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Cloud created by:

Nick Freear
3 December 2014

In order to continue to develop the best possible Media Player for The Open University, we lay down some guiding principles, and notes on how the current player seeks to meet those principles.

The OU Media Player should:

  1. Attain and exceed the highest standards for accessibility to those with disabilities.

    The current solution does this through:

    • Use of the OU, WCAG 2.0 and WAI-ARIA standards and guidelines (W3C),
    • User and expert testing by IET of early prototypes for new functionality, and of the Player, with time planned in to implement fixes;
    • HTML5 player based on the third-party, open-source MediaElement.js libraries, with Javascript plugins to replace and extend functionality;
  2. Be usable by the mainstream as well as those with disabilities;

    The current solution does this through:

    • User and expert testing by IET of early prototypes for new functionality, and of the Player, with time planned in to implement fixes;
  3. Represent the OU appropriately. Carry the correct branding.

    The current solution does this through:

    • LTS designs visual theme(s) for the Player that are both accessible and usable, and that fit in with The Open University's overall brand and values;
  4. Be usable on mobiles and tablets.

    The current solution does this through:

    • HTML5 player based on MediaElement.js;
  5. Be simple for authors to embed the Player in content;

    The current solution does this through:

    • Use of the oEmbed specification;
  6. Be embeddable in a variety of platforms, (both OU-branded – OU VLE, OpenLearn, Study at OU, OU Drupal etc, and non-OU branded sites);

    The current solution does this through:

    • Use of a service-based approach;
    • Use of platform-specific plugins, for example, the oEmbed plugin for Drupal;
  7. Be simple to deploy new features.

    The current solution does this through:

    • Platform specific themes and an update process which conforms to IT change request process.
    • Issues and changes logged and tracked via LTS Redmine
  8. Track usage patterns, to help improve the Player and inform other University activity.

    The current implementation:

    • Use of Google Analytics for the Podcast Player variant;
    • Tracking of play, pause and completion events;
    • Planned: add a feedback form.

Source: OUMPSG-6-1 OU-Media-player-principles-Jan-2014.docx, by Nick Freear & Will Woods, 15 January 2014.

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