Western University of Health Sciences needed to maintain continuity of education while its campuses in Pamona, Calif. and Lebanon, Ore. closed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of its courses could be conducted remotely but much of the medical curriculum was hands-on. The university needed to create an environment where students felt engaged.
Prior to the spring campus closure, Mediasite captured many in-person lessons in classrooms. Instructors recorded supplemental content for flipped instruction and they uploaded videos created from other tools into Mediasite. That ensured all content was available in one robust, searchable online portal. In addition, Mediasite captured demos, simulations, grand rounds and student work from labs, complete with multiple video feeds to show complex topics.
The university had the tools necessary to go completely virtual, but it needed to act fast to ensure teaching and learning wasn’t disrupted.
The health professions university pivoted swiftly to virtual learning in the spring with a mix of Mediasite video lectures and collaborative Zoom and Microsoft Teams calls, all available in its learning management systems Blackboard, Canvas and Elentra. The fall 2020 semester is a hybrid approach.
“We are working on expanding synchronous teaching to multiple classrooms to allow for greater social distancing, combined with supplemental on-demand lectures,” said Amber Schaefer, Educational Technology Administrator, Western University of Health Sciences.
Western University of Health Sciences is nearing 1 million Mediasite views from its students, due to the massive online learning bump during the spring campus shutdown. A significant portion of those views came from students since March alone.
A Mediasite user since 2017, the university’s vast library of lesson videos already available to faculty – 65,000 – contributed to their quick move to virtual learning. Instructors created or repurposed 14,200 of those in that short time period.
“I hear from students all the time that they review Mediasite recordings immediately after class if they want to review what their instructor said. Students will contact faculty right away if they don’t have the recordings. These videos are an essential study tool for our aspiring medical professionals,” Schaefer said.
Schaefer continued: “It’s been amazing how everyone has pulled together to ensure our students are successful during this new reality. We were lucky enough to already have Mediasite and other collaborative tools up and running when the pandemic first hit, and that made all the difference.”