The University of Southampton

Synote shortlisted for E-Learning Award

Published: 19 June 2009

Synote, a web-based annotation tool developed in ECS by a team led by Dr Mike Wald, has been shortlisted for the EUNIS Dørup E-learning Award 2009.

Synote makes multimedia resources easier to access, search, manage, and exploit for learners, teachers and other users through the creation of notes, bookmarks, tags, links, images and text captions synchronised to any part of the recording.

Although multimedia has become technically easier to create (e.g. recording lectures) and users can easily bookmark, search, link to, or tag the WHOLE of a podcast or video recording available on the web, without Synote they cannot easily find or associate their notes or resources with PART of that recording. As an analogy, users would clearly find a text book difficult to use if it had no contents page, index or page numbers.

Synote’s synchronised transcripts can be produced manually or automatically using IBM speech recognition technologies. Synote enables learners or teachers to read and search text transcripts and slides and replay recordings to support learning style preference, deafness, disability or English as a second language; to bookmark, tag and highlight and link to or from sections of recordings for indexing, revision, clarification or feedback; and to collaboratively annotate recordings with notes and URLs of related resources.

Synote is freely available for anyone to use and can play most audio and video formats on most browsers and computers. Evaluations have shown that students like using Synote, find the synchronised transcripts and note-taking facility useful and want more recordings and lectures to be available in this way.

Synote has been developed with the support of JISC and is being used in the European Net4Voice project.

Dr Wald has been invited to demonstrate Synote at the EUNIS 2009 conference hosted by the University of Santiago de Compostela 23-26 June.

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