Why the IMS OpenVideo initiative should become literally open

In Ja­nu­ary IMS Glo­bal an­noun­ced its work on a stan­dard for vi­deo cap­tu­ring. In­deed it would be nice to have more gui­dance on how to cap­ture, post pro­cess, store and de­li­ver a vi­deo. Cur­rently there is lack of in­ter­ope­ra­bi­lity bet­ween dif­fe­rent plat­form. For in­stance, a set of vi­deo lec­tures can­not be stored in a sin­gle for­mat in or­der to be re­publis­hed on ano­ther learning ma­nage­ment sys­tem. There many open ques­ti­ons de­ve­l­o­pers are as­king when they try to in­te­grate vi­deo into the di­no­saurs of learning en­viron­ments - na­mely Black­board, moodle, Ilias, and OLAT:

  • In what for­mat shall I store the de­scrip­ti­ons about vi­deo for­mats, si­zes, and me­dia ty­pes like seg­ments, thumbnails, pos­ters, tran­scripts, ect. ?
  • What would be the right for­mat in or­der to de­scribe a course where stu­dents get there weekly por­tion of vi­deo con­tent like in a MOOC? Struc­tu­ring and se­quen­cing could be achie­ved with SCORM, while sys­tem fea­tures and learning out­co­mes can not be expressed.
  • How can we de­fine col­la­bo­ra­tive learning ac­tivi­ties for groups who are working on a in­stance of source vi­deo so that each group has its own play­ground for aug­men­ting and dis­cus­sing contents?
  • What is a pro­per me­ta­data schema for long time ar­chi­ving of vi­deo foo­tage from edu­ca­tio­nal or re­se­arch fields? Cur­rently we know about vi­deoMD, PB­Core, and METS, but all those ap­proa­ches for li­bra­ri­ans not con­side­ring learning ta­xo­no­mies, di­dac­tically me­thods, stu­dent in­ter­ac­tions and other re­le­vant descriptions.

All these ques­ti­ons and many more could be ask in a joint stan­dard in­itia­tive, but the way it is or­ga­ni­zed at IMS Glo­bal is ques­tio­nable. While la­be­led as an 'Open' in­itia­tive the in­te­res­ted par­ties have to pay a ye­arly fee of $3,500 to get ac­cess to the working drafts and re­sour­ces they have to pay $15.000 to be­come a vo­ting mem­ber and in­flu­ence the de­ci­sion pro­cess. Even the dis­cus­sion of the cur­rent mem­bers is not as trans­pa­rent as one might ex­pect. So fare Kal­tura ou­ted to be on of the par­ti­ci­pants (the only one?). All the others stay in the back­ground and de­ci­ding about the fu­ture of edu­ca­tio­nal vi­deo tech­no­logy at our schools and universities.

Howe­ver, such an in­itia­tive could be li­te­r­ally open and in­vite a broad range of sta­ke­hol­ders form all around the world. De­fi­ning stan­dards should be or­ga­ni­zed like the Re­quest For Com­ment (RFC) pa­pers or a W3C working group. The par­ti­ci­pants should com­mu­ni­cate in pu­blic mai­ling lists or so­cial net­work cir­cles. Fur­ther­more, all drafts should be made avail­able by na­ming the con­tri­bu­ting authors.

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