The 9 Essential Questions to Ask in Your Video RFP

Posted by Bethany Stachenfeld on Feb 15, 2018
Bethany Stachenfeld
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Educator with Video in Class

When writing the video RFP for your university, make sure to ask these 9 questions to eliminate bad-fit video platforms from the process early.  

Use Your Video RFP to Ask the Right Questions, the First Time

Writing a great Request for Proposal (RFP) for a video platform is challenging. You must be specific in asking the right questions to weed out poor-fit video platforms that will not fulfill your needs long term. At ilos, we migrate hundreds of schools away from unsuited video platforms, where they were never able to achieve the faculty adoption they desired. By the time they switch to ilos, these schools have spent years in expensive contracts, where they are paying top dollar for unusable products. In this article, we list the top questions that would have saved these schools money and hassle if they had asked in their RFPs the first time they selected a video platform.


Start with These 9 Questions in Your Video RFP:


1. Is the video solution compatible with the most up to date versions of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari, on all desktop and mobile devices?

Although browser and device compatibility may seem like a given, many older video solutions are built on legacy video technology that does not work on modern browsers and devices. You should confirm that the video platform you choose uses HTML5 instead of Flash to ensure compatibility. Asking this question upfront guarantees that you are purchasing software your entire faculty and student body can access and use.


2. Does the video player include 99% accurate, time-synchronized closed captioning?

The ADA requires that all educational videos have closed captioning to make the content accessible to hearing impaired students. Specifically, the ADA mandates that videos must meet the following requirements:

  • 99% Accuracy: Captions must relay the speaker’s exact words with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar with 99% accuracy.
  • Time Synchronized: Captions must align with the time the words are spoken. Captions must appear long enough for the viewer to read.
  • Program Completeness: Captions must cover the entire video from start to finish.
  • Clear Placement: Captions must not block important content on the screen. Font size should be reasonably legible. 

While many video platforms offer “automatic” closed captioning, most automatic methods are not accurate enough to be compliant with ADA regulations. You must ensure that the video platform you choose has an easy way to add ADA compliant captioning, or you risk having your faculty being unable to create legal videos, or at the mercy of expensive third party closed captioning contracts.


3. Is there recording and editing functionality for students to author multimedia content using screen/webcam capture and presentation techniques?

Many video solutions focus solely on the ability for faculty to create videos, but do not facilitate student recording. The video platform should open the door to communication between the student and educator as a two-way platform. It is important that students are able to record videos to showcase their learning and practice presentation skills for the best learning outcomes.


4. Are there are heavy downloads for content contributors that might be a barrier to production?

Ensuring your faculty and students are able to easily get started using a new software is a top priority. Large downloads or difficult setup procedures often cause unnecessary difficulty. It is imperative to check for implementation constraints before you commit to a video service.


5. Does the video platform have global, non-destructive editing?

It’s important that instructors can edit videos from the platform, without having to download or store anything on their computers. Non-destructive editing means that teachers don’t have to save backup copies of the videos - they can always revert in the system. Global means that updates will happen to the video everyplace it is - so you don’t have to manually update any video links yourself. Global, non-destructive editing is crucial in ensuring that video content does not get lost in “the process,” and that your students always see the right version of the video, without any complications.


6. Are there in-video interactive elements to engage learners?

As your faculty is using video to engage students and achieve maximum learning outcomes, you should confirm that your video service includes state of the art engagement functionality. Important interactive video features include:

  • In-Video Quizzing
  • Live Commenting
  • Bookmarking
  • Teacher Notes and Annotations
  • Video Search


7. Is there technical support for all content creators, not just administrators?

As your faculty and students are making videos, it is important that they have direct access to technical support, and do not need to go through the administrator to find answers to their questions. Make sure that your platform includes support for all content creators so your administrators are not forced to moderate customer support.


8. Is there a deep integration with your LMS (Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, D2L, or another LMS), for single sign-on and user account provisioning?

In order to achieve maximum adoption from students and faculty, it is crucial that teachers can integrate their video platform within their LMS. A streamlined LMS integration means that videos are easier to organize and share, and that all of the course material resides in one centralized location. Single Sign-On ensures that teachers can login through existing credentials for maximal ease-of-use.


9. Does the video platform provide analytic data that gives administrators insight into system usage?

Your video platform should provide a wide array of analytics. Specifically:

  • System-Wide Analytics: Count of videos created, number of views, video duration, and closed captioning minutes used;
  • Individual Video Analytics: number of plays, comments, links, user engagement and dropoff;
  • User Analytics: Number of users in the system, individual creators of videos, how many videos a user creates, and who has passed which in-video quizzes.

It is important that as an administrator you are able to review the ROI on your video system and know that it is being used to achieve your desired learning outcomes.


More Video RFP Questions?

If you have any questions or comments related to video RFP's, please let us know! We would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. 

Tags: Online Video, education