JMU Creates Flu & Weather-Proof Courses
James Madison University started using Camtasia Relay to create more effective blended classes, add personalization to distance learning, and prepare for emergency university closings. When back-to-back snow storms shut the school down for three days, they were able to keep on track and weather the storm.
Preparing for epidemics and weather events at James Madison University
When “Snowmageddon” hit the east coast of the United States in 2010, administrators at James Madison University were glad they had Camtasia Relay…and a plan.
At the request of the University Provost, two academic centers developed a resource website for faculty who might be faced with high class absences and other fallout from a flu epidemic. The site brought together ideas, “how-to” guides, and technologies that enable uninterrupted learning.
Thankfully, the pandemic didn’t materialize. But when back-to-back snowstorms shut down the Harrisonburg, Virginia school for three days, the preparation and planning paid off.
Some of the people involved share details in their own words:
Karen Santos, Executive Director, Center for Faculty Innovation
"For the flu and weather-proofing site, we created a 'faculty friendly' framework that mirrors the way instructors think about their courses: syllabus, attendance, participation, lecture, group work, assessment, etc."
"For each component, we posed questions from a faculty perspective and developed a range of solutions to provide guidance to course instructors. Technology solutions were embedded as relevant to instructional goals. For each solution, we provided information, directions, and links in a 'one stop shopping' format."
Sarah Cheverton, Director, Center for Instructional Technology
"We recommended that faculty record lectures in anticipation of a flu outbreak. Because Camtasia Relay had already proven to be a valuable resource for distance and blended courses, it just seemed like the logical choice for faculty facing the possible need to provide asynchronous lectures online."
"We also used Camtasia Relay to create some of the tutorials and resource information available through the flu and weather-proofing website. We’ve received positive feedback from those who use it, primarily because it’s so easy to use."
Grover Saunders, Web Media Design Engineer, Center for Instructional Technology
"I suppose you could say I provided technology support for the flu and weather-proofing effort, but there was very little required. I created Camtasia Relay accounts for faculty who wanted to record lectures and set up some pages in our CIT website for our staff to organize the support material. There was very little follow-up support required, especially since Camtasia Relay requires very little baby-sitting."
Kevin Caran, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
"Instead of making up classes on a Saturday, I recorded a lecture for my students to watch online at their convenience. Their job is to watch and take notes on the video prior to coming to the next class so that they are ready for the subsequent material."
"I did an informal email poll of my students to ask them for their feedback on watching the online lectures. The great majority were very positive."