Medical and Human Sciences. The University of Manchester is a research-intensive university with almost two-thirds of its research ranked by the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise as world-leading or internationally excellent. It is a member of the worldwide Universities Research Association group, the Russell Group of British research universities and the N8 Group. The University of Manchester joined BoB National in CHALLENGE Prior to joining BoB National access to audiovisual material at The University of Manchester was limited; the storage of VHS tapes and DVDs in several different locations together with the inability to provide off-campus access made it a complex process for both teaching staff and students. Staff were often wary of content found online (via open access video-sharing sites) due to uncertainty about whether material was rights cleared, coupled with the unreliability of content being permanently available. Those staff who did submit requests for their own recordings of broadcast media to be transcoded for the web found the turnaround time prohibitively long. They would have to plan weeks - sometimes months - ahead in order to provide these recordings online by which time they were not always relevant. For many staff, these limitations were too time-consuming to overcome and consequently, they were less inclined to use audiovisual resources as part of their teaching and online course delivery. One of the annoyances of teaching life is you get the perfect YouTube clip, and when you go to teach the course it has expired or it has been removed by the author. That doesn t happen on BoB; once it s up there, you can keep reusing it as long as it remains relevant to the class. Dr Alexander Gunz Lecturer in Marketing Since joining BoB National the resource has been well received and used by staff and students across the University to bring lectures to life and provide additional resources for students to use within their learning and research. BoB has also added an additional online element to the University s VLE. When BoB National was initially launched in 2009 it was a groundbreaking resource, which provided easy and cost effective access to formally broadcast programmes. However, since the launch of BoB the educational environment has continued to evolve and new requirements, for example, the increased need for mobile compatibility, additional programme content and audiovisual referencing, were now required by The University of Manchester and other subscribing institutions.

3 Using material from BoB National it is possible to quickly engage a roomful of students with up-to-date and relevant content. Dr Anna Goatman Senior Lecturer in Marketing A BIGGER AND BETTER BOX OF BROADCASTS USING AUDIOVISUAL RESOURCES Since The University of Manchester joined BoB National in 2009 the use of audiovisual material within teaching has grown, with the number of BoB users increasing three fold in the last three years at the University. To ensure staff are aware of the resource, teaching and learning staff at the University have developed presentations and training sessions to show how it can be used as part of blended learning, as well as how it can be integrated with the University s VLE. For example, in the Faculty of Humanities the elearning Team has run 70 plus sessions for staff on using multimedia within their teaching practice. Training is now run regularly on BoB National and the new improved website and navigation has been welcomed by the University. Box of Broadcasts is a service that is very easy for us to train staff on. They really respond well in the training sessions, because they can do something so quickly and easily. Staff who previously have been quite technically wary feel that they can put this video into their course so easily. It s like a little piece of magic that they can do. Linda Irish Assistant elearning Manager The Language Centre at The University of Manchester was an early adopter of BoB National, but at times was limited by the content provided and had to rely on other ways of gaining foreign language programmes, which could be both time-consuming and expensive. The addition of ten foreign language channels following the new upgrade has meant that they can now record and use foreign language programmes within their lectures via BoB. The result is that after several years of subscribing to BoB, it is now integral to the University s teaching, learning and research, with staff and students across all disciplines using the service. When you show up at The University of Manchester, you find that BoB is pretty much woven into the educational fabric. Dr Alexander Gunz Lecturer in Marketing

4 When you ve just got 30 minutes on the train or if you re just waiting for a lecture, it s always useful to turn downtime into useful time. Jack Coffin MRes student, Manchester Business School ADDING VALUE TO TEACHING AND RESEARCH It can be difficult to understand or get to grips with past events or topics that you can t imagine or were too young to remember. Using the content from BoB National within teaching, as well as using the improved features such as clip creation, embedding content into VLEs and sharing via social media, lectures can be bought to life. Now with the Box of Broadcasts service, you can put a clip in a lecture that s two or three minutes long. All of a sudden, you re able to bring things to life as you go through a lecture using clips from different programmes, rather than having to make a plan around one resource. Dr Anna Goatman Senior Lecturer in Marketing I definitely think that video is a way of engaging students interest very quickly. The way that our virtual learning environment has evolved, from plain text and dry documents, into a much more media-rich environment, I think has benefited students a lot. Linda Irish Assistant elearning Manager The addition of content from the BBC archive dating from 2007, alongside the TV and radio programmes from over 60 channels that can be recorded each day, means that BoB remains up-to-date, while providing access to a greater range of programmes with high educational value. Previously BoB National s archive had dated back to 2008, which meant that if users required programmes prior to 2008 they would have needed to locate material elsewhere. It s also important that students are able to see an historical perspective on some of the things we re looking at. Quite often people don t remember things in the way that they actually were; they remember things from the perspective they ve got now. It could be argued that 2007 isn t that long ago, but in actual fact in some industries, given the turbulent financial climate, there s been a massive change, and with BoB you can go back and look at that. Dr Anna Goatman Senior Lecturer in Marketing Students enjoy using TV and radio as part of their learning and research. However, in practice they are reluctant to use it unless a system is provided that is easy to use and they know they are permitted to use the material. With BoB National s new transcript search, users can easily find specific points in a programme to reference in their work. Plus the inclusion of an audiovisual referencing guide ensures that students now feel empowered to both use and cite the extract in their work. The University takes plagiarism really seriously, so it s good to have a citation model that you can rely on. It just does it for you and you don t have to worry about anything. Jack Coffin MRes student, Manchester Business School All content held in BoB is covered by the University s ERA Licence, so it can be used legitimately for educational purposes by both academics and students. Once a programme is recorded or a clip or playlist is made, the material will remain on BoB indefinitely. Dr Alexander Gunz Lecturer in Marketing

5 Staff who previously have been quite technically wary feel that they can put this video into their course so easily. It s like a little piece of magic that they can do. Linda Irish Assistant elearning Manager ACCESSIBILITY The BoB service has always been available to users 24:7 both on and off campus. However, the increased use of hand-held devices in education since the initial launch of BoB National in 2009, has resulted in a need for BoB to go mobile and be available on tablets and smartphones. The facility for accessing Box of Broadcasts off-campus on mobile devices is critical. Students are expecting to be able to access the material when they re on the bus, or at home, just walking around campus, or wherever they happen to be. Staff are now beginning to develop their material with that in mind, and the University is promoting online learning and doing a lot of work in that area. The fact that BoB is now working alongside that is great for us. Linda Irish Assistant elearning Manager It is useful to have it on your ipad or anywhere you re going. When you ve just got 30 minutes on the train or if you re just waiting for a lecture, it s always useful to turn downtime into useful time. Jack Coffin MRes student, Manchester Business School STUDENT ENGAGEMENT Universities are aware that they need to provide facilities that attract students and give them an experience they find valuable. Students today have a much higher expectation of the standard of service delivered to them than students even a decade before and they also expect academic tools to provide the same accessibility, quality and speed that are provided on other websites and applications they use every day. Following the upgrade, BoB now provides an easy to use and accessible system that adds unrivalled access to valuable TV and radio programmes. The days of being able to stand at the front of a lecture theatre behind a lectern and read something that you prepared years ago are long gone. Using material from BoB National it is possible to quickly engage a roomful of students with up-to-date and relevant content. Dr Anna Goatman Senior Lecturer in Marketing The websites that we re used to, like Facebook or the Apple homepage, are very clean and crisp. I think academic websites have taken a long time to catch up to this, so BoB s at the forefront of that. Jack Coffin MRes student, Manchester Business School

6 WHAT IS THE RESEARCH AND EDUCATION SPACE? The Research and Education Space (RES) is an innovative partnership between the BUFVC, Jisc and the BBC. RES will make a wide range of licensed assets from a number of collections available for research and teaching use within the UK. RES supports Jisc s goal to increase the scale and use of digital assets within research and education and aligns with the BBC s public purposes of promoting education and learning, and delivering to the public the benefit of emerging communications, technologies and services. The BoB project is the first concrete expression of the Research and Education Space by enabling users to search for and view off-air recordings, including 800,000 BBC radio and television programmes from 2007 onwards. The BBC s archives are an unparalleled source of material to support education and research, and we are pleased that our partnership with Jisc has helped us to make them more widely available. RES is a key way for the BBC to enhance educational access to its archives and those of many other cultural institutions. Tony Ageh, Controller, BBC Archives and Digital Public Space SUBSCRIBING TO BOB NATIONAL BoB National is a shared online off-air TV and radio recording service provided by the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC) to subscribing UK higher and further education institutions. The service extends to all staff and students within a subscribing institution. BoB National can dramatically enhance the learning and teaching experience. Academics can use it to engage students by adding clips or programmes to their lectures and VLEs, whereas students can explore BoB when they need to re-cap on important topics, enhance their research and improve their subject knowledge. Furthermore, maintaining an audiovisual library often requires dedicated staff time and an increasing amount of shelf space, while formerly broadcast content can be both difficult and expensive to access. BoB National, as a shared resource, can provide solutions to these problems and more space is freed as BoB National is a fully online resource, support staff are able to concentrate less on making recordings and more on frontline activities, and substantial savings can be made, as TV and radio programmes become easy to locate, record and view by all users at any time and anywhere in the UK. To subscribe to BoB National, institutions must be a BUFVC member and hold a valid ERA licence allowing access both on and off campus (i.e. distance learning). Go to the BoB National website for details regarding how to subscribe and current subscription fees: bobnational.net USEFUL WEBSITES BUFVC bufvc.ac.uk ERA era.org.uk Jisc jisc.ac.uk BUFVC This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales License

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