Internet Lectures Research:

Broadening the Audience for Live Slide Show Presentations



Benefits of Web lectures
Scope of opportunity
TFAO financial assistance
Other multimedia projects
For further study
Responses to inquiries





In order to simplify the creation of the "storyboard"[4] for the Web lecture, TFAO suggests that a museum staffer or volunteer record the live lecture with a digital consumer-quality camcorder. The audio/visual recording provides the timeline and sequence of all of the images and the accompanying voice segments.

If a button microphone is worn by the lecturer for the lecture hall's sound system an output cable can be sent to the camcorder to record the audio track portion of the lecture, or the camcorder's internal microphone may be used. Since the camcorder stores the movie of the live lecture in digital format, clips of the movie can be placed on the Web in addition to the Web slide show. For example, a brief movie clip could be included which introduces the lecturer.

Before or after the presentation of the live lecture the slides can be converted to digital .jpg image files using a scanner. This step may be unnecessary if the museum or lecturer already has the images as .jpg files.

The lecturer also records a voice segment for each slide. To maintain audio quality for the Web lecture the museum will usually have the narration segments recorded with a desktop microphone before or after the live lecture. For information on recording speech in a professional manner click here for relevant tips by Dr. Mathew Mitchell, Department of Learning and Instruction, School of Education at the University of San Francisco.

At this point the narration segments and the slides are placed together to form a Web lecture using specialized software designed to blend and synchronize image and audio files. Other elements may be added to the Web lecture such as text captions for the images or transcripts of the speech segments. Small titled thumbnails of each image in the Web lecture can be used as a table of contents. The thumbnails can be clicked on separately to view selected segments. Several of the segments can even be tied together to form theme modules, with a clickable icon for each module. A person familiar with multimedia programs completes this phase of the production. The webmaster for the museum's web site then places the completed Web lecture within the museum's web site.

The museum's web site usually has a page which lists its exhibitions. On the exhibitions page there are often links to pages describing individual exhibitions. On a page describing an individual exhibition there can be a link to a separate page for a Web lecture. If the museum has produced a series of Web lectures there can also be a page listing all of the Web lectures.

If the Web lecture is to be seen by viewers via streaming media files, the Web lecture's digital file will be uploaded to a special server called a streaming server.

After a Web lecture is available on the Web, search engines such as Google can locate a web page containing a Web lecture. In the case of Resource Library, the link to a museum's Web lecture page would be embedded in the paragraph of the publication's publicity article describing the "in person" lecture that preceded the Web lecture. If a Web lecture was created by a museum after Resource Library published its publicity article, the article would be amended when the URL became available. When there are sufficient numbers of Web lectures, digital libraries such as TFAO will catalogue them on their web sites.


Production options

A live lecture is commonly segmented into discrete parts which may include:

Depending on the museum's objectives for an online presentation, a Web lecture may contain all or a portion of a live lecture's parts. A decision on the scope of the Web lecture may be driven by several factors. The museum may want the Web presentation to have a limited time length for pedagogical reasons. Budget and staff time constraints may also limit the length of a Web lecture. Editorial decisions are made over the inclusion and exclusion of specific audio and visual content.

One of the critical factors in determining the character of a Web lecture is the availability of images. As discussed in the CONTRACTUAL section of this TFAO study, permissions may not be available for inclusion of some or even any of the slide images of the art works shown in a live lecture. For these instances there are alternate production solutions.

If the overall integrity of the live lecture can be preserved, a Web lecture can be edited to delete discussion of specific art objects which lack image permissions. As an alternate the audio track for a deleted image may be preserved with substitution of one or more photos of the lecturer, audience panorama or other graphic.

Instead of a Web lecture a museum may decide to base its online presentation on the audio content of the live lecture. An audio presentation page can be created listing links to each included audio segment. There can be a photo of the lecturer on the audio page. Other graphics may be included such as a photo of the cover of the exhibition catalogue or gallery guide. Other multimedia projects references a presentation by Nebraska Public Television which approximates how this may be done.

Nebraska Public Television created a web page that archives "MONA Moments on Nebraska Public Radio," written and narrated by Ron Roth, the director of the Museum of Nebraska Art. The MOMA Moments page lists about 80 brief audio presentations, each presentation being a Moment. There is a link to a separate page for each Moment. A Moment page contains a link to enable the viewer to replay the audio broadcast, a complete transcript of the audio, plus an image of the art subject being covered. The audio version of each Moment as presented on NPR is delivered on the Web in RealOne Player .ram file format. Each Moment may be likened to a live lecture segment.


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4. Virgil E. Varvel Jr., Computer Assisted Instruction Specialist with the Illinois Online Network of the University of Illinois, links to a short paper from the Madison Conference on Distance Education proceedings in the September/ October 2004 issue of Pointers & Clickers which discusses using storyboards in online course design. Also see Iowa State University Extension. Tips for storyboarding, Usability Net. (2003). Storyboarding, Adrian Mallon, 1995, Storyboarding Multimedia.

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