Class Recordings: Online - Pilot Programs, Fall 2005, Winter, Spring and Fall 2006
Start Here: Classroom Portal
Instructors particularly appreciated the “zero configuration” of the tool. Students reported the podcasts were easy to access, downloaded quickly, and were easy to understand.Members of Catalyst, Odegaard Undergraduate Library, Computing & Communications, and Classroom Support Services collaborated over Summer Quarter, 2005, on ideas for transforming the way students can view or listen to recordings of their classes.
A number of classes were video or audio taped, a process which had CSS (or faculty) doing that recording, then making VHS or cassette copies and transporting the media to the Odegaard Media center. Students then had to go to the Center to review their classes.
Classroom Support Services Information Technology Group designed and implemented two pilot programs for Fall Quarter, 2005, that gave students "any time, anywhere" options for reviewing those formerly analogue recordings. CSS initiated the pilot programs to see if there would be benefits for the students, and to determine which, if any, practices are sustainable for the service units providing the recordings.
CSS’ Information Technology Group started with the premise that students benefit from interactive, media-rich teaching and learning environments – after all, that is a huge large part of what CSS supports in their daily operations. The IT Group’s research into podcasting also supported the idea that providing enhanced learning opportunities for students that would be available anytime, anywhere are highly desirable.
Three faculty opted into the '05 Fall Quarter, streaming pilot; one from Kane Hall and two from Mary Gates Hall. Any student with a UW NetID was able access the digital lecture recordings from any computer with a campus ethernet connection, or broadband connection if the student is viewing the recorded lecture off-campus. Student reaction so far has been very positive. By the end of Fall Quarter, the video streaming lectures had been accessed over 3,250 times.
For the Podcasting pilot, or what many are calling "Coursecasting" in Kane Hall, CSS used Barix Instreamers -- a device that is installed in the lecture hall and managed remotely. The Instreamer can automatically transmit the class lectures online as a live audio broadcast, or send the audio stream to be archived on our media server for students to access after the class.
Students in the designated classes were able subscribe to the lectures by visiting CSS' Web site and copying an RSS link into iTunes or a similar feed reader. The feed reader automatically downloads lectures after they are posted. The student simply goes to his or her personal computer, opens iTunes and either listens to it there or transfers it to a portable MP3 player.
Three faculty opted into the initial podcasting pilot being offered in Kane Hall. If success is measured in podcast downloads, the pilot program appears to be doing very well. By the end of Fall Quarter, there had been 13,300 podcast lecture downloads.
The popularity of podcasting has grown each quarter since the pilot began. In Winter Quarter, 14 instructors participated. And for the current quarter, we have 20 instructors using our podcasting service, which provides almost fully automated recording and posting of lectures to an interactive Classroom Portal that is based on Nucleus CMS blogging software. As of January, 2007, we have had over 75,000 lecture downloads.
For more information about streaming or podcasting, please follow the links on the left or read about our Pilot Programs in the following articles:
The Daily News: UW to expand podcast offerings (2006-24-10)
Seattle Times: Podcasts a big hit at local colleges (2006-04-06)
The Office of Learning Technologies: Podcasting at the UW: An Evaluation of Current Use (2006)
Accenture: New Learning Technologies for Enterprise Learning: Ready for Prime Time? (2005)
The Daily: Podcasting takes root at the UW (2005-11-29)
CNET News: Stanford using iTunes to take lectures global (2005-11-03)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: UW's downloadable lectures have iPods playing a new tune (2005-10-31)
Podcasting News: University of Washington Testing Lecture Podcasts (2005-10-23)
University Week:Students get class lectures on demand, thanks to podcasts (2005-10-20)
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