Wayne State University Takes the Lead in Library and Information Science Using Mediasite
The Wayne State University Library and Information Science Program can trace its origins to 1918, when the Detroit Normal Training School began offering courses in school librarianship to elementary teachers in the Detroit Public School system. After the training school became the Detroit Teachers College in 1923, the library science program grew and it remains one of only only 57 American Library Association-accredited degree programs of library and information science in the United States and Canada.. In recognition of the growth of the program and the expansion of its curriculum, the name of the program was changed to the Library and Information Science Program (adding information science) in 1993. The program has 15 full-time and 60 part-time faculty members.
Joseph Mika, then director of the Library and Information Science Program, sought to take advantage of a technology that would enhance student learning. The school already had transitioned from a successful on-site program to four off-campus sites to offering online courses using the Blackboard course management system. The next logical step seemed to be the integration of live classes for remote students.
Mika discovered Mediasite while attending a recruitment meeting for directors and assistant deans more than 2 years ago. At that meeting, he spoke with the assistant dean of the university business school, who raved about Mediasite, so Mika went to see it in operation. About 2 months later, the Library and Information Science Program had its own Mediasite system.
"I went after something I knew worked and had a chance to observe," said Mika. "The equipment itself is very straightforward and easy to use. It only took a matter of hours to get up and running after watching the demo by Sonic Foundry personnel and using the technology ourselves."
The Wayne State University Library and Information Science Program utilizes Mediasite to capture a minimum of 25-28 recordings per month. Seven teachers capture four lectures per week. Program faculty have affectionately nicknamed Mediasite "ECHO," which stands for "enhancing courses held online." "I love Mediasite," said John Heinrichs, assistant professor in library and information science. "It's a whole new way of teaching. Now I can stop, run polls to see if students understand the content. I can see if there are any questions being keyed into the moderator function and answer those right away."
Working students also are able to save time that otherwise would be spent in transit between school and their places of employment. …