Case Study

BattleSpace Action Centers Empowered through Multimedia Guidance Prompt

The BattleSpace research stream seeks to reduce military decision cycles by 50 percent or more at the operational level. The ActionCenters project will offer a rapid development environment where collaboration experts will be able to design and create software applications for specific mission-critical tasks in hours or days.

Funded through an earmark secured by Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, the project was proposed by researchers from three UNO colleges: the College of Business Administration, the College of Information Science and Technology (located at the University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute) and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Situation

The military that can decide and act the fastest can prevail, even when facing a physically superior adversary by forcing the adversary to respond to conditions that no longer exist. Researchers at the center for collaboration science are therefore developing a new class of collaboration software called Action Centers which will guide geographically distributed military personnel through complex collaborative decision task without requiring any training in advance, either for the software or for the collaboration techniques it supports. Early research demonstrated that teams using the Action Centers approach could reduce decision cycles by 50 to 90% while improving the quality of the products they created.

Conventional software development approaches, however, were too slow to address the rapidly changing needs of the decision makers. Each application required months or years to develop each application. The research team devised a radical new approach to developing applications called Computer Assisted Collaboration Engineering (CACE), with which they could create Action Centers in hours. They needed, however, a way to create and modify multi-media guidance prompts for these applications as quickly as they could create the applications themselves.

Solution

VIDIZMO provided an ideal solution. Using a digital camera, researchers captured the audio video prompts and downloaded them to a laptop computer. Using Microsoft Powerpoint, they created presentation slides to accompany the videos. They uploaded these items and some graphical images into their web-based VIDIZMO workspace.

With about an hour of instruction and practice, the researchers were able to use the VIDIZMO production system effectively. Using click-and-drag actions, they moved video clips, slides, and images into a project. With a popup dialog, they specified which parts of each video clip should play, and which slides should accompany the videos. They dragged-and-dropped the video clips and slides into their desired order. With a few clicks, they created titles to display over the top of the video. They specified when each title should display and for how long. They dragged the titles and other graphics into position over the video, and setup their display times and durations. With one more button click, the project was published to the web and available for use. Another button click provided automatically generated Javascript code for embedding the multi-media object in an Action Center.

Researchers with no expertise in multi-media production used VIDIZMO to create professional-looking multi-media prompts and embed them in Action Center web applications in minutes. Personnel with no collaboration expertise were then able to successfully lead carefully designed collaborative work practices among geographically distributed participants after about 1 minute of instruction.

Benefits

Ease of Use

VIDIZMO On-demand studio was so easy and self-explaining that it didn’t require any training on using it. The simple web based tool provides access to online courses, training, live classroom lectures and presentations from anywhere, using any web browser, with no additional hardware/software installation required.

Advanced Content Editing

The advance content editing features provided, really equip an amateur to create professional looking presentations, courses and online lectures. The tool allowed content slicing, overlay and synchronization on timeline, and also makes them play in parallel on twin panes, in a single presentation screen.

Quick Publishing Options

With just one click, the professional-looking presentation was published on the web, available globally for instant viewing. The meta information enabled in publishing form enhanced the presentation search and acquisition through keyword, title, description or tags.

Products and services used

  • VIDIZMO Player
  • VIDIZMO Testing & Certification

For more Information:

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For more information about University of Nebraska at Omaha, call 402.554.2800 or visit the web site at: www.unomaha.edu.