Shoot & Share
When snow and ice forced NC State to close in January 2014, instructors welcomed the break–the first time. Then as icy weather shut down the university again and again, they grew frustrated and anxious, slipping behind as the semester marched on. Several instructors found a way to show up for lecture, from the comfort of their home office. The solution: an easy, new tool called My Mediasite.
"I can create videos anywhere, any time, without having to schedule anything, and it's easy." - Dr. Greg Byrd
"My Mediasite empowers instructors to deliver information to their students in a way that allows them to be freed from a specific room when needed," said Leisa Bolles, director of DELTA's Media Production Services.
Expanding the Toolbox
With My Mediasite—a suite of desktop recording and media management tools—an instructor can record a lecture on any device, upload it to a Web portal, edit it using simple Web-based tools, and share it with his students. This service, which DELTA piloted with over 100 instructors and staff in spring 2014, makes content delivery a snap.
"It's another tool in the toolbox to get information to the students in a rich media format, in a way that the on-demand, click-a-button, instant-access society wants to be able to reach things," said Bolles.
My Mediasite didn't replace NC State's classroom capture tool, Mediasite, but offered instructors a flexible set of tools aimed at user-generated content. My Mediasite solved two key problems instructors faced: storage and security. With the upload feature, instructors no longer needed to turn to solutions like YouTube to hold large media files. And My Mediasite's secure access, with the default limited to individuals with a Unity ID and the link to the file, removed concerns about securely distributing media to only those who need it.
Case in Point
For Dr. Greg Byrd, professor and associate department head of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), My Mediasite launched at just the right time. Byrd volunteered to teach ECE 109, Introduction to Computer Systems, at the last minute because the scheduled instructor was suddenly unable to teach that semester. However, he knew that some planned travel on department business would cause him to miss a number of class sessions. He signed up for the My Mediasite pilot, hoping it would solve his problem.
Over the course of the semester Byrd created about ten short videos, six to ten minutes in length. Some, which were a lecture-like explanation of course concepts, served as a replacement for lecture. For other videos Byrd recorded screen capture demonstrations of circuit simulations, which served as supplemental resources for the students.
Byrd was impressed by just how easy and straightforward it was to record, upload and share video using My Mediasite. With a little instruction from DELTA's online training videos, he was up and running with My Mediasite very quickly.
"I can create videos anywhere, any time, without having to schedule anything, and it's easy," Byrd said.
Byrd put this "anywhere" convenience to the test, creating videos from his hotel room in the Republic of Georgia and from his office on Centennial Campus.
Even better, his students tuned in. Through the analytics view Byrd saw the number of views, when students viewed a video, and how much of the video they watched. And while the students didn't provide much feedback, they watched the videos, often multiple times, prior to completing homework assignments that relied on understanding content from the videos.
By the end of the pilot, instructors had picked up this easy, free tool for creative uses: making a quick video to respond to a class discussion post, uploading iPhone video from a field trip, or shooting a quick welcome video for a Distance Education course. The 140 pilot participants recorded nearly 800 presentations, which were viewed more than 10,000 times. This volume was testament to the easy, convenient nature of the tool and the quality of the training materials.
Though the pilot was only open to instructors and staff, DELTA anticipates offering My Mediasite to students in the future.