Picture a traditional lecture hall – the professor writing notes on a whiteboard while the students stare at his or her back. They’re a bit disconnected. At San Diego State University, physics professor Matt Anderson wanted to ensure his students grasped complex problems and make class time more engaging and personable.
Anderson created a unique learning studio called the Learning Glass that changes everything. The studio allows faculty to teach complex science problems on a see-through glass whiteboard.
“You just walk into the studio and give your normal whiteboard lecture, except now it’s on glass and you’re facing the students,” Anderson said.
More than 500 students take turns filling the 20-seat studio, while their peers watch live online via Mediasite. Whether students are in the studio or watching online, they see the lecture notes flipped on the whiteboard in front of their professor.
“Mediasite allows us to deliver high-quality, high-definition video to our students,” Anderson said. “My students felt more connected to me while watching a lecture in the studio versus being face-to-face in the 500-person class, even though most of them are sitting at home watching online via Mediasite.”
Giving lectures in front of a live studio audience keeps it interactive and spontaneous, and student feedback so far has been very positive. As a learning resource, they report that Mediasite videos are by far the best they’ve seen, and they’re demanding more.
“Students are the number one benefactors. They’re able to review the content via Mediasite in our Blackboard learning management system whenever they need to, especially before large tests or quizzes, and it gives them a chance to go back and review content that they may or may not have understood the first time. We also feel that students who may not have English as their primary language are then able to review the content much easier by using Mediasite,” said Rich Bakken, coordinator of media production and special events at Instructional Technology Services, San Diego State University.
The university has used Mediasite since 2010 to capture what’s happening in lecture halls, classrooms and special events on campus and plans to add additional Mediasite Recorders to its largest lecture spaces this summer. During the 2014-15 school year alone, faculty created about 500 presentations that received more than 45,400 views.
“Mediasite is extremely robust and reliable and very easy for faculty to use,” said Dr. James Frazee, director, Instructional Technology Services. “We can pre-schedule the recording so faculty can just walk in and start teaching. They don’t have to worry about what button to push or what knob to turn. The convenience for the faculty is huge. The beauty of Mediasite is the ease of use and the integration with the other tools on campus, like Blackboard.”