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.

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Submitted by Nizam Arain, Student Affairs Administration