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Learning Environment Award: Teaching ASL with Video

April 17, 2017

This is part of a continuing series highlighting the 2017 Enterprise Video Award finalists.


Mount Mary University adjunct professor Patricia Gondek teaches American Sign Language classes. Her courses don’t involve a lot of lecture but rather a great deal of signing and language immersion. It’s a lot of one-on-one interactions. Reviewing and grading homework assignments dictate how time is spent in class – and it often takes a long time.

Gondek needed to simplify the homework and exam process to make it less time-consuming for everyone and thought video would solve the problem.


“Originally, she came to me with all kinds of ideas about YouTube and flash drives and handing off flash drives and Dropboxes. I said, ‘Wait a second. I think we can do this with Mediasite,’ ” said Brian Markovich, Media Services Specialist at Mount Mary University. “And it might be able to do all of it in one location securely and using our Mediasite software that we already are familiar with for our video management solutions.”

He was right.

Students now record videos of themselves signing for their homework assignments and exams. Outside of class, they use the My Mediasite Desktop Recorder on their laptops or mobile devices to create videos and instantly share them with Gondek. They can also record the videos with other video creation tools and easily upload them to Mediasite. This way, Gondek can watch and grade homework and exams on her own time. Class time is reserved for discussion and practicing.

“You can literally tell someone ‘At one minute and 32 seconds you did the wrong hand motion.’ It ended up working well,” Markovich said.

Gondek also creates her own videos for students that show the best ways to sign particular phrases and difficult words.


“Testing has been amazing. What is cool is we just use a computer classroom. Our IT department sets up several computers for us with cameras,” Gondek said.

“What she had done in the past was one-on-ones with each student, which was very time-consuming,” Markovich said. “To be able to set up four laptops in the front of the room and have four students go at once, recording it directly to the instructor’s My Mediasite, made it so that not only did the professor not have to get the grading correct right on the first try, but it also lowered the timeframe for taking these exams by an incredible margin.”

Having a secure video platform for this course was essential, which is a main reason why Mediasite was the best solution.

“Student-created content in this viral video world we live in – it’s kind of a volatile thing. You can easily have someone internet bullied … if you don’t have the right securities and permissions on a video. Mediasite brought all of that to the table and uses a system we were already using for lecture capture in all of our other classes,” Markovich said.

Now, all Mount Mary University sign language courses use Mediasite. All students have access to My Mediasite and create everything from little history videos to their own recorded lectures.

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