• by Tammy Jackson
    on December 12, 2014
    The Attendee Journey

    Your attendees embark on a journey the moment they register for an event. And whether that journey is bumpy and rife with confusion or smooth sailing and packed with information depends largely on the event technology plan you’ve put in place to guide them.

    Is your plan up to the task? Do you trust it to take your attendees all the way through to the closing reception? Have you considered solid registration software, mobile apps, social media, AV and a streaming platform to create a truly hybrid event?

    If not, don’t worry. Sign up for our live webinar on Tuesday, December 16 at 1:00pm Central to hear from industry experts who will get you up to speed on the latest trends in event design and meeting technology.

    Kevin Iwamoto, vice president of industry strategy at Lanyon, and Donny Neufuss, senior account rep for Mediasite Events, will guide you through the process of selecting the right technology partners to execute and manage successful events every time. You’ll be able to take your attendees on an unforgettable journey with event technology as a partner, and learn how to:

    • Create persistent online communities to connect online and on-site attendees before, during and after the event
    • Identify the technologies and partners that are right for your event
    • Learn why streaming conference sessions, creating a “hybrid event,” will keep your event alive long after it’s over

    Here’s that link again to sign up. We hope you join us Tuesday.

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on December 09, 2014
    Sign Up For Our Live Webinar: How an Accessibility Strategy Can Unlock the Power of Academic Video

    It was a conversation topic that ruled the hallowed halls of EDUCAUSE this year, both in sessions and in conversations: successes and challenges when it comes to accessibility.

    In fact it’s such an important topic we decided to address it in our next webinar, How an Accessibility Strategy Can Unlock the Power of Academic Video.

    Tuesday, December 16
    11:00am – 12:00pm Central
    Register here

    It’s more likely than ever that your university is using video to teach blended, hybrid, online and flipped classes. While the proliferation of online learning has opened up the classroom to more students and created enduring learning, it’s also brought a wave of accessibility issues that, from a legal and ethical standpoint, can’t be ignored.

    All of this begs the question, ‘Do you have a strategic plan in place for ADA support? And are you doing enough?’

    This webinar will explore solutions that work, and translate those solutions into actionable plans for your own campus. Join our panel of experts from North Carolina State University, 3Play Media and Sonic Foundry as they get you up to speed on current and emerging IT accessibility issues, policy and law. They’ll uncover strategies and resources, and dive into specific examples that will help you gain a deeper understanding of what it means to create an accessible campus, including:

    • Accommodating special needs students in today’s video-heavy learning experience
    • Recent and upcoming legislation impacting video accessibility and closed captioning
    • How to find the resources, staff and time to implement  accessibility measures
    • Tips to draw more value out of the academic video created on your campus
    • How solid accessibility practices will foster deeper engagement with faculty and students campus-wide

    Presented by industry experts Greg Kraus, the University IT Accessibility Coordinator at North Carolina State University and Tole Khesin, the VP of Marketing at 3Play Media, which provides closed captioning and transcription services to make video accessible, searchable, and more engaging. 

  • by Nicole Wise
    on November 24, 2014
    Teradata Creates Online Experience for Annual Conference, Sees 44% Growth in Attendance

    Photo Credit: Teradata

    What’s the No. 1 myth about hybrid meetings? Cannibalization of your face-to-face event.

    Back in 2012, the MPI's hybrid meeting research found it was a top concern for 50 percent of event planners. Two years later, it’s still a common fear, but in fact, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Take Teradata’s recent 2014 Partners Conference & Expo in Nashville, Tenn., for example.

    “The fear about virtual cannibalizing the physical event didn’t happen. We actually just got more attendees,” said Rebecca Salsbury, CMP, event manager for Teradata’s corporate events.

    This was the first year in the conference’s 29-year history that Teradata created a hybrid event using Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite Events team. More than 5,000 data professionals — both in-person in Nashville and online — attended the event, and Teradata saw a 44 percent increase in attendance.

    “Our virtual conference was a strategic plan to reach a broader, deeper and targeted audience who couldn’t physically make it to Nashville. The misconception about virtual is that it’s just a webinar. But this wasn’t. It was a unique online experience that was fully branded.”

    About 200 conference sessions (including video, audio and PowerPoint slides) were streamed live and on-demand via Mediasite to conference attendees in Nashville, and online viewers could watch select sessions to get a taste for the event. Plus, with Mediasite they’re able to engage with the speakers via real-time question and polling features, and there’s instantly an online video library of enduring content from the conference.

    “We’ve been working with Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite Events team for two years, and prior to that we only provided attendees with the presenter’s PowerPoint slides. To have the rich media Mediasite recording has elevated the quality and perception of our conference, and we now have a nice package of easily shareable content for our attendees,” Rebecca said.

    Teradata was spot on in its attempts to reach a broader virtual audience. With its first successful hybrid event behind it, the company plans to continue this model going forward and expects its attendance to grow year-over-year.

  • by Nicole Wise
    on November 19, 2014
    How Streaming Video Reached Critical Mass at Ohio State U

    When we last spoke with them in July, Ohio State University had created nearly 7,000 academic videos within a year. Now, just four months later, that number is up to over 8,600. That’s a lot of content for students to watch live or on-demand.

    What’s behind that astronomical feat? Mediasite.

    The university deployed Mediasite campus-wide in March 2013, giving faculty and staff across Ohio State the ability to use Mediasite to record their lectures, make quick edits if needed and share instantly with students and colleagues.

    The 8,600 videos — 5,700 hours of content — have received over 327,000 views to date, according to Valerie Rake, manager of eLearning support and training. The rapid growth of video content is due in large part to My Mediasite Desktop Recorder, allowing faculty and staff to create and share videos, lectures and assignments from any device and location. Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform ensures the content is searchable, secure and organized in one place. Prior to Mediasite, five colleges across campus each used different solutions.

    Valerie said faculty are primarily using My Mediasite and the Desktop Recorder to record lectures or upload videos from other sources into Mediasite to include in an online course.

    “Faculty are using Mediasite to flip classrooms and create fully online courses. The instructor is mostly at his or her desk recording five to 10 minute segments and embedding them in our LMS, D2L,” Valerie said.

    The largest Mediasite user, she said, is the College of Medicine for grand rounds. Using a Mediasite Recorder in the back of the classroom, faculty record four hours of live morning lectures that students can watch in the lecture hall or remotely. Afterwards, support staff chunk those videos into specific topics using the Mediasite Editor so it is easy to review later.

    “Offering a secure, self-service platform like Mediasite for faculty across colleges to record and host their content is extremely valuable,” said David Hooker, Innovation Lead, Office of Distance Education and eLearning at Ohio State. “Mediasite’s powerful video analytics also provide faculty with a complete picture of student engagement. Viewer data shows instructors who is watching what content and when. They can then use that information to design courses accordingly to best benefit students. The other real value of Mediasite is its ability to deliver content to mobile devices. Our students are depending on mobile devices to view content more and more.”

  • by Nicole Wise
    on November 17, 2014

    Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) 20th Annual Online Learning International Conference is a wrap, but the conversations that began during the Orlando, Fla. event Oct. 29-31 are still going strong.

    Attendees are sharing, sending, tweeting and retweeting conference highlights and watching the general sessions on-demand via Mediasite, Online Learning Consortium’s (formerly The Sloan Consortium) conference webcasting platform and technology partner. Onsite and online attendees can watch on-demand video recordings at no additional cost for a full year.

    Through the live webcasts of 87 key conference sessions, OLC engaged more than 2,000 online attendees who were unable to make it to Orlando due to time or budget constraints. These attendees posed questions to presenters and, along with the 2,000 people who attended the conference on-site, can now watch concurrent sessions that they missed or want to review on-demand whenever and wherever they are using their desktop or mobile devices.

    The online experience made the remote attendee feel like they were actually in Orlando by taking the audio, video, and presentation and combining them into a viewable format on a laptop or mobile device.

    “Offering OLC as a hybrid event with the help of Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite Events team means we can reach a much larger audience around the world who otherwise wouldn’t be able to make it to our conference in Orlando. We’re ensuring that the conversations and knowledge shared during our event will live long after it’s over,” said Kathleen S. Ives, D.M. Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, OLC.

    Attendees can watch the sessions on-demand including:

  • by Nicole Wise
    on November 13, 2014
    Watch 5 Free Webinars About Distance Learning

    Photo: A Tilburg University student watches a lecture via Mediasite. Credit: Tilburg University

    E-Learning is now estimated to represent about 10 percent of the overall training and educational market, according to Sloan Consortium, and schools soon expect the number of online students to grow to over 3.6 million.

    Here at Sonic Foundry we’ve seen campus video consumption grow rapidly both for face-to-face and distance students. In fact, results of an international survey of higher education reveal that in 2013:

    • Two million hours of academic video were created with Mediasite — the equivalent of 228 years of video
    • A Mediasite video is watched every second, which is more than 30 million views each year
    • Mediasite video views on campus outpace consumer consumption by 59 percent

    From flipped classrooms to online courses to MOOCs, video is transforming the way people learn, teach and communicate. And it’s being created faster than ever before thanks to the proliferation of creation and capture tools.

    So, in honor of National Distance Learning Week (this week), we’re sharing some of our most popular webinars from our Mediasite In Play webinar series. Watch these free webinars on-demand to learn how blended and online courses can enhance learning and engagement, boost student achievement and retention and expand campus reach.

    1. Teaching A Class From 1,700 Miles Away: How Texas Tech Leverages Mediasite for Live Remove Instruction — Students in Dr. Farris’s Wind Energy class show up three times a week for his lecture at Texas Tech University. They see him and his digital white board, he sees them and can tell whether they’re engaged or yawning. Questions are asked and answered. Discussion is sparked. Nothing unusual about any of it, until you discover that while the students are on campus in Lubbock, the professor is 1,700 miles away in his home office in Oregon.
    2. From Flipped Classroom to Dual Enrollment: How Eastern New Mexico University Achieved Campus-Wide Capture in 12 Months — While Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) is the third largest school in the state, it covers more ground than any other university. The entire eastern part of the state, to be exact. In the dean’s quest to make education accessible to the region’s traditional, non-traditional and dual-enrollment students (high school students taking college courses), she had to think outside the traditional classroom experience.
    3. Small Budget, Big Impact Lecture Capture — How did a university with minimal budget, one full time staffer and three distributed campuses, including a distance learning programme with 16,000 enrolled students, get to 2500 online presentations with 131,085 views? Ask a Massey University professor, instructional designer and academic technologist and they will all tell you the same thing: vision, cooperation and Mediasite lecture capture technology. Over the last six years, faculty adoption and student demand has grown exponentially, yet Massey maintains the growing program without major new investments in technology or staff.
    4. Teaching Business with Video at Temple University — Temple University’s Fox School of Business is among the largest, most distinguished business schools in the world, and faculty use the newest technologies to transform the way business students learn. The use of academic video has exploded in the school and is deepening engagement, personalizing learning and ultimately improving learning outcomes and retention.
    5. Keys to Scaling Your Lecture Capture Program — What do you wish you had known as you grew your lecture-capture program from a single building to an entire department, campus or even system? Four years ago, as the University of Colorado at Boulder was planning a lecture capture pilot, Duncan McBogg took a deep-dive and documented everything they would need to consider. Later, as the university’s Academic Technology Support department took their pilot campus-wide, he put his studies into practice and implemented strategies for better communication, documentation, security, analytics, content management and distribution.

    You can watch more webinars here, and be sure to check back soon. We’ve got new ones every month.

  • by Nicole Wise
    on November 12, 2014

    At Clemson University students can spend a portion of their class online and another face-to-face using Mediasite. And when faculty know they’ll be out of office, they can pre-record their lectures for students to watch outside of class so they don’t miss out on any instructor-led time.

    This week is National Distance Learning Week, sponsored by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA). Because of the university’s strong commitment to distance learning, Clemson Online, the university’s office that creates blended and online courses, is hosting its second annual National Distance Learning Week Conference. The conference, also sponsored by USDLA, is a nationwide effort to generate greater awareness and appreciation for distance learning.

    Witt Salley, Clemson’s chief online education officer, created the conference to bring more awareness across campus and provide opportunities for training and continuing education for faculty and staff.

    Read on for his thoughts on the importance of distance education.

    Why is it important to offer distance education?
    Witt Salley: We offer over 10 online programs to attract students from all over the world. We’re able to tap into new student markets, particularly adult learners. Distance courses increase access to education for people who otherwise would not be able to pursue higher education. 

    More importantly, we’re seeing increasingly improved student outcomes in online environments. Students are not only achieving the learning outcomes we’ve identified for our online courses, but we’re also seeing strong placement rates in their related professions.

    One of the things we’re doing right now is analyzing the achievements of online students and comparing that to our on-campus students. If you’re concerned about creating quality and innovative learning opportunities, offering online courses is the clear way to do that.

    What percentage of students at Clemson take at least one distance learning course?
    We have upwards of 2,800 students taking at least one online course each semester. In the summer that jumps to over 4,000. Those numbers continue to rise.

    My position was created and Clemson Online was founded to grow those numbers so that we see a greater percentage of student credit hours fully online.

    What should instructors who are just starting out with video keep in mind?
    It’s an entirely new paradigm of education. They need to try their hardest to keep an open mind and not just replicate their face-to-face classrooms.

    Discover new ways of teaching and promoting student learning, because it is so different. Simply moving face-to-face practices online will not be effective. They’ll have to reengineer and re-conceptualize their approach to teaching and how students learn.

    It’s most important that faculty have knowledgeable staff who can help them design and facilitate online courses and share best practices. It’s equally important to have colleagues who are willing to show them their online course and let them peek over their shoulders. When it’s their first time out of the gate it’s really helpful to have a sample course that can serve as their roadmap to success.


  • on November 11, 2014
    A Personal Experience with Distance Learning

    By Megan Morrow, Sonic Foundry Marketing Campaign Specialist

    This week is National Distance Learning Week, a time to celebrate and learn more about education outside of the classroom. I don’t usually write here, but this week got me thinking about how distance and online learning has benefitted me personally. Because I received the opportunity to learn in a less traditional environment I was able to continue studying during critical times in my academic career.

    When I was a junior at the University of Texas I had to leave school mid-semester to help with a family emergency. I was over half of the way through my semester, had taken mid-terms and handed in many assignments. I was worried that all my classwork would go to waste. I was also worried that if I didn’t fulfill my semester course load I would lose my financial aid.

    I worked with my professors to create a crude distance program for myself. Most of them allowed me to complete my coursework via email and online testing. I was lucky enough to finish the semester with my GPA, financial aid and status intact.

    The following semester presented another challenge. I had to remain at home in Fort Worth and leave my life in Austin. Again, I was worried about losing my financial aid, my housing, and my identity as a student. This was in the early 2000’s so online classes were relatively new. So I worked with my advisors and the university let me create a distance learning path for myself. I was allowed to take two classes virtually, which allowed me to keep my financial aid as well as my identity as a college student, during an otherwise tumultuous time.

    Flash forward to 2011 when I was getting my master’s degree at DePaul University in Chicago by taking evening classes and working full-time. I was getting close to finishing my degree but I needed a statistics class to graduate. I had tried taking an evening class but found it so difficult that I ultimately dropped out. I needed a quiet space and more time to really understand something so outside of my wheelhouse.

    Again, in fear of losing financial aid if I didn’t reach my requirements, I looked for something a little less traditional. The school offered a Saturday morning online class. Perfect, I could run SPSS in my pajamas. Our professor would lecture for a few hours every Saturday and we would have group discussion boards and assignments online. I also was able to email my teacher frequently and work privately with a tutor. This low-stress environment helped me to succeed in my class and ultimately graduate.

    These two instances of distance or online learning were both very different but they gave me the same essential benefits. They allowed me to learn in a comfortable space that met my needs. They also allowed me to keep my identity as a student which included financial aid. Lastly, they helped me to graduate and ultimately succeed. Now I’m happy to work at a company that works to make non-traditional learning a possibility for anyone with access to a computer and Wi-Fi.

  • by Nicole Wise
    on November 10, 2014
    Clemson Online: Your Free 5-Day Distance Teaching and Learning Conference

    Photo: Clemson University Professor Ralph Welsh flips a class. Credit: Ralph Welsh

    The number of students taking at least one online course surpassed 7.1 million last year and represents a third of the 21.3 million higher education students, according to Babson Research Group.

    With numbers like these, it’s no wonder there’s a week dedicated solely to distance learning in the U.S. (It’s this week, by the way.)

    We’ll be celebrating National Distance Learning Week all week with our customers, one of which is holding an entire online conference with tons of speakers that is FREE to the public.

    South Carolina’s Clemson University is holding its second annual National Distance Learning Week Conference, put on by the Clemson Online office that creates courses and programs in blended and online formats. It is sponsored by the United States Distance Learning Association and is a nationwide effort to generate greater awareness and appreciation for distance learning in K-12, higher education, corporate and military settings, while also recognizing leaders in the field. The conference will feature more than 30 educational technology experts throughout the week ranging from faculty to technologists sharing their best practices. And everything will be live streamed via Mediasite for the world to watch.

    “We organized the conference as a way to bring more awareness and provide opportunities for training and continuing education for our faculty and staff. We also involved others across South Carolina and bordering states. It’s all about promoting acceptance and growth of online learning,” said Witt Salley, Director of Clemson Online and chief online education officer at Clemson, adding that the importance of online learning has also been recognized by the state of South Carolina — Governor Nikki Haley has proclaimed this week South Carolina Distance Learning Week.

    We’re particularly excited that our friend and Mediasite user Ralph Welsh, a lecturer in Clemson’s Department of Public Health Sciences, is presenting this year. Professor Welsh started experimenting with flipped classrooms three years ago, redesigning and refining his courses over time and putting the onus on the student to come to class already having watched the lectures and ready to engage in conversation. Now, he’s a flipped expert and will present a how-to-guide for introducing flipped instruction to students. His presentation, “Just Flip It: From the Front Lines of the Flipped Classroom,” is at 9 a.m. Eastern Friday. Register here to watch his presentation, and all the others, live via Mediasite.

  • by Nicole Wise
    on November 07, 2014

    Photos: Sonic Foundry

    Our Mediasite Events team predicts live TV broadcasts from show floors is going to become the new norm in the events industry. Attendees of IMEX America (Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings & Events) — the largest events industry expo in the U.S., in Las Vegas, Nev. recently — got a sneak peek.

    There weren’t any TV news trucks adorned with satellites parked outside, but each day of the show, attendees, both in Vegas and watching online, were treated to a 30-minute live TV broadcast on IMEX America TV from the expo floor. Our great partners Convention News Television (CNTV) and Production Resource Group (PRG) coordinated the broadcasts, and Mediasite live streamed them to the conference site and to the screens inside the expo center.

    The fast-paced shows featured testimonials from exhibitors and attendees, show highlights, cutting edge educational content and interviews with industry experts. The hosts also engaged attendees by checking the show’s social feeds and sharing what people were talking about. 

    “CNTV, PRG and Mediasite Events are all experts in certain areas, and by all of us working together we’re able to create these seamless live broadcasts,” said Donny Neufuss, senior account manager, Mediasite Events. “This type of content is very attractive. It’s fast-paced and very shiny — a half hour of really compelling content.”

    Carrie Ferenac, President of CNTV, says it also extends the life and reach of the conference. You’re not talking to just the people on site. You’re reaching a limitless virtual audience.

    “I think it gives you a way to show other people what’s happening at your event, which I believe can drive attendance in the future,” she said. “I think a lot of people in the events industry are trying to get their arms around live production, live streaming and hybrid events. More and more folks are trying to talk to an audience beyond the four walls of their trade show.”

    And that’s easier to do than you might think with the right partners.

    “It’s a compelling way to use streaming technology in an expo or conference environment. Because of Mediasite and organizations like CNTV and PRG, there’s a more cost-effective and simpler way to deploy a live TV broadcast,” Donny said.

    Show organizers just need to remember that “content is king,” and should be compelling to draw people in, Carrie said.

    “I think you can start small,” Carrie said. “Maybe you don’t build a huge news desk the first year. Maybe you just use director chairs and sit in front of the tradeshow. There are ways you can walk before you run to figure out what your audience wants to see.”

    Plus, because the broadcasts are online there is a lot of opportunity to create additional sponsorship revenue.

    “I recommend generating revenue by helping vendors deliver their message. If I’m doing a live 30 minute broadcast I can charge an exhibitor to come and be a thought leader on that show,” Carrie said.

    Jim Kelley, VP of Industry Relations at PRG, suggests focusing on the experience you want your viewers to have and everything will fall into place.

    “People tend to focus on the technology when they want to introduce innovation to their meetings and events,” said Jim Kelley, VP of Industry Relations at PRG. “This sometimes can cripple organizations. Really what you need to do is concentrate on the experience you want to provide to your stakeholders. Let your partners bring to the table the right solutions and technology that aligns with your overall strategy.”

    Get some ideas for your own live broadcast by checking out these on-demand links to what IMEX America attendees saw: