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Ivy+ Media Meeting

By: Stephen Toback

Ivy Plus Meeting 2015

On October 21st, media professionals from “Ivy+” schools gathered in person at Brown University and via teleconference from 8 other schools to meet to discuss topics include MOOC video production, lecture capture and video streaming. We had met once several years ago so it was a wonderful opportunity to check in with our peers at other universities. While Shawn Miller from CIT was actually at Brown, Quentin Ruiz-Esparza from CIT and Jack D’Ardenne, Teresa Jennings and Todd Stabley joined me in the OIT Media Lab.

The morning sessions were centered around MOOC production. Stanford seemed to be farther along in the evolutionary process than Duke but some can say that the current “MOOC Movement” started at Stanford. They are in the process of building a dedicated studio for their media production services which will encompass an entire floor.  The majority of production scale seemed to echo here at Duke with a combination of “self service” video kits and professional video services.  There were many common themes including how you judge the quality of the production – is it content, video production or both. There was agreement that content was king, but USING the medium was also of great importance. So yes, no answer. 🙂 Many schools have a light board now and use green screen in similar ways we do at Duke. There was also agreement that getting OUT of the office and studio was important so many other schools also do location shooting.  There was also discussion about “preserving the brand” or establishing an online brand (which denotes a certain style and level of quality) using video.

I presented on Duke’s current production process. We seemed to be right in the middle toward the higher end with regard to the amount of staff and the number of courses with video we are currently producing. Our choice of teleprompter software (discovered by Mich Donovan) and our iPad teleprompter stand (found at NAB 2 years ago) generated a lot of interest, as did our use of 4k videography.

My favorite quote of the day was from MiT which I’ll paraphrase for you: Lecturing in front of a classroom is like theater, producing a MOOC is like television. Lana from MIT said producing a MOOC is like  “face to face teaching” which I agree with but I like completing the analogy. During the early days of film and television, all they did was film a theatrical production – so true of how MOOC production started. Everyone agreed and had experience where faculty just wanted to film themselves teaching… and it didn’t translate well.

The afternoon sessions focused on lecture capture and media distribution. The end of life notification of Media Core has impacted several schools. We presented on our “Escape From Kaltura” with specific reasons why the platform didn’t meet Duke’s evolving needs. We showed a quick demonstration of Warpwire which generated some interest. Yale had already spoken with Warpwire and we encouraged other schools to do the same. The broader Warpwire’s adoption, the better it is for Duke in the long term. We are always subject to the volatility of the rapidly changing media market.

Brown presented on their multimedia lab and studio which is remarkably similar to our current offering at the MPS. Brown has also begun to loan video kits similar to both our DDI Video camera kits and our Online Courses media production kits.

We’re currently gather numbers (staff, courses, etc) across the schools for our internal use to see how our staffing model per production compares to our peers.

U Penn

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