Mobile Media Kit for Campus Instructional Designers
I used to work at the Hazleton Campus of Penn State, which had about 1100 students. Working there was great because I really got to know the faculty and students well. The downside was that I didn’t really have a group of peers to turn to and I didn’t have the kind of technology resources that were available at University Park.
Here is an example of how that looks today and what we’re trying to do to rebalance things a bit:
For the 2011 TLT Symposium, we asked if any of the attendees would produce videos around the theme “community engagement”. I was surprised that most of the videos that we received were from Commonwealth Campuses [see all video submissions here]. That make sense though – those campuses have strong ties to the people, governments, and businesses in their areas.
What we also heard was that producing these videos was difficult because Commonwealth Campuses don’t have access to services like Media and Technology Support Services where they can borrow video cameras and other production equipment. So during a planning meeting for the Learning Design Summer Camp, Jackie Ritzko asked if we could have a raffle or something so people from Commonwealth Campuses had a chance to win something like the equipment that people at University Park can access.
I said no. If the instructional designers at Commonwealth Campuses are disadvantaged by not having this kind of equipment, then we can’t solve the problem by raffling off one device. I talked to Chris Millet and Nick Smerker. I asked them to put together a kit that would include some basic audio and video recording capabilities. They had been working with iPod Touches for this kind of purpose, so this would be an extension. So here’s what they came up with:
The Mobile Media Kit contains an iPod Touch, a tripod, an external microphone, a sheet of support information, and a carrying bag. I believe the total cost of each kit is about $400.
The next question was: If the campus instructional designers had this kit, how would they use it? We weren’t sure and Jackie didn’t want to speak for all of them, so we sent out a survey and got back some really interesting ideas including ones like these:
- To record and share case studies for faculty development purposes
- To interview students about how they learn or their reactions to different kinds of course activities
- To create audio and video content for hybrid and online courses
- To create just-in-time video tutorials for things like solving difficult math equations
- To document the design of learning spaces and reactions of faculty and students who use those spaces
- To capture guest speakers so their presentations can be seen by future students
- To record the stories about diversity from LGBT and minority students
- To collect evidence of the impact of a campus on its local community through efforts like service learning projects
- To record student presentations in ESL and foreign language courses so students can hear their speech
I am impressed with the breadth of proposed projects and the creativity of these designers. I’m also hoping that they will share ways that they are using the kit with each other so the overall impact of the kit increases. And if a half of these projects are successful, then it has been a worthwhile investment. We’ll be following up with the people who receive the kits to see how they are working out and possibly expand the program in a second round that would include campuses who didn’t respond or didn’t see a need for the kit.