Multilingualism and Lecture2Go

You are reading an older blog post. Please be aware that the information contained in it may be technologically outdated. This text may not necessarily reflect my current opinions or capabilities.

This is an English translation of a blog post that was originally published in German.

June 29th, 2010

For several semesters now, the University of Hamburg has been offering a service called Lecture2Go. The people responsible there have equipment and know-how for the successful recording of lectures and other talks. There you can find for example the lectures of the module Software Development 2.

About a semester ago, I noticed that a fellow student had organized such a Lecture2Go recording set for a lecture in the KunterBuntesSeminar. I immediately found that exciting, because I like the idea of making knowledge accessible to as many interested people as possible. Recordings like the ones done with Lecture2Go allow you to break the boundaries of being there in person and experience a lecture at a later time and/or in a different place in the world.

For my lecture last Tuesday on the topic of “Multilingualism in Teaching at the University of Hamburg” I took it upon myself to do so: I organized and carried out everything necessary to record it and make it available to the world on Lecture2Go. Maybe you are interested in how I went about it.

Organizational Things in the Lecture

First of all, the organizer has to agree, in this case it was not me, but Dr. Bernd Meyer from the linguistics department. But in the end he didn't have to sign anything, only I as the presenter had to do that.

Furthermore, the audience should be informed about Lecture2Go and the recording in advance. Since the audience is not normally filmed, there is no need for consent. However, it should be politely pointed out that conversations and noises in the room may be heard softly in the recording.

Interaction with the Lecture2Go Team

The Lecture2Go project is part of the RRZ's Media Competence Center. It is there, in Schlüterstraße, that you will find the people behind the project. They are three very dedicated young employees who enjoy their project and are usually very accommodating.

You can borrow the recording hardware there. You also sign that you grant them the right to publish the recording on the web (non-exclusively). The only obligation is to make sure that the presentation (especially the slides) does not violate the rights of third parties, e.g. that you have not stolen any pictures. But you make sure of that anyway, so it doesn't take any added effort.


Technically, this works with a video camera including a tripod, a wireless microphone, a VGA splitter that can provide the video signal of the presentation computer for recording, and an Apple MacBook to which all this is connected. The software for recording and post-processing is already quite idiot-proof, but is still being refined. For computer science students it should be no problem. Nevertheless, you should let them show it to you beforehand, the MCC people can do that or you know someone (e.g. me) who has done it before.

For my presentation André kindly agreed to operate the camera, since he already knows the procedure from Software Development 1. Thanks André!


After you have the finished video encoded in a handful of formats, you can put it on the Lecture2Go website. Unfortunately, this step is currently the most time-consuming, at least initially. Accounts have to be created by the Lecture2Go team and courses have to be assigned manually. Videos can be uploaded and descriptions edited by the users themselves. Hopefully this process can be streamlined if the system is to be scaled up further.


When I asked if this experiment (recording a student's seminar lecture) made sense from their point of view and could be recommended, the Lecture2Go team's answer was an enthusiastic “Of course!” I also had fun with it and will definitely come back to it for future lectures.

My first Lecture2Go recording

P.S. As Murphy would have it, Lecture2Go is apparently down as I write these lines. Let's hope that everything will work again as soon as possible.


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