Academically Annotating Academic Video (extension)

Long Title: Academically Annotating Academic Video (extension)
ETH Zürich
Universität Bern
Université de Lausanne
Université de Fribourg - Universität Freiburg
SWITCH - Teleinformatikdienste für Lehre und Forschung
Domain: ELS
Status: finished
Start Date: 01.01.2013
End Date: 30.04.2013
Project Leader: O. A. Schulte

Requirements of the universities go further than a simple annotation service. The annotations must be usable in the academic context and therefore offer additional functions as for examinations, allow free configuration and definition of labels by students.

(see also Annotating Academic Video)


Component Description
Annotation Code Open Source Code at Github, including documentation and demo
SWITCHcast Integration of video annotations in the video management system SWITCHcast

The software is available under the Educational Community License, Version 2.0 (ECL-2.0) and productive in SWITCHcast since spring term 2013.
Authorized annotations and extensions of the annotation editor (inductive annotations, likert scale editor, staistic export, label import/export etc.) have been integrated.
The annotation features can be used in training and testing settings (compare individual Video Training project) as well as for video analysis in a research context.


On the basis of the GUI prototype during Annotating Academic Video, additional functions were identified as being necessary.
For example for examination applications in the medical field, it is not only important to be able to include an annotation in label form for marking video contents, as was provided for in the original project application. In order to satisfy the examination regulations, it must also be possible to include information on the performance of the contents in scalar form, and this, in turn, must be freely configured (number of scale points) and must be described in free text. The degree of flexibility in designing label sets and labels is increased, and the annotation functions are standardised (Likert scales) - and hence the data models and annotation editor must be aligned accordingly. New functions provided to students are the use of annotations within their own structure and labels.
And finally, integrated export and import functions will be implemented in order to handle these complex constructs in an efficient manner (exchange of label structures etc.).


The additional functions allow to use annotations in additional scenarios as examinations.
A further point covered by the annotation service for academics is "inductive annotation". Where it has previously only been possible to make annotations in the context of the structures specified by the teaching staff, students are now to be in a position to create and use their own structures. Apart from an academic paradigm switch (deduction versus induction), this also involves an extension of learning with/in a video: apart from text annotations, students now also have labels that they have created themselves at their disposal. The students access the video in their own dimensions and not in those of their teachers. The annotation services then also become (more) interesting for those teachers who pursue a didactic perspective of this kind.
The extension marks the continuing development of the video management that SWITCHcast makes available to the universities. In a first step, the "Individal Video Training" project has extended access to video content in such a way as to permit collaborative scenarios under tutorial management. "Annotating Academic Video" is contributing the necessary additions in the form of annotation functions: teachers and students have tools at their disposal for the straightforward annotation of videos. With the extension the annotation service will meet the academic requirements on a video annotation function what increases the number of people who can use it.


Firstly, the defined additional functions will be converted into a detailed, visual concept and, secondly, be integrated in the technical implementation work: inductive annotation calls for the annotation editor to be moved from the video management system (SWITCHcast or Opencast Matterhorn) to the actual annotation service. This must be supplemented by the following technical features:

  • Label editor: Likert scales, free text, export/import (label sets, annotation data)
  • Window layout; optional: saving user settings
  • Optional: comprehensive setting options for free-text annotation