The advent of blended learning and digital recording options has complicated the challenge of administering technology classrooms. From students’ perspective, “capturing” real-time student/teacher interaction is especially valuable for distance-learning applications or for those in traditionally seated environments as post-class tutorial/review. Survey evidence suggests that students highly value the convenience and flexibility of “anytime/anywhere” instructional access.
Millennial-generation students are driving demand for flexibility and accountability in how course material is delivered (Strauss & Howe, 2007). While cherishing structure, reliability, and return on investment, students rightfully expect quality instruction, whether they attend lectures in person or view them in blended-learning or online environments. In large university settings, with diverse student populations, digital course-capture technologies provide convenience and flexibility to all students, but offer especially valuable learning benefits to students for whom English is a second language (Simpson, 2006). Milne (2007) suggests that social networks and emerging technologies are driving a paradigm-shift toward an “interaction age,” in which learners attend to both content and one another in increasingly bi-directional ways. This includes learning spaces that increasingly are migrating from real-time, display-only features to digital asset management that is used to construct and deliver new knowledge. Administrators, who previously may have considered it a low budgeting priority to couple technology with flexible learning, now must consider accommodating expensive, multiple methods for course delivery, ideally by leveraging existing infrastructure (Stephens, 2003). At least one forecast from a respected technology consultant group suggests that by the year 2010, some 50% of all college and university classes (not founded on assessment of a classroom experience) will meet physically and in real-time only for exam proctoring (Zastrocky et al, 2007). In light of this, early-adopter or grassroots enthusiasm must be coupled with long-term strategic planning and administrative support in order to overcome institutional resistance to investment in instructional technologies (Kozma, 1978, 1979, 1985).
Bloodgood and Morrow (2000) identified a pattern of institutional responses when challenged by the types of market-driven innovations that Zastrocky, et al. now predict: They can adopt a “business as usual” approach and ignore competitive threats, or reconfigure existing resources (by capitalizing on internal/external knowledge), or acquire entirely new resources (not a common action for large-scale, discretionary, campus-wide technology investments).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Scan Conversion: A process of taking high resolution computer images in VGA or SVGA resolution and converting them to a lower resolution that can be displayed in full motion video (e.g., television, or cable distribution based on the NTSC standard)
Rich Media: Multimedia content combined to a single-user interface which may or may not include end-user interactivity. For course capture, it is usually full motion video and audio of an instructor synchronized with instructional content (either static, or with full motion video).
RSS: Acronym for “Really Simple Syndication” or “Rich Site Summary” that allows an end user to “subscribe” to an ongoing course or news service that is “pushed” to the end-user’s computer via the Internet and an RSS software aggregator (e.g., iTunes, Juice or iPodder). The content can be synchronized to a portable media device such as an iPod™. RSS aggregators regularly check for updates, and will automatically download and organize new media as it becomes available.
Podcast: Files that are published and subscribed to by users. Can be open and available to the public, or password protected for restricted audiences. Podcast can also be a general term to include audio only, audio plus graphics or instructional content (e.g., enhanced podcast) or contain full motion video (more accurately described as a vodcast).
Vodcast: A type of podcast that contains full motion video. VOD, the first three letters of vodcast are an acronym for “video on demand” – but when coupled with podcast subscription is better described as a “vodcast.”
Enhanced Podcast: Audio synchronized with either static instructional content (e.g., Powerpoint™) or with very minimal motion for short spans of time.
Webcast: Broadly disseminated content that is built upon the traditional term “broadcast” with delivery via the Internet. Webcasting may also include narrowly defined audiences with or without authentication to a secure web server.
Coursecast: Same as webcasting, only specific to instructional course delivery. This is a broad term which may serve as an umbrella for several other types of course delivery (including podcasting, vodcasting, etc.).