Improving lecture capture usage, student engagement, and ROI

  • Boise State adopts TechSmith Relay
  • Boise State increased student engagement
  • Boise State saved 350K annually with TechSmith Relay
  • Boise State reduced cost per user by more than 99 percent with TechSmith Relay

Evolving as a hub of tech sector innovation, Boise State University found themselves at a crossroad. During the past several years of providing online learning, Boise State had acquired multiple platforms for video creation, hosting, and streaming. Maintaining numerous systems had become unsustainable from an IT and usage perspective, especially with a goal to grow online initiatives.

Leif Nelson, Director of Learning Technology Solutions, Office of Information Technology, explained: “Many of the video platforms were single-purpose or redundant. The hodgepodge of tools and applications was akin to a cluttered kitchen drawer full of awkward and underused doodads.”

The challenge

All together, their IT department managed 15 on-site servers plus classroom hardware in order to record and deliver lectures for their 22,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Offering these systems across campus required several IT staff to respond to support tickets each day, often at a hectic level.

“You get up every morning, you’d be eating your breakfast, drinking your coffee….then you login and check all the recording devices, see all problems, and you send the tickets in,” said Jack Vant, Instructional Technologist, Office of Information Technology. “Your morning could be really good or it could be crappy."

The classroom hardware was particularly problematic. Every capture box was stationary in each room, significantly limiting the number of rooms that could be lecture capture-enabled.

"Hardware is kind of a tough way to go because you need a lot of technical support people on the ground," said Jack. "It’s also costly, so it’s hard to scale to any degree."

In the meantime, there had been a downward trend in classroom capture usage. Faculty found the existing lecture capture systems too difficult to operate, inconsistent, and, as a result, few were using them. The hardware-based system tied instructors to the podium, and didn't provide the flexibility needed for a dynamic learning environment. Additionally, the videos created had minimal student engagement.

The solution

The Office of Information Technology made the decision to critically examine how they were managing and supporting instructional video across campus. By way of formal proposal, they set out to thoroughly understand and define the needs of faculty, staff and students, and identify a better solution that would “displace the costly, complex or feature-limited hosting applications,” explained Leif.  

After nine years of using disparate systems, Boise State rolled out TechSmith Relay - a software-based, cloud lecture capture system - across campus. This solution equipped them with unlimited client recorders, a secure cloud-hosting environment exclusive to their university, and flexible content management.

The results

With TechSmith Relay, Boise State saved 60 hours per week previously needed to monitor and maintain 15 servers. From a faculty perspective, Boise State has seen six times the adoption rate, reducing their cost per user by 99%. This not only increased student engagement, but also saved the university significant time and resources.

"By consolidating our video creation and management systems on campus to just [TechSmith] Relay, we are saving the university over $350,000 annually in software, hardware, and human resource costs," explained Jack.

Read the full case study to learn how they arrived at their criteria, evaluated the different video platforms, and implemented the winner across campus. Get the full case study ›

Boise State University

Boise State University

Location: Boise, ID

Industry: Higher Education

Learn how Boise State evaluated and selected a unified lecture capture solution that not only gained 6x faculty adoption, but also reduced cost per user by 99% and saved $350,000 annually.

Get the full case study ›