Topic: Multilingual Online Education at Dallas Seminary

Hey folks, just wanted to show off some fun stuff we're getting involved in at Dallas Seminary. We've made our online education player go multilingual (English, Spanish, and Chinese [traditional only, simplified coming soon]). Right now it appears that most students want to have the original English audio with subtitles in their language, rather than have it dubbed.

Here are some linkies:

ST101 - Intro to Theology
- English
- Spanish
- Chinese

BE510 - Life of Christ
- English
- Spanish
- Chinese

It's such a blast getting to write cool software for the body of Christ.

JD

PS. The BE510 class has some super-old and pretty hilarious music. You have permission to laugh.

Last edited by John Dyer (2006-02-02 11:44:22)

Re: Multilingual Online Education at Dallas Seminary

John, this is absolutely fantastic. What tools did you use in making it? Obviously Flash but what else and what was the process like. I think it be fascinating if you did some sort of write up on the making of this. Just a thought for a series of blog entries. It looks really great. Nice work.

Re: Multilingual Online Education at Dallas Seminary

beno,
Thanks for asking. We are planning on trying to get all the software out the door for others to use. Here's an overview:


- Video editor - final cut pro is the editor of choice and then Sorenson Sqeeze encodes them as Flash.
- Slides - a designer creates the slides in Powerpoint, puts a timecode in the notes field for when the slide should appear in the video, and then a custom utility exports the slides as JPGs and creates an XML file with the timecode and slide image URLs
- Transcript - the videos are sent off to a transcription company, then a person here at DTS type-checks them (esp. for names and unfamiliar theological terms). Then the transcript is put into a custom flash application that splits up the text into lines and a person marks timecodes for each line (sort of like closed captioning for TV). This process generates another XML file with lines of text and timecodes. For multi-lingual classes, the transcript is translated and then re-cued to the video.

All of the files are on a server with a .NET app that checks the status of each class' videos, transcripts and slides. Though .NET is used for the status and to generate a lot of the XML for the player, I've tried to make it as .NET independant as possible so the player only knows about the FLV, XML, and JPG files and could use php, cf or anything else as the backend.

Good idea on the blog posts. That'd be fun.

JD

Re: Multilingual Online Education at Dallas Seminary

JD,
Wow, sounds even more complex than I thought. I'm inexperienced with animation, video, etc. Mostly just a photoshop chopper with decent xhtml, css, javascript (ajax) skills. I need to get into the nitty gritty of xml as well. In any case, sounds like it was fun (and probably frustrating as well) to work on. If you do eventually write it up, email me or post here and let me (us) know.

Re: Multilingual Online Education at Dallas Seminary

It sounds bad, but probably just because we have so many classes and videos.

A co-worker here at DTS founded his own Christian website (HeLives.com) and he is using the software for some classes on his site (not yet released). It's pretty much just he and his wife doing all the work, so its definitely possible.

Thanks for your comments!

JD