Human Rights and Replay

The Oxford Human Rights Hub Meets Replay

Amongst the many reasons to start using Replay are the innovations in teaching and communication it facilitates. The Oxford Human Rights Hub (OxHRH) is based in the University of Oxford Faculty of Law, and, although Oxford staff and students form its core, it has a broad network that incorporates practitioners and policy makers from across the globe. The OxHRH holds several seminars every year, but it is next to impossible to get people from such a broad range of locations to meet in Oxford at the same time and so the OxHRH decided to experiment with webinars.

Webinars are seminars that have both a live “in-room” audience and are simultaneously broadcast over the internet. This allows them to reach a global audience, which is ideal for the OxHRH. So a webinar was the solution to their needs; leaving only the small issue of how to actually set up and conduct a webinar.

Seeking a solution, they approached the Educational Media team in IT Services. IT Services offers several options for hosting webinars, and advised the OxHRH on this occasion to use the Replay lecture capture system.

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Replay Rises to the Challenge

Replay is capable not only of recording lectures, but also of streaming a presentation to a global audience in real time. The technology also allowed for distant viewers to interact with the participants in the OxHRH; polls were conducted, viewers were encouraged to send in questions, and the webinar altered and took shape around these questions and responses. This interactivity enhanced the online viewers’ experience beyond what would have been possible with a simple recording of the presentation.

Initial expectations were that about 40 people would attend each webinar. However, more than 70 people participated in one session, and over 100 in another! Feedback from the viewers was overwhelmingly positive.  Moreover, the OxHRH event organisers were impressed by the professional feel of Replay’s output, and the broadcasts ran smoothly, without technical issues. All in all, this was a very successful outing for Replay!

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Carrying On

Emboldened by the successful implementation of webinars thus far, the OxHRH is planning to conduct more such sessions. However, this unrestricted service is not something that IT Services is likely to offer across the entire University in the long term. The University is charged for each individual hour of viewing, so large online audiences would run up hefty viewing fees. Nevertheless, these webinars showcase one of the potential applications of Replay, and hint at other innovations that may grow from it. (Note that IT Services offers a separate service – WebEx – a web conferencing service that gives participants the tools to seamlessly collaborate and share information.)

If you have questions, comments, complaints, or anything else relating to the lecture capture project, then please contact replay@it.ox.ac.uk.

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