The Inside Scoop on Major Studio Updates for Q1!

AkosFarago
Instructure
Instructure
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Since the last time Announcing a New Screen Recorder in Studio, we’ve hit significant milestones internally in areas featured on our public roadmap, however, we deliberately kept some details under wraps until we were absolutely certain about them. Without further ado, let me shed some light on what has been happening over the past 6 months and how your Studio experience will change in the upcoming quarter.

 

Where is the new Screen Recorder option? 

We’ve got a lot of feedback in the survey that I included in the blogpost and those had one thing in common: back-to-back recordings go hand in hand with high level of robustness. We need it to withstand interruptions such as browser crashes, lost connectivity etc, and even if that happens, anyone should be able to one-click recover their content directly from Studio.

One particularly exciting challenge is how to make sure that the recording is uninterrupted when connectivity is lost during a lecture, however, seamlessly continue it offline and upload the full video once connection is restored. This is a big-time improvement to the current webcam capture solution and based on all the feedback, we decided to take on this challenge. For that reason, we rescheduled the release to January.

We will call the solution “Beta” (you will see it on the UI), as we aim to continuously pack in features upon its release, however, it will be available in everyone’s production Studio environment in January!

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What about Professional Captioning? It is indicated as Q4 on the roadmap.

In the past 3 months, we were in an early access period where we integrated several colleges with their captioning providers (from May blogpost). They ordered professional captions for hundreds of their videos in this period - directly from within Studio and we are grateful for all the feedback. Special thanks to the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, who were willing to meet us 3 times and share their captioning processes in great details.

Given that professional captioning comes with an extra cost, we’ve been carefully monitoring the integration together with our partners. The early access period closes now and professional captioning support for Studio will be officially coming in the next month. Stay tuned for all the nitty-gritty details!

 

Speedgrader integration

Going back to the new screen recorder solution, many of you noticed the “Is it planned to be incorporated in the RCE or other places in Canvas?” part of the F.A.Q. I am so happy that I no longer have to contain my excitement and that I can share with you that screen narration will come to the Speedgrader natively in March!

This will be an invaluable tool for Teachers to highlight, annotate student submissions while narrating the screen and delivering the feedback more effectively. This will significantly reduce the time spent for grading submissions while students will also get to respond using the same tool. With this, we want to amplify the Teacher-Student communication in the Speedgrader, something that has been a demand from our Teachers for a long time. 

But…

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Yes. Every video-based feedback or response from the student will be automatically captioned. That goes without saying when we think of accessibility in the Speedgrader. Until now, generating captions was exclusive to Studio and was only available through requesting it manually. However, when dealing with 20 individual student submissions, it would create a weird enough experience to request them 20 times. Not automating it was out of the question.

Additionally, this will later enable students to use the transcripts of video feedback as evidence on their work! 

 

Auto-captioning in Studio

Finally, we arrived there…. keep an eye out for a dedicated post containing all the details in the latter half of the quarter! One exciting challenge with it was the spoken language detection as this bypasses the need for the uploader to determine the language beforehand. Since late October, we have been conducting experiments on auto-captioning in the background, comparing the chosen language by users with the one automatically detected. Results are in: for videos in English, we observed an impressive accuracy of over 99%, while non-English videos achieved at least 95% accuracy. Given how crucial it is for teachers to make sure they are notified about any failure so that videos are not shared with students under the impression that they are captioned no matter what, we are working on a notification system so that they are always in the know. The option to manually request captions will still be available for these cases.

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Admin media management and sub-account support

We met Administrators during summer and autumn to better understand this problem and we were also super happy to see that this was voted by the Community as a high-value idea. Although, I'm holding off the details to save something exciting for next time as well. There is a lot in the making here and this update is already growing way too big!

 

Feel free to drop any questions in the comments below, I am happy to share with you more details! Take care and happy holidays!

Akos

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