Support from FASE's Education Technology Office

Review how to administer OpenCast (OCCS) in your course

Updated on

This guide provides an overview of to administer OpenCast within your Quercus course, throughout your course's life cycle. OpenCast is a lecture capture system implemented by the Office of Learning Space Management (LSM) and is currently installed in classrooms with full teaching podiums (see if your classroom has OpenCast using LSM's Instructor Portal).

OpenCast records your live sessions in a classroom automatically (based on your course schedule and it requires opt in). It ONLY captures your digital display (e.g. content projecting on the display, through the teaching podium) and your audio feed (please use the in room microphone for best quality audio). See our feature overview of OpenCast.

Before starting, ensure that OpenCast is the right lecture capture solution for you (see the ETO's overview of in class lecture capture solutions). Then, you can make sure that you've configured it according to your preferences, and finally, when your course concludes, confirm that you've securely archived your recordings for future use.

Have OpenCast questions? If you have any questions about OpenCast, please email [email protected].

1. Is OpenCast the right lecture capture solution for you?

If you are teaching in a classroom with a full teaching podium (manged by LSM) and you typically teach using digitally shared content (e.g. slides, tablet, other applications), then OpenCast is the ideal solution for you. Consider that:

  • OpenCast does not replace synchronous webinar tools (e.g. Zoom, MS Teams); it creates a recording of your session but does not broadcast or stream your content live.
  • OpenCast does not record video via a camera in your classroom; if you teach using non-digital means (e.g. chalkboard, demonstrations) and do not use the podium computer, there will only be audio captured from your session.

For additional Lecture Capture recording options, see the ETO's review of in person lecture capture solutions. If your teaching style is non-digital (e.g. chalkboard, demonstrations), we encourage you to review and consider the FASE Lecture Capture Program.

1.1. Overview of OpenCast Features

Benefits Limitations
  1. Records your session automatically (after opt in)
  2. Integrated with Quercus (there is an instructor and a student app)
  3. Hosts video files for the academic term; students access videos through the OpenCast Student App (in Quercus)
  4. Built-in editor allows for simple editing (e.g. trimming); editor is non-destructive (i.e., the original recording file is not replaced)
  5. Option to auto-publish recordings (Publishes approx. one hour after class end time)
  6. Can pause auto-publish (as needed, e.g. to skip a week)
  1. Recording is restricted to timetables – it starts at 10 past the hour and stops at your scheduled end time (not when class actually ended). If you run over time, your recording will still stop at the official class end time. 
  2. No option to enable downloading for student use
  3. No camera feed is recorded; digital display capture only
  4. Built-in editor is limited in functionality
  5. Cannot limit to specific sections in a cross-listed course
  6. Not an archival system; recordings must be downloaded and stored at the end of each term
  7. Does not livestream your session

2. Configure the OpenCast app(s) in your Quercus course

Once per term, you will:

  1. Enable the OpenCast Instructor App in Quercus
  2. Select the OCCS Instructor app in your Quercus Course Navigation Menu, and
  3. Follow the instructions on the interface to Opt-in for the OpenCast recording service.

For complete instructions on the opt-in process for OpenCast, please refer to LSM's Opencast Content Capture System Operation and Usage instructions(PDF) (pp. 7-10).

By opting into the application, your class sessions will be recorded automatically via the podium computer in your classroom. If you move spaces, or cancel the class, you will want to ensure you've planned for alternate capture. You can also pause your recording schedule in the OpenCast App in Quercus.

3. Select your recording preferences

As an instructor, you will want to make sure your OpenCast is set up according to your preferences.  Refer to LSM's  Opencast Content Capture System Operation and Usage instructions(PDF) guide to review how to complete the following actions (includes page references in the LSM guide):

  1. Access your recording options (p. 11)
  2. Make changes to your recording options (p. 12), including:
    1. Enable auto-publish the recordings to your course  
    2. Skip a session if you do not want it to be recorded
    3. Pause a live recording (in the classroom)
  3. Access you recordings (pp. 13-14) 
  4. Edit/Trim a video before publishing (p. 16)

4. Share your recording with your course through the OpenCast Student Application

Up to this point, you've spent your time in the Instructor OpenCast app, configuring your settings. Students do not see this part of the application; instead, they watch the content via the OpenCast Student App (which also has to be enabled).

  1. How to enable Opencast Student App in Quercus (note that enabling the OCCS instructor and student apps is the same; you might choose to do both at the same time, or wait until you have your first recording ready before enabling the student app).

5. Post an announcement

Tell your students you're using lecture capture! A quick explanation of where to find the videos will also be helpful. We've had semesters where students didn't discover lecture capture until the end, simply because they didn't know about it.

  1. Post an announcement (see how do I add an announcement in a course?) in your course (or include it in your start of term housekeeping) explaining how you will be using lecture capture and your expectations how it will be used (e.g. supplemental review versus missing class). If you expect students to still attend class, it helps to be clear in these expectations from the beginning.

6. Archive your recordings (end of term)

OpenCast will store your recordings for the term; if you would like to keep or re-use the recordings, you will need to download them and save them for your use. If you do not plan to re-use the content, then you are not required to download; they will simply be deleted according to the OpenCast retention policy.

Why archive (save) your video content?

  1. Personal use/review: To safely archive your videos for personal use, you could save them on your OneDrive. When revising the course for future iterations, this content can be helpful to remind you of what was previously done.
  2. Sharing to students/others: To safely archive your video for sharing, we recommend downloading them from OpenCast and uploading them to a video hosting service (e.g. MyMedia, MS Stream). Make sure you grab that caption file, too!

Want to edit your videos? If you'd like support to edit/trim your videos (highly recommended if students appear in your recordings), please submit a remote editing service inquiry to get started. We offer this service based on capacity; request early to ensure that we can help!

Next Article How do I enable OpenCast (OCCS) via the instructor and student apps in my Quercus course?
Still have questions? Contact the FASE EdTech Office