What is Bruincast?
BruinCast is a service offered and subsidized by the Office of Instructional Development to video stream and/or audio podcast regularly scheduled undergraduate lectures.
Video streaming allows students to review the class after lecture is complete. They can see the instructor, the whiteboard, slides, and any image that is shown through the video/data projector. Streaming video is beneficial because it is neither stored on the viewer's computer, taking up hard drive space, nor can it be easily recorded and shared. Viewers can easily seek and navigate to any point in the lecture. Video streaming requires that the viewer is connected to the internet with a high speed connection (DSL, Cable or LAN).
Audio podcasting can be a very powerful review tool when combined with materials made available through an instructor’s course websites. The biggest advantage of podcasting is that students can subscribe to a course and have that course lecture automatically download to their computer when it is available. It eliminates the need to manually check the BruinCast webpage. Once downloaded to their computer, students can transfer the podcasts to a portable listening device and can listen to the lecture anywhere, without requiring an internet connection. If they choose not to download the lecture and just click on the "Audio" link, they can begin listening immediately; however, they will be unable to navigate to various points in a lecture until the downloaded content has reached that point.
Purpose and use/The mission of BruinCast
The BruinCast program at UCLA has a different mission than similar programs at other institutions. Our goal is to provide an instructional enhancement to current students, using funding specifically allocated for that purpose by the state. To that end, we allow faculty to make a choice as to whether they wish the content of their courses to be open to the public. About 75% do not. Although it would be a boon to the general public to have all UCLA course webcasts openly accessible, it would not be a direct benefit to our current student population, our defined audience for this program. It is always possible that our policies might change, as there is a lot of discussion around this topic on campus.
What determines if my class is videostreamed/audiopodcasted?
There are a variety of factors that determine if a course is podcasted. The instructor must request to have their course podcasted. Then, the room is checked for necessary technology to support podcasting. If the room requires a portable set-up, then the availability of equipment and manpower are taken into account. Given the number of requests and limited resources, the list of courses that will receive podcasting is finalized at the start of each quarter.
How do I get access to class lectures?
In order to access class lectures, students should login to their course page on CCLE. After BruinCast has been setup for your course, you will find a link to the course's BruinCast in the bottom of the Site Info block for your course website under Media resources. Additional documentation for accessing Bruincast via CCLE is available here: https://docs.ccle.ucla.edu/w/BruinCast.
How soon after the lecture can I download the podcast?
Podcasts will be posted no later than 24 hours after the scheduled lecture.
How is this different from my normal classes?
Our goal is to make the process no different than any other class you attend. We have and will continue to put a great deal of effort into making what we do as unobtrusive as possible. However, we have no illusions that our presence will not have some impact on what you see in the classroom. At every lecture, a camera operator sets up equipment in the projection booth. Since some rooms do not have booths, you may see the operator and the camera, but please try to ignore them.
Will I appear on the webcast?
Normally, no. The camera operator is focused on the instructor and any presentation materials used in the course. Since the audio is picked up from the sound system, even student questions will not be heard.
Will I be able to watch the online version of the lecture while it is happening?
At this point, we are not making the online lectures available as a live webcast. Lectures will be available for viewing the day following the lecture.
Does this mean I can watch the lectures online instead of attending class in person?
It is highly recommended that you attend every course lecture. Overwhelmingly, students surveyed say that the service is most effective when utilized to review course materials and is not a substitute for going to class.
Is the recording method fail safe?
No. Although we make every effort to ensure a quality recording, sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances that result in the recording not being captured. It can be something as simple as a bad battery in the wireless microphone to something as complex as corrupted coding that prevents us from getting the recording. Should a class not record, we will do our best to keep you informed and will provide help in any issues surrounding that particular instance.
Where do I get help?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.