We received an excellent contribution to our Open Source Options for Education list this week, in the shape of a real-world usage example of Opencast Matterhorn at the University of Manchester. The previous examples of Matterhorn usage we’ve had on the list have been documentation of pilot projects, so it’s great to have such an in-depth look at a full scale deployment to refer to.
The case study looks at the University’s movement from a pilot project, with 10 machines and the proprietary Podcast Producer 2 software, to a deployment across 120 rooms using Opencast Matterhorn. During the roll-out, the University adopted an opt-out policy meaning all lectures are captured by default, collecting around 1000 hours of media per week.
The University has no policy to preferentially select open source or proprietary software. However, Matterhorn gave the University some specific advantages. The lack of licensing or compulsory support costs kept the costs down, and combined with the system’s modularity allowed them to scale the solution from an initial roll-out to institution wide solution in a flexible way. The open nature also allowed for customisations (such as connecting to the University timetable system) to be added and modified as requirements developed, without additional permissions being sought. These advantages combined to provide a cost-effective solution within a tight timescale.
If your institution uses an open source solution for an educational application or service, let us know about it and we’ll include it in the Open Source Options for Education list.