The Steeple Project officially finished on March 31st 2010 after 18 months work. This section covers the final reporting elements to the project and acts as a project overview.
Please follow the links in the menu to the left to read through the report's six sections. The original application for the project is also linked from the left. A printable version of this report is available as a PDF in our resources area.
The Steeple project was an institutional exemplar project across three UK institutions: the University of Cambridge, the Open University, and the University of Oxford (lead institution). The project researched and documented institutional podcasting activities. It was prompted by the recent innovative work undertaken within these universities in preparation for creation and dissemination of audio/video recordings in iTunes U. Steeple also attracted a community of practice around the development of scalable, enterprise-level solutions suitable for educational audio/video processing and delivery at scale. The project aimed to consolidate and share technical practices on the scaling of services, encoding audio-visual material, and delivering to new third-party services. The project met these aims through a community approach of sharing best practices and promoting open standards. One early outcome of this approach was a demonstrator portal acting as a video sharing service across four UK universities.
The project's innovative work led to many contacts with other institutions who were looking for advice on technical and policy issues, particularly on project management and institutional change management. This early interest led to the use of an open community wiki to document outputs. To support this growing community the project organised a large podcasting conference of over 120 delegates in April 2009 and a series of technical workshops, consultancies, online meetings and wiki sprints through an active mail list.
The project investigated institutional infrastructure needed to support university wide educational podcasting, addressing the issues of scaling from occasional high-profile content generation, through to high-volume institution-wide lecture capture, concluding that there is no one-stop single solution to all issues. Project work was done on processes that allow an institution to syndicate to multiple online audiences and hence benefit from economies of scale. The project also collaborated on video web portal demonstrators for Oxford and Cambridge and investigated syndication to mobile devices and subject portals.
The highlights of the project included:
- Launch of Oxford and Cambridge in iTunes U and the continued success of the Open University in iTunes U.
- Dissemination to over 1,000 people at more than 21 events through the life of the project.
- A unique video sharing portal demonstrator spanning 4 UK Universities allowing 7,000 talks to be searched and viewed.
- A Toolkit to help manage institutional change in audio-video activities for public dissemination.
- A community of 20+ Universities interested in the project aims.
- Over 300 wiki pages and 4 expansive handbooks on technology, processes and policy.
- Over 30 training podcasts by HE podcasting experts.
- Work with the wider international community and with Apple.
- Support for a benefits realisation project to further enhance the community.