Thursday, May 7, 2015

MyMediasite by Nizam Arain

​I have been teaching an online course, Legal Issues in Higher Education, in the Student Affairs Administration master's program for the past four years. It is a cohort program, so the students have interacted with each other before but they don't know me as this is the only course I teach in their program. Initially I taught the course using online readings and lecture narratives that I wrote to address key concepts and points, but this past spring I decided to record my lecture narratives using MyMediasite Desktop Recorder.

MyMediasite Desktop Recorder is a program that I downloaded to my computer and use to record my video/audio on one part of the screen and my PowerPoint on the other, creating dual image and media. I created one video lecture per week of class and each video was about 45 minutes long. I found the MyMediasite Desktop Recorder software to be fairly intuitive for recording and even for editing, and I liked that I could rearrange and trim out content as needed. Once edited and in final form, I would post a link in the News area and Content area of my course.

I feel the video lectures gave me a better sense that the students were connecting and hearing from me in a very direct and face-to-face way, and I felt that the students had a greater sense of engagement with the class.

MyMediaSite accomplished what I needed: the ability to combine the audio/video of me talking, alongside the PowerPoint slides; I could record from my laptop anywhere, not only in a studio; I didn't have to manage large video files, the software did that; and, it is a campus supported technology for support and troubleshooting needs.

I hi​ghly recommend that anyone interested in using MyMediasite Desktop Recorder attend a training with Terry Wirkus or one of his colleagues. I also recommend taking some time to experiment and play with the software a little so you’re familiar with the recording and editing functions before it’s "crunch time.” Also, don’t forget about accessibility—make sure there are transcripts or written lecture notes posted along with your video. Finally, check in with your students periodically to see if the videos are working for them, and if there are ways to enhance the content delivery.

With the MyMediaSite tool (and a little practice), it’s not hard to incorporate video lectures into an online class effectively.

For more information, please visit:

Submitted by Nizam Arain, Student Affairs Administration

Pecha Kucha by Tori Svoboda

Pecha Kucha, Japanese for chit-chat, is a Japanese founded presentation approach and movement to encourage more focused presentations. The format of Pecha Kucha is 20 slides at 20 seconds each, ideally the slide as only an image.

I use Pecha Kucha in my Student Affairs Administration classes. I have tried this approach with a variety of projects including creating a conference presentation about a topic of interest, creating a presentation about personal leadership philosophy, and creating a presentation to train college students on various mental health issues. Students use an existing technology (PowerPoint, Brainshark, Jing, etc.) to create a slide presentation with 20 slides and record 20 seconds of narration on each slide, creating a consise 6 minute and 40 second presentation.

I originally used this format for my online only courses but after seeing such great results in the professional presentations I expanded the approach to include in my face-to-face class presenations as well. I have enjoyed using this format for a few reasons. First, using the Pecha Kucha approach, the students create presentations that are focused, informational, rehearsed, and professional. The format lends itself to a shorter, more direct presentation with a goal to get people introduced and focused on a particular topic. Next, the format is used by one of national organizations which has professionals present their content using this format (examples from ACPA 2014), exposing my students to the format, often in a storytelling format, but also other professionals in Student Affairs. Finally, this approach has allowed my students to create presentations that are usable outside of the classroom. Some students have used the presentation to lead professional development conversations with colleagues, some students have been able to network with others interested in the same content, and other students have used the presentations to embrace further speaking engagements.

More information about the Pecha Kucha approach can be found here:

Submitted by Tori Svoboda, Student Affairs Administration

Doceri by Megan Litster

Doceri is an application that links your tablet/iPad to a desktop/laptop computer, mirroring what is on the desktop/laptop to the tablet/iPad. I use Doceri to run presentation software (Keynote) on my laptop but control it from my iPad anywhere in my classroom, while also being able to use any features of the desktop/laptop. The application allows me to run projection software on my laptop and control it from my tablet. The application also allows me to active screen recordings while presenting information to the class for future playback from students, and automatically captures any image of any slide that I draw on.

In my large classes (60-100 students), using Doceri allows me to get out from behind the computer podium. I am able to walk around my classroom and interact with my students. I can access my course materials remotely while I wirelessly present my lesson. When I walk around the room I can hand my iPad to a student and ask that student to highlight or draw on a slide and that is projected to the class. It provides more freedom and flexibility in how I present to my large classes.

I find the Doceri application pretty self-explanatory, easy to install and use. One trick I learned is the tablet/iPad and desktop/laptop need to be on the same wifi network to work together but Doceri does remember the last IP address which makes connection fairly easy. Doceri does have good online support. The Doceri app for iPads can be downloaded for free in the App Store (it is $4.99 for the Windows app); Doceri Desktop can be purchased for $30.

More information about the features and uses of Doceri can be found here:

Submitted by Megan Litster, Biology