Brian Roberts is an Instructional Technologist as well as an Imaging & Web Developer at Central Michigan University. He has been at CMU since the fall of 1997 and is part of the FACiT team, which actively assists CMU faculty with all aspects of teaching and learning ranging from pedagogy and instructional design to the use of learning technologies and multimedia. He will be presenting an overview of the great success that he and CMU’s Dr. Michael Garver have found in creating their version of a “flat classroom” for multiple Marketing (MKT) courses by delivering course content in podcast format that was created using Camtasia Studio.
EDUCAUSE 11 Presentation: WRaP Up Your Course
Come find out how effective Writing, Recording, and Producing reusable learning objects can be in teaching and learning. Brian will discuss how he, along with Dr. Michael Garver, have radically increased students’ interaction with course content, each other, and the instructor both in and out of the classroom via the use of Camtasia Studio and podcasting. The two have experienced great success by building their version of a “flat classroom” in multiple courses to date. Active learning and student engagement are alive and thriving in these classrooms.
Watch this presentation at EDUCAUSE:
Tuesday: 5:10PM, 6:40PM
Wednesday: 12:00PM, 3:00PM
Thursday: 10:50AM, 1:50PM
An Interview with Brian
Question: How do you help faculty prepare and utilize lecture capture in their classrooms?
Answer: I work with faculty in a variety of ways to assure that they are creating reusable learning objects that are not only well produced, but are also as meaningful as possible content wise. Depending upon the faculty member’s needs, technical prowess and budget, we offer a couple of options. Many choose to utilize our sound booth or multimedia studio to do their audio and/or video recording. When they do so, they are offered 1:1 assistance and training on how to use the hardware and software (Camtasia Studio) from the recording and editing to the production and upload phases.
Once faculty have become comfortable with the process, they sometimes choose to move to a “do it yourself” option in which they purchase and install the necessary hardware and software on their own machines; then they can record at their leisure, whether in an office, the field, or home. Regardless of who, where and how the content is being recorded, one of our major objectives is to make sure that our faculty are creating well thought out and executed content for their students. Both our instructional technology and instructional design staff are ready, willing and available to work with faculty to plan out the best possible content that they can create. This includes deciding what to record, whether it should be audio and/or video, creating and presenting appropriate visuals, designating the appropriate length of the recordings and much more. The final pieces are delivered to students in streaming or podcast formats.
Question: Jimmy Buffet once wrote, “Live it first, write it down before you go.” Is lecture capture enabling us to do both at once?
Answer: I love that line. I’m a huge parrothead. From a personal perspective, I couldn’t agree more. Whether in written, photo, graphic, audio or video form, stories are passed along from generation to generation. It’s an amazing tradition that should be respected and appreciated to the ultimate level.
I believe that lecture capture is a way to pass along knowledge, information and experience from generation to generation of students. It’s a great resource. I further believe that as educators, we need to assure that we are constantly updating our content in order to assure present day accuracy. Lecture capture and delivery offers the option for students to hear it once, review at as many times as necessary in order to understand it, and then be able to engage in conversation with their peers and professors in order to sort out any gray area that remains. The more times they “touch” the content, the more likely they are to understand and remember it, just like history and memories.
Question: What exactly do you do in your work with FaCIT at Central Michigan University?
Answer: My cocktail party response to this question is always the same, I (and our entire department) assist teachers to be better teachers in a wide variety of ways. I am fortunate enough to work with faculty when they choose to implement some sort of multimedia or instructional technology within their courses. Faculty members are experts in what they do. When they enter the world of higher education and teaching, they are often times in need of resources to assist them in becoming the best professor that they can be.
FaCIT’s goal is to be the best resource that it can be to our faculty, which in turn ultimately provides a better learning environment for our students. Via combined efforts between our instructional design, instructional technology, media production and tech support teams, we offer a LOT of resources. My personal focus is within the instructional technology arena. If a faculty member chooses to incorporate some sort of technology (screen capture, podcasting, audio/video/photo, back channeling, web sites, presentation software, social media, etc) into their course, they come play with us.
We are their resource. Whether it’s to solve a problem, trying something new, or delivering content in a different way than they have in the past, we sit down with them and create a plan of attack that will produce the best end result possible for everyone involved. Our faculty do not need to be experts in instructional technology. They need to have someone like us available to them to help them understand, plan for and best implement what is available to them. We train and support them to the level that they need to be at in order to do what they desire to do, effectively.
The absolute greatest part of my job is that I get to play in a lot of sandboxes. From hour to hour, day to day and so forth, I get to spend time with faculty and students in a wide variety of curriculum across campus. I get to learn a little bit about a LOT of stuff.
Question: Are you currently learning any new forms of technology?
Answer: I constantly strive to stay abreast of the latest and greatest forms of instructional technology available in order to continue to be a well informed and trained resource for the CMU community. The last couple of years I have been greatly involved in a variety of student engagement and mobile learning initiatives. These include classroom response systems, back channeling screen capture, podcasting and much more. My efforts are always focused on finding the right tool to do the job, whether the job is to fix a problem or try something new.
Of course, most of my “tools” are technology based, so any way that I can find to use one of those tools in a new, exciting and innovative way, the happier my clients and I are. I love to find ways to overlap a variety of technologies in order to develop the best possible end result.
Question: What are you most excited about learning and seeing at EDUCAUSE 2011?
Answer: I am equally excited to both share the stories and experiences of what we do at CMU with others, as well as listen to and talk with others about what is happening on their campuses. I truly believe that when we share, we learn. We will be surrounded by some of the best and the brightest individuals in the business for a few short days. I want to soak up as much information as I possibly can in order to return to campus and figure out how we can leverage what’s out there to the greatest extent possible.
Everyone does things just a bit different. I love to change things up for the better. I want to have the best tools in my toolbox.
Connect with Brian
Follow FACiT on Twitter
Check out Brian on FACiT
Ali White is the Social Media Intern for TechSmith. She studies Professional Writing at Michigan State with a minor in Theater and specialization in Digital Humanities. Follow her tweets at @DesignLightning or check out her Portfolio.