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Serving Students and Enhancing Learning Across Seattle Pacific University

Finding the right fitSeattle Pacific

When Seattle Pacific’s Instructional Technologies Services (ITS) Director, David Wicks, and his team were presented with the challenge to find a content capture solution that provided them with the winning combination of ease of use, flexibility and affordability, they decided to become beta users of Camtasia Relay. After the experience, the ITS team was confident that Camtasia Relay was the solution that best fit their needs.

The ITS team rolled out Camtasia Relay’s content capture solution for various purposes across departments campus-wide, and so far, the experience has exceeded their expectations. The team has found that many faculty are successfully using Camtasia Relay for recording in-class lectures, creating supplemental online course materials, and even recording day-long conferences. They’ve also found that their faculty are exploring unique ways to benefit from content capture.

Seeing the results

Currently Camtasia Relay is offered to approximately 200 faculty, and the team is getting rave reviews across the board.

“We’ve seen a positive response from the faculty members that have already begun using Camtasia Relay,” said Wicks. “A significant benefit is that Camtasia Relay offers our instructors the ability to capture content in any classroom on their own computers. They’re also able to offer the content to SPU students in a variety of convenient formats suited to their media preferences.”

In order to help with the campus-wide deployment of Camtasia Relay, the SPU IT team offers workshops for faculty, not only to teach them how to use the technology but also to outline some of the benefits of including content capture technologies in their classroom.

“Professors love it. It’s one of the few tools where I can show professors how to use it, and then I don’t hear back from them again (thinking they aren’t using it) until they come up and thank me,” said Wicks. “We are making plans for new buildings on campus and faculty want to make sure that any new rooms have microphones built in because of what they have seen from Camtasia Relay.”

Last spring, SPU hosted a science conference in which students did 24 presentations in an hour. The SPU IT team provided support through Camtasia Relay. All the student presentations were recorded without a hitch.

“It was amazing; we did no training and all the recordings were successful. This is a true testament to how easy it is to record and share using Camtasia Relay,” Wicks added.

Mini lectures using content capture

Professor Andrew Lumpe, School of Education, worked with ITS Director David Wicks to create digital audio/visual presentations for online courses that use a minimalist approach to focus student attention on main ideas. Professor Lumpe storyboarded 10 to 15 minute presentations focusing on the major themes for the instructional module. Using PowerPoint, he created a presentation of 10 to 15 slides based on the storyboard. Each slide contained a key phrase or keywords related to the topic. He used Creative Commons to locate high quality images for inclusion on each slide. He then used Camtasia Relay software to record an audio/visual presentation. The presentation was saved as MP3 and MP4 files which were made accessible to students via Blackboard and iTunes U.

The model proved successful, as evidenced by discussion threads, formative assessment blogs, and in the final projects where students applied the main ideas without as much assistance as was needed in previous quarters. Students are singing praises:

“The information offered in the readings and in Dr. Lumpe’s presentation really helped me to remember that curriculum is dynamic and influenced by several factors.”

Lumpe now uses this strategy with on-campus courses and has found that students pay more attention to the presentations.

Podcasts to screencasts

Dr. Derek Wood is an associate professor in the Department of Biology and used to spend a whopping 45 minutes to prepare and upload a podcast after a class session. Traditionally, one might think that creating a podcast would be quite simple, but Dr. Wood found that he was spending way too much time with production. It was bothersome, but he wasn’t willing to give up his podcasts. He was seeing positive learning outcomes with students being able to listen to course materials at their own pace.

Recently, Dr. Wood switched over to Camtasia Relay screencasts to share course materials with students. He’s found the process to be much quicker. He’s also able to include what’s being show on the screen rather than a
voice-only podcast.

“The process of creating and sharing my Camtasia Relay-produced online videos is so much easier and more effective than my old method of podcasting. It really is just a matter of pushing a couple of buttons. Plus, I use a Mac and the sound quality is so good that I didn’t even have to buy special microphones,” said Wood. “My students love being able to see what’s on the screen, and the first exam after using Camtasia Relay has resulted in the highest scores that I have seen in five years. The students say they watch each screencast on average five times for studying.”

Teachers teaching teachers

Another added benefit to having a simple-to-use content capture system available on campus is that it has given teachers an easy way to share and document different teaching methods amongst themselves.

Every year SPU awards one teacher with the “teaching idea of the year award,” and last year the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development department had the top five finalists record five-minute presentations with Camtasia Relay, to share their teaching ideas and successes. They now have an archive of these presentations for faculty to use as a resource for years to come.

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It was amazing; we did no training and all the recordings were successful. This is a true testament to how easy it is to record and share using Camtasia Relay.

- David Wicks,
Director, Instructional Technologies Services, Seattle Pacific University