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Mediasite Brings the Classroom Home During California Firestorm

Dec 5, 2007 12:00 PM

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When California wildfires forced California State University (CSU) Fullerton Department of Nursing and California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) to cancel classes, both schools turned to their Sonic Foundry Mediasite webcasting platform to continue delivering instruction by capturing and streaming lectures online.

CSU Fullerton Department of Nursing's RN-to-BSN distance program is one in which nurses can obtain a bachelor's degree while attending at a site near work or home. The program is attended by working nurses who are looking for convenience, quality, and collaboration. Many of those students live in areas that were threatened by fires and were unable to attend class.

“Although some of the classrooms were closed, we held classes where we could, and recorded them with Mediasite and made the content available to the students who weren’t able to meet. We didn’t want them to have to make a choice between leaving their homes and families—potentially having to evacuate—and coming to class,” says Marsha Orr, distance education faculty liaison at CSU Fullerton Department of Nursing. “Because we are able to swiftly and easily capture the class and post it immediately to the Web, it meant that the students didn’t lose any content. It meant not rescheduling; it meant not trying to double up on information.”

On a day-to-day basis, CSUSM uses Mediasite to enhance both traditional and fully online courses, allowing professors to use in-class time to concentrate on higher-quality student interaction. When the firestorm broke out, the university had to close its campus for an entire week. Faculty used Mediasite to give students remote access to their lectures.

“Mediasite was the first solution we turned to when we had to decide how to make up for those lost hours,” says Linda Scott, director of academic technology at CSUSM. “One professor was able to release a previously-recorded Mediasite presentation for his students and another professor recorded the lecture he would have given the week of the fires, allowing his students to access it online. There are countless examples of this, and students were grateful we were able to offer webcasting as an option.”

“These stories illustrate that Mediasite is a powerful resource for our higher education customers, not only for day-to-day instruction, but also as a critical solution in responding to these trying and difficult circumstances,” says Darrin Coulson, chief operating officer of Sonic Foundry. “It’s when we hear stories like these that we can see the true power and convenience of Mediasite.”

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