Multimedia has become technically easier to create (e.g. recording lectures) but while users can bookmark , search, link to, or tag a COMPLETE podcast or video available on the web, they cannot bookmark, search, link to, or tag A PARTICULAR SECTION WITHIN that podcast or video. Users cannot, for example, easily find or return to a particular point in a recording or associate their notes or resources with a specific section of a recording. As an analogy, users would clearly find a text book difficult to use if it had no contents page, index or page numbers. Therefore the growing amount of knowledge available in multimedia format has yet to achieve the level of interconnection and manipulation achieved for text documents via the World Wide Web and so realize the exciting opportunities for learning that can occur in âWeb 2.0â and âsocial softwareâ environments.
The MACFOB project aims to develop a web-based multimedia annotation tool that will meet the important and pervasive user need of making multimedia web resources (e.g. podcasts) easier to access, search, manage, and exploit for students, teachers and other users through developing and deploying technologies that support the creation of synchronised notes, bookmarks, tags, images and text captions.
User needs requirements for MACFOB have been established through user studies which have shown how teachers and students benefit from making annotations to help search and manipulate recordings of lectures or classes to find and make use of information. Consultations with user groups have confirmed the user needs requirements for both teaching and administration and interest in involvement in the project. We will work with a number of interested users throughout the project, in order to build a generalised Multimedia Annotation tool that is simple enough for teachers and learners to appropriate for their own use.