Grassroots educational grant for 'smart' chemistry lecture recording and editing

A novel approach that merges the recording of lectures by a smartphone in any class room with the editing of the recordings using contemporary VU-wide software has been supported with a VU Grassroots Award. Maikel Wijtmans (UD Medicinal Chemistry), Erik Boon (AVC, AudioVisueel Centrum) and Danny Scholten (Coördinator Onderwijsvernieuwing Scheikunde en Farmaceutische Wetenschappen) will develop the approach by joining two pieces of software: Presentain and MyMediaSite.

11/20/2014 | 1:18 PM

Lecture recording enables classes to be accessible online afterwards, considered an attractive feature for students in understanding class material. However, succesful lecture recording depends on technical recording infrastructure (equipment and type of room) and editing software. The Grassroots award aims to address new aspects of this, thus allowing the more wide-spread use of lecture recordings.

One of the more basal forms of lecture recording is that of a 'slidecast', which combines the voice of a teacher with the Powerpoint slides in a synchronised fashion. The software Presentain involves the use of a smartphone as both slide clicker and recording device for a Powerpoint presentation, resulting in fast production of an online slidecast (slides with synchronized audio) which is however non-editable. Concurrently, in 2014 the VU started rolling out MyMediaSite (from the company SonicFoundry) as a post-recording interface for teachers to edit lecture recordings produced with the AVC equipment present in larger lecture rooms.

The Grassroots work will bring Wijtmans, Boon, Scholten and key Presentain employees together in an effort to combine the strengths of both software packages. It aims to explore the generic recording of lectures in VU (class)rooms of any size using Presentain and the subsequent customisation of the slidecasts with MyMediasite for a variety of eductional purposes. Besides thus providing (chemistry) teachers with a useful approach to help students understanding class material, the grant also aligns seamlessly with the innovations that are being developed in the Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences and as such can serve as a blueprint for expansion to other scenarios.

fig grassroots 

This figure shows a graphical depiction of how the Grassroots grant will approach the generic recording of editable slidecasts

foto Erik Danny Maikel

Erik Boon, Danny Scholten and Maikel Wijtmans will explore 'smart' recording of lectures together with the company Presentain.

Presentain website:

MyMediaSite website: