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Archives > August 2013 > Unlock the Secrets To Video Success On Your Campus

Unlock the Secrets To Video Success On Your Campus

Everyone faces a fundamental need to communicate information efficiently. Universities and colleges need to connect instructors with students for advanced learning. But that's easier said than done.

By: Sean Brown

Student populations are diverse and mobile. Everyone learns differently, and you're pressured to stay on top of the latest technologies to stay competitive and meet the expectations of 21st century learners.

Enter video.

The knowledge shared in your classroom is important. Your students think so, and you should, too. Student demand for academic video is growing at an astronomical rate, and universities large and small are evaluating how best to harness the power of video to increase student success and classroom efficiency.

So what's the best way to capture and archive the knowledge shared before it disappears forever? The campuses that are wired for video are the classrooms of the future. With video, you're able to make education more personalized by incorporating the big current buzzwords: flipped instruction, a form of teaching that involves recording lecture prior to class for students to watch so that class time is dedicated to dynamic discussions and interactions, and MOOCs (massive open online courses).

Flipped Instruction
Take Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU), for instance. ENMU is the third largest university in the state, covering a particularly large geographical area. The dean sought to make education accessible to the region's traditional, non-traditional and dual enrollment students (high school students taking college courses). So she turned to webcasting to start a flipped instruction pilot, create hybrid classes, branch out into asynchronous distance learning, help high school students earn college credits and even record special events, provide professional development online and connect alumni. To top it off, the university did all of this successfully in less than 12 months and is pioneering some of the most advanced and state-of-the-art e-learning programs around.

Similarly, Clemson University professor Ralph Welsh started experimenting with technology-driven pedagogy three years ago, redesigning and refining his courses and putting the onus on the student to come to class already having watched the lectures and ready to engage in conversation. This flipped method has helped expand education across campus and he's seen a 50 percent increase in the number of courses he can offer.

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UW-L) is another example of how to cater learning to individual needs with video. In this case the university created a MOOC this year to help students avoid remedial math classes. It's funded by a Gates Foundation grant, and what makes this MOOC so special is that the university isn't going the mainstream route by partnering with the start-up companies like Coursera. Organizers developed a unique interface with multiple technologies, and analytics track everything students do, including an early warning system that monitors lack of participation. There are even live office hours for interaction with faculty and students. Students can watch the recorded lectures when and wherever they want.

Faculty Embrace Change
Video-based online learning is becoming a standard offering in higher ed, and embracing video benefits both faculty and students. This new student-driven demand is putting academic video at the top of institutions' technology planning initiatives, and more and more faculty members like those mentioned above are realizing the power of lecture capture to broaden reach and cater to individual student needs. But it hasn't always been that way.

Like any new initiative, generally speaking, there will be some reluctance and fear from those involved. The faculty are in front of the classrooms. Their faces, their reputations are on the line. It can be scary facing a camera and a remote audience that spans time and distance when you're accustomed to facing students in the classroom.

But the attitude toward academic video from faculty members is changing. They are embracing the shift in pedagogy, seeing it as a tool that enhances learning, not forcing them into new ways of teaching.

Mary Fanelli Ayala, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ENMU, uses lecture capture in her classroom and says streaming video improves the pedagogy of online, hybrid and even face-to-face classes. "High-quality, user-friendly lecture capture means that students can tune in live or later to the actual teaching presence of our best professors. Face-to-face students can 'attend' when they're sick without sharing the latest bug with the whole class, and everyone can review lectures and explanations before a test," she says.

And students love that.

Faculty members who embrace academic video are lauded by students. I see it repeatedly in my travels to visit universities and I'm always inspired by their reaction. I tell faculty, "You're going to be a star. Students will want to see this. They'll watch it over and over."

Pamela Havice, a professor at Clemson University, polled her students about academic video and found that 100% of survey respondents felt streaming video is a valuable and effective part of the course. She nailed it on the head when she said that for many students, technology is an extension of their body. They're tech savvy and if faculty members don't embrace that and incorporate it into their courses, they won't be relevant.

Beyond Lecture Capture
But lecture capture is just the tip of the iceberg. Video is being used for more than just lecture capture by more than just faculty.

To name a few, Louisiana State University streams fitness videos and healthy lifestyle tips online. Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania broadcasts its sports coverage to parents, fans, boosters and alumni across the globe, and students receive experience in sports announcing and production. The University of Florida captures special events on campus like graduations. San Antonio College trains its faculty using online video and has plans to certify all faculty members in counseling using this method.

New innovations in education technology this year will further enhance the classroom experience.

Sonic Foundry is innovating new ways for faculty and students to create and share lectures, learning modules and assignments wherever they are. It provides all the tools needed to quickly capture, upload, edit and publish rich video. Using a laptop or computer's built-in camera and microphone, they can easily record high quality video and rich media. This will allow faculty to have more control over their content, and usergenerated content will easily facilitate flipped instruction, making that even more prevalent this year than in the past.

The classroom of the future provides more control and flexibility when it comes to content creation. In fact, faculty and students are driving it just as much as the schools' technologists. This year you'll see faculty and students sharing knowledge anywhere, regardless of technology infrastructure, thanks to the new options for user-generated content. We'll see more flexibility in creation and consumption of rich video, and schools will have vast libraries of rich video that can be referenced for years to come. The knowledge shared in your classroom is important, so embrace the power of video in your classrooms and watch how much more effective and successful you and your students will be.



About The Author
Sean Brown

is Vice President of Sonic Foundry, the maker of the webcasting platform Mediasite. He has 23 years of product management and education business development experience at IBM, Apple and Oracle and is the past president and board member of the Hopkins Foundation for Innovation in Education. All educational institutes mentioned in this report use Mediasite for their video initiatives.




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