Using Presentation Capture in Counselor Education Programs

Using Presentation Capture in Counselor Education Programs

Robert Gibson (Emporia State University, USA) and Ann Miller (Emporia State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3962-1.ch005
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Emporia State University recently implemented a web-based presentation capture application for use in both a graduate and undergraduate counselor education program. Presentation capture, sometimes referred to as course capture or lecture capture, is most often used in traditional classrooms to record lectures by faculty for playback and review by students following class. However, in this educational scenario the students record sessions with assigned clients from the Emporia, Kansas community that are later played back by the faculty for review and evaluation – most often in a classroom environment where all the students gather to review and discuss the client recordings. The faculty critique the interview techniques, interview questions, and client engagement with the students as part of their training, research, and coursework. One of the unique needs of this approach is that the recordings conform to Health Insurance Privacy and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements and thus can only be replayed outside the counseling facility using an encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) access. Although this is a very small academic program at a modest-sized university, an empirical research study was conducted to gauge the effectiveness of capturing client sessions using a presentation capture application. Results from that study indicate that both students and faculty found the software and hardware to be very easy to use, and believed it significantly enhanced the quality of the counseling program.
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The use of presentation capture applications in counselor education programs is actually quite common. Schaefle, Smaby, and Liu (2006) found that 93% of the Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) regularly utilize some type of digital software and hardware system to encode student-client sessions in their academic programs (e.g., counselor education, mental health counseling, school counseling, substance abuse counseling, marriage and family therapy). Specifically, Auburn University’s Family and Marriage Therapy program has utilized digital video capture for various research and training purposes for many years (Melton, 2007). Web-based presentation capture in counseling is most often a replacement for earlier generations of analog-based recording systems. Earlier generations of recording systems suffer from a number of technical limitations. Videocassette tapes, for example, are considered an obsolete technology that is difficult to purchase in retail stores. Both Best Buy and Wal-Mart discontinued sales of VHS tapes as early as 2006 (Library Copyright Alliance, 2008). In addition, most forms of transportable media do not conform to rigid Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements for storing and retrieving client/patient data (Retrieved from: Tapes, disks, thumb drives, and other forms of portable media can easily find their way into the wrong hands outside of a controlled environment. Furthermore, they are somewhat clumsy and difficult to operate. For example, locating a specific point in a 90-minute taped session can take several minutes of searching using a videocassette player, whereas using a web-based digital recorder the student or faculty member can insert bookmarks or placeholders into key locations for near-instantaneous access. Also, web-based systems do not require a larger physical storage area for the recorded media. A thousand hours of semester recordings using VHS would consume at least 200 tapes, as opposed to one modest-sized server hard drive.

However, not all colleges and universities have adopted an academic presentation capture solution to replace their aging analog system. Several have leveraged digital recording systems intended for athletic game review. These systems also provide digital capture and playback of client sessions; however, they tend to be quite expensive; are normally stand-alone appliances that do not easily scale across the institution; are specifically designed for athletics; and do not afford many of the features required of academic programs. For example, many of these products do not provide closed captioning or include the ability to insert student or faculty notations into the recordings at key points. Rather, they are specifically designed so that athletes and coaches can analyze sports plays during or at the conclusion of games. Therefore, these athletic game review systems are often poor substitutes for presentation capture products intended for academics.

In this chapter we discuss the effectiveness of web-based presentation capture systems in the context of a counselor education program. The American Counseling Association (ACA) defines counseling as:

… a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. (American Counseling Association, n.d.)

At Emporia State University the presentation capture technology is used to support a variety of academic disciplines that fall under the umbrella of counseling education including Mental Health Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, School Counseling, Art Therapy Counseling, Crime and Delinquency Studies, and Rehabilitation Services Education, which includes alcohol and drug abuse counseling, student services, corrections, and child and family services. When the program faculty and staff initially embarked on selecting a replacement for the aging VHS system, several products and solutions were entertained based on specific academic requirements, including the ability to do the following.

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