ViPER (Video for Personal Electronic Reflection) is a generic video application developed from Ensemble’s video cataloguing and annotation tool for Contemporary Dance. The software enables staff and students to upload video files, either of their own work or from relevant sources in the web, and organize it into themed collections which they can annotate and organize in order to build reflective accounts of their own learning in relation to broader disciplinary themes and practices. Further background on the development of the tool, and the role played in its development by staff and students in Contemporary Dance at Liverpool John Moores University in its development, can be found here. During Ensemble reporting and dissemination activities this tool was recognised as having a broad range of potential applications outside its original context, particularly in subjects where students are encouraged to rehearse, review and reflect on recorded professional ‘performances’.

During the summer of 2012, an LJMU LTA project funded student researcher Sophie Begloo to work with the project team to build and catalogue ‘starter collections’ of videos relevant to Education Studies. The project had two aims. The first was to develop a starter collection of video resources relevant to teaching in Education Studies, to produce engaging and searchable video libraries pertinent to undergraduate courses at LJMU. This structured ‘starter library’ has now been shared with staff and students in Education Studies, for them to use, extend, and build upon, in the coming academic year. Registered users can access this library here. Sophie’s experiences in researching and developing this tool are recorded in posts tagged #viper. She continues to work on the use of video in teaching in her final-year project, for submission in 2013.

The second aim of this project was to make a generic version of ViPER freely available to all. This open-source tool allows users in any subject to create a collection of videos and clips from them, which both they and other users can then use to write your own analyses and reflections against. These reflections can be private, only viewable from within the usersʼ accounts, or can be shared with others. Depending on how ViPER is configured, users may have the option to compare two videos, or just to view one, whilst composing their analysis. Both versions allow users to create a web page containing the video(s) and their analysis, which they can then share with others. Tools and documentation to do this can be found below.

The code package is available for download here.

Technical documentation relating to first-time system and database configuration is here.

Illustrated printable guides and video instructions for general users are available below.

ViPER Administrator Guide
Managing the Data
ViPER Administrator Guide
Managing the Library
ViPER User Guide
Watch the video Watch the video

ViPER is entirely free to download and use, we ask only that you let us know if you use it! We are also interested to hear from users of ViPER about the various uses they find for the tool, bugs which need fixing and possible avenues for future development: contact

Sessions on the development and use of ViPER will also be included in our free Video Tools workshop in January (see here for details).


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