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As higher education IT departments navigate more demanding responsibilities with fewer resources, they are looking for turnkey software solutions that save time, effort, and money. 

This includes reevaluating video capture software systems and understanding common challenges, use cases, benefits, and solutions. 

This page and corresponding guide provide a comprehensive overview of A/V capture in higher education to help educators and stakeholders find the right software system for their unique applications. 

Short on time? Use the form on this page to download a PDF copy of the page contents to save, share, and reference! 

Make Your Campus Stand Out and More Efficient with the Step-By-Step Higher Education A/V Capture Planning Guide

Higher Education A/V Capture Guide

Campuses across the nation are finding new ways to increase productivity and efficiency. A recent EDUCAUSE report, “The IT Leadership Workforce in Higher Education,” highlights several key findings likely to impact campus IT departments. The most notable statistics are as follows:

  • Senior-level leaders report an average of nine different areas of responsibility in their role, compared with an average of five among director-level leaders.

  • Compared with leaders from larger institutions (8,000 or more students), leaders from smaller institutions (fewer than 4,000 students) are more likely to report having eliminated positions in key areas and taking on a higher average number of areas of responsibility.

  • Nearly all respondents (94%) indicated that at least one of their departments or units had experienced a large increase in time demands over the past 12 months.

  • Information security and services have seen growth in demand, with 45% of respondents indicating increases in this area.

The optimal outcome is finding a video capture solution that fits the department's requirements, is easy to manage, gives students better learning opportunities, and provides service for IT professionals. However, some challenges come with A/V capture technology in higher education. 

Video capture technology can transform educational delivery, enhance student engagement, and provide flexible learning pathways. Yet, its implementation is not without hurdles. Understanding the challenges you might face is the first step toward mitigating issues early and unlocking the benefits of video capture in higher education environments.

Off-the-shelf Doesn't Suit Specific Use Case Needs

One size does not fit all when it comes to video capture solutions in higher education. Off-the-shelf products often fail to meet the specific needs of different departments and courses, leading to underutilization and dissatisfaction.

Solution: Tailored technology deployment is key. Work with vendors who offer customizable video capture solutions designed to adapt to fit unique educational requirements. Engage stakeholders from various departments early in the decision-making process to ensure the selected technology aligns with the diverse needs across the institution.

Departmentally Driven Decisions

Decisions made within silos can lead to fragmentation rather than cohesive, institution-wide strategies. A piecemeal approach to new technology complicates integration, hampers user experience, and inflates costs.

Solution: Adopt a holistic approach to technology adoption. Centralize decision-making processes or create cross-functional committees that include representatives from all relevant departments. This ensures technology deployments are consistent and compatible, catering to broader institutional goals rather than isolated departmental needs.

Failed Technology Deployments

Investing in technology that does not meet evolving educational needs results in wasted resources and missed opportunities. The rapid pace of change in both educational practices and technology can render recent deployments obsolete or inadequate.

Solution: Future-proof your technology investments. Prioritize scalability and flexibility in your video capture solutions. Look for platforms and systems that support easy updates, have broad compatibility with other technologies, and offer cloud-based or hybrid options to accommodate growth and changes in educational delivery.

Why is college technology important to students? Read this blog to learn more.

Maintenance and Support Costs

Ongoing maintenance and technical support for video capture systems can strain budgets, especially when deployments are large-scale and fragmented. With strained IT teams, an A/V system that does not offer centralized management and is difficult to maintain can cause frustration within internal teams. 

Solution: Leverage economies of scale by negotiating holistic campus-wide solutions with comprehensive maintenance and support agreements. Keep in mind some vendors require new hardware purchases by ending compatibility with end-of-life products. Ensure you won't have to purchase all new equipment by asking how often, if ever, they end support with certain technology. Also, consider investing in user training to reduce dependency on technical support for minor issues, lowering overall support costs.

Did you know that A/V capture technology can actually support campus employee retention? See how in this blog post.

Acquisition Costs

The cost of acquiring state-of-the-art video capture technology can be high, especially when vendors require annual platform updates with additional costs. 

Solution: Research and prioritize systems with a low total cost of lifetime ownership, factoring in yearly software upgrades, maintenance costs, and, most importantly, the organization's longevity. As the industry advances, vendors come and go; seek a video capture partner with a history of success in higher education.

Security Risks

Integrating video capture technologies introduces new dimensions to an institution’s security landscape, posing risks to data integrity and privacy.

Solution: Ensure that any video capture solution you consider complies with relevant data protection regulations and standards. Additionally, be sure to work with your vendor and IT teams to implement robust cybersecurity measures, including encryption for video data, secure access controls, with user permissions that can granularly give and deny access to data and regular security audits to safeguard sensitive information.

Video capture in higher education environments is nothing new. In fact, campuses across the nation use video across many departments and in several unique learning and teaching environments. 

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Simulation Labs: Simulation laboratories used by the medical and nursing colleges of numerous universities simulate various clinical settings and offer students the chance to work in a hands-on environment, enhancing their communicative, technical, critical thinking, and decision-making skill set.

Examinations: Recording examinations can ensure a fair and honest testing environment for all students and faculty. This includes recording OSCEs to assess the competence of medical students.

Training Programs: Video capture software for department training programs is becoming an increasingly popular tool for clinical skills building and assessments

Clinics: A/V capture software is an easy-to-use application for clinics and organizations wishing to record and view live sessions for use as a session training aid or assessment tool.

Mock Trials: Capturing training exercises, role play, and mock trials present an excellent opportunity for student learning and engagement. 

Business and Sales Education: Students today favor visual learning and hands-on activities over hours of reading and memorizing theoretical business concepts. Video is beginning to play a huge role in teaching and learning. Incorporate video recording in sales role plays.

Laboratory Rooms: Audio and video capture software is a great observation, debriefing, and training tool for laboratory learning environments. Labs can also serve as a dual purpose with video for research and training in areas such as early child development.

Interviewing: Using software systems to record and review interviewing sessions can help students learn by trial and grow their communicative skills.  

Research: More and more colleges and universities are using video technology as a research solution. Video solutions allow higher education institutions to advance their research, training, and education.

Competitions: Recording and reviewing competitions can enhance student learning and foster growth for future endeavors. 

Teaching: Studies have shown that recording classroom lectures can improve student engagement and their ability to learn by allowing students to set their own learning pace by reviewing recorded lecture materials multiple times when convenient for them. 

Take a full look at all of the applications that can utilize an audio/video platform for training and education here.

 

Watch how Southeast Community College uses a single video platform across its entire health science buildings.

Healthcare programs including nursing, psychology, surgery, dental, physical therapy, pharmacy, emergency medicine, and medical labs use a holistic video platform for real-life student learning and self-reflection. This allows instructors to give precise, personalized feedback, modernizing education and producing competent professionals.

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Educators and institutions increasingly turn to technology to enhance teaching and learning experiences. 

Holistic video observation and recording platforms offer multifaceted solutions tailored to modern educational needs.

Below, we explore the key benefits of video capture software for educators, demonstrating how it meets and exceeds current and future educational demands.

  • Demonstrates compliance with accreditation standards. The use of video capture software in higher education can help streamline the process of seeking and maintaining accreditation.

  • Meets infrastructure requirements. Holistic video observation platforms are designed to seamlessly integrate with existing networks, ensuring minimal disruption and optimal performance.

  • Repeatable platform. Choosing a platform that can be used campus-wide, with any number of use cases, means your IT team can easily manage a consistent platform with repeatable processes.

  • Central platform management. A centralized platform architecture offers IT teams a holistic solution which makes it easy to address concerns quickly and efficiently. 

  • Reliable performance. A centralized solution that serves a holistic approach means less hardware, reducing the chances of technology failures. A system with proven results across multiple types of use cases means you can rely on performance and management capabilities. 

  • Safe and secure platform (HIPAA, FERPA, etc.). The right A/V capture vendor should provide a safe and secure platform, meaning you don’t have to worry about security issues.

  • Future cloud strategy. A platform built with cloud capabilities means less bandwidth usage, fewer headaches, multiple options of deployment, and improved centralized management for IT teams. 

  • Remote user access. When IT teams can log in remotely to A/V capture software to manage issues or adjust settings, it significantly enhances effectiveness and efficiency.

  • Increased mobile options. Holistic video observation and recording platforms offer remote access capabilities, breaking down geographical barriers and fostering inclusive educational environments.

  • Flexible recording options. A platform that can stream and record from more than just fixed cameras can provide flexible options for all education applications.

Interested in more information? Take a look at our deep dive blog on this topic now.

The process of procuring a video capture system varies by project, but the basic steps remain consistent.

1. System Application Overview

The first step involves defining the scope and needs of your new video capture software.

  • What capabilities are required?
  • How will it function across user groups and departments?
  • What is your 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year plan?

It is also essential to include all critical stakeholders, including administration and IT to ensure you are considering the future state of your system. The ideal video capture solution allows you to grow and scale as your program and departmental requirements expand.

2. System Requirements

As you gain an understanding of the capabilities you need, you can narrow in on system requirements. We often recommend starting with your must-have and wishlist features.

Use our handy PDF wishlist to start tracking your system requirements. 

3. Logistical Oversight

Think ahead and plan how a new system will be implemented across departments and who needs to be involved in system onboarding and training. Consider the responsibilities associated with ongoing maintenance and support, as well as the additional costs.

4. Budget

Defining your overall budget is important, but it’s more than just the upfront costs associated with system architecture and technology.

You should also consider:

  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Annual software upgrade costs
  • System lifecycle costs
  • Longevity and reliability of the vendor partner
  • End-of-life product cycles

Investing in state-of-the-art technology only to have the vendor go out of business or be acquired is not in your best interest. Do your homework and research several systems and vendor options.

5. Timeline

As you define every aspect of the project, one of the most important considerations is the timeline for implementation.  It is often helpful to set your implementation date and work backward from there to ensure you hit all significant milestones to roll out new technology when needed.

Read how video recording is a vital tool for training future counselors and counseling supervisors enrolled in one higher education institution’s master’s and doctoral programs.

Incorporating video capture technology into new buildings is an opportunity to reimagine the educational experience. From classrooms to lecture halls, labs, and clinics, every corner of your campus can become a nexus of knowledge transfer, all thanks to strategically used video software technology.

Here are some considerations:

  • The seamless integration of video capture systems into your campus infrastructure requires thoughtful planning and coordination with architects and general contractors (GCs).

  • Consider platform logistics, such as network capacity, spatial design, and equipment compatibility, to name a few.

  • Be sure to have consistent communication between technology providers, IT departments, and construction teams to ensure cohesive implementation from blueprint to build.

If you’re looking for more information on how A/V capture can be integrated into new building design, review our detailed blog on the topic

Choosing a higher education audio/video capture vendor is an important part of choosing a platform. If you are unsure of what to ask vendors, try using these introductory talking points:

QUESTION FOR VENDOR

WHY IT’S WORTH ASKING

What do you do?

An oldie, but a goodie, this question is the perfect prompt to hear a vendor’s thirty-second elevator pitch about what they offer and why they offer it. If you want to know more, follow with, ‘how is what you offer different than other vendors who provide similar products and services?’. The vendor’s answer helps you compare products.

How do you continue to innovate?

Years in business establish durability, but this question establishes credibility as a long-term partner who evolves to meet customer and industry needs. Another way to ask this question is, ‘What new products have you created in the last year?’


What other organizations or programs like mine use your product?

Determine if the vendor’s product is used by peers in your field who share similar goals and priorities. Follow with, ‘How has your product helped them?’ to assess if the same solution will work for you.

How long does it take an organization or program of my size to acquire and use your product?

If you have deadlines to meet, it’s important to find a vendor whose timeline aligns with your own. This question sets a realistic timeline for purchasing, receiving, training, and implementing a vendor’s product.

What training do you provide?

The type of training, frequency of training, duration of training, and available training materials may indicate how easy a vendor’s product is to use.

What are my support options?

Use this open-ended question to discover warranty information, method of customer service, support hours, access to product updates and new features, etc.

4 benefits of VALT-1

Intelligent Video Solutions is a leading supplier of audio/video capture software solutions for colleges and universities nationwide. Why? Here are just some of the reasons.

Stable and Secure

Many of our customers must comply with HIPAA, the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, as well as FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Security is a major factor of the VALT platform. VALT supports multiple technologies to assist with this, including data and video encryption, LDAP integration, extensive user permissions and rights, group containers, user access control, and a robust audit trail.

IVS offers a safe and secure software platform designed to meet your unique campus requirements. As a longstanding vendor in the industry, IVS has a reputation for exceptional customer service and reliability. We have no intention of going anywhere, and you can count on us to make a long-term investment.

Learn more about our secure solution here.

Less Cost, Less Risk

One of the key differentiators our customers value is our backward compatibility model. Our modernized software systems are designed to upgrade seamlessly, at no added cost, to match any advancements we make to the systems. Adding additional cameras and equipment is seamless, integrated with or separate from existing set-up.

Obsolescence is not part of our strategy, forcing customers to constantly buy new hardware and software. Instead, we focus on state-of-the-art systems that can be updated as needed, making your investments last at a lower cost and with less risk to you.

With IVS you can expect:

  • No upgrade charges.
  • A five-year hardware warranty.
  • A fixed Service and Support Agreement of 7% or less to keep the total cost of ownership down.

Our current tech stack is built to support, on-prem, cloud, and mobile applications. Our continuous investment in research and development means we are staying on the cutting edge of technology, bringing you and your system along with us.

Implementation Ease

At IVS, we design our proposal around your unique programs, workflows, and installation requirements. We are dedicated to creating a plan tailored to your goals and ensuring your final order aligns with your needs before implementation.

Moreover, we help you maximize the benefits of your A/V capture system with easy access to highly detailed, self-guided training resources and a responsive support team of dedicated professionals.

Ease of Use

Students and administrators can master the VALT system in minutes with minimal training thanks to intuitive, logical functionality.

The VALT video system uses a browser-based client, so no software download or plug-ins are required.

"VALT could allow us to give really quick feedback to a student - immediate, corrective feedback - or to be able to review a student’s work completely remotely,” - Program Clinic Coordinator

Overcoming the common challenges associated with video capture in higher education demands a strategic, informed, and collaborative approach. By addressing specific use case needs, fostering a holistic decision-making culture, future-proofing technology investments, managing maintenance and acquisition costs, and prioritizing security, institutions can unlock the immense potential of video capture technology.

Take a moment now to learn more about VALT and what IVS can offer your higher education institution.