Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


2009 Research Summary

Weiner Lecture Archives (WLA)

View Current Project Information

Dan Garcia, Gene Zhang, Sean Carr, Sameer Iyengar, Hava Edelstein and Albert Liu

Larry Weiner Memorial Fund

For several years, EECS faculty members have been videotaping and webcasting lectures in EECS large lower division courses, mainly as an aid to students with time conflicts that prevent them from attending lectures.

We present the Weiner Lecture Archives (WLA)--a project led by CS faculty and students to identify, archive, and make available the best of these lectures on the web. This video library will become a permanent, effective, online teaching resource by providing indexed webcasts synchronized with their lecture notes. These are an especially valuable reference as many of our courses are being converted to a lab-based format using the UCWISE web-based learning environment [1].

The webcasts are captured by the campus Educational Technology Service (ETS) [2] in streaming RealVideo format. We manually post-process them to mark timecodes for synchroinization with the lecture notes, which can be pdf or html files. Using these timecodes, we generate JavaScript which builds a drop-down menu allowing the user to navigate the topics within a lecture. We also generate SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language) [3] files which instruct RealPlayer when to re-sync the {html,pdf} notes with the video.

Our latest design features a topic-based outline interface (Figure 4). Users navigate course content via the expand / collapse triangles on the left, and select the RealPlayer logo on the right to play just the video for that topic.

We launched this site in January of 2005 with CS3 as our pilot course. By the end of the spring of 2007, we had finished encoding all the CS lower-division courses, with others soon to follow.

Figure 1
Figure 1: The WLA website front page that allows the user to choose from among the lower-division CS courses or find out more about the overall project

Figure 2
Figure 2: Screen capture of the CS3 course ontology, after the user has chosen to expand the "Booleans: True and False" subtopic. The clip length for each topic is shown in parenthesis. The down-arrow at the right of each topic displays only that sub-tree.

Figure 3
Figure 3: The lecture webcast video synchronized with HTML notes. As the lecture progresses, the notes auto-scroll to the current topic via web anchors. The video can be scrubbed, and the video and notes will re-sync.

UCWISE, http://www.ucwise.org.
Educational Technology Service, http://ets.berkeley.edu.
W3C Synchronized Multimedia, http://www.w3.org/AudioVideo.