OU Media Player rebooted

Its been a long time since I've blogged about the OU Media Player project. So what has been going on? I thought I'd take a brief look back, then look forward...

Last spring and summer we developed an embeddable player based on the open-source Flowplayer Flash-based toolkit. Two designers form Learning and Teaching Solutions here at The Open University, David Winter and Peter Devine created to bold and attractive designs or themes.

The 2011 player hit many of the original aims of the project.


OU web developer's coffee morning - OU player

These events are fairly informal, but some topics we may like to cover:

* What is OU player?
* What is OU embed?
* What is oEmbed?
* What are the benefits, for developers, end users etc.?
* How can you embed using these systems - in Drupal/ in Wordpress/ using Javascript/ in Moodle?
* What is the status of the project? Future plans?

OU player Why CodeIgniter?

I have been asked to present the reasoning behind our choice of CodeIgniter over Drupal for the OU player/ OU embed projects.

I will argue that the OU player project provides an ideal case study for why The Open University, including the central IT providing departments should not adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to the choice of information technologies. At present, I think they are in danger of doing this. You may also be interested in Juliette Culver's post, Why we moved from Drupal to CodeIgniter, and Will Wood's post, Agile Ballooning.

First, some background. CodeIgniter is a minimal model-view-controller PHP framework. It is open source, makes full use of the object-oriented programming paradigm, offers database abstraction, an ORM (object-relational-model) layer, and various extension mechanisms including libraries, hooks and helper functions. By default, templating/ views are implemented in PHP, though an alternative templating system such as Smarty could be plugged in. There are many third-party plugins available, and it is a simple matter to plugin other libraries, for example parts of the Zend framework. As a low level framework, its benefits are a shallow learning curve, the promotion of maintainable, well-structured code, small footprint, performance and flexibility (http://codeigniter.com).

OU player - seeking testers

Between the Wednesday 8th and 13th of June we are conducting usability and accessibility testing for the OU media player project, at The Open University's campus in Milton Keynes.

We are seeking test subjects for 1 to 1.5 hours testing. Travel expenses and a fee will be paid. Anyone can come forward, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, those who have dyslexia and those who use a screen reader.

Email me N.D.Freear AT open.ac.uk if you are interested.

Thanks, Nick

e-access 11 conference

Dan Jellinek, founder of Headstar and Nigel Lewis, Chief Executive of AbilityNet, are co-chairing this year's conference. They have some great speakers lined up to discuss the state of digital inclusion and accessibility. Ed Vaizey, Minister for Communication, Culture and the Creative Industries is giving the keynote. Find out more at,

www.headstar.com / eaccess11