Lecture capture remains popular despite controversy, lack of funding

Ten percent of college students said they watched lecture videos more than six times.

Lecture capture technology is thriving in higher education, even after cuts in campus technology budgets and a national political dustup that led at least one university to put severe limitations on how lecture-recording technology could be used.

Campus-based and cloud-based lecture capture systems improved students’ grades, efficiency, and course satisfaction, according to a national survey conducted by Tegrity, maker of a lecture-recording technology known as Tegrity Campus.

The overwhelmingly positive survey results come a year after a conservative media mogul posted lecture-capture video of University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) faculty member advocating violence as a legitimate tool in labor union negotiations. The video, later deemed “highly distorted” by UMKC officials, drew national attention and scorn from a range of conservative media outlets.

The viral lecture video prompted UMKC decision makers to limit the use of lecture capture systems, requiring the explicit permission of professors and students before a class could be recorded.

The university’s restrictions did not become a national model for schools hoping to avoid similar controversy, but 2011 surveys detailed another potential derailment for lecture capture advocates: Stagnant technology budgets. Colleges, according to the Center for Digital Education, have had to employ budgetary gymnastics to maintain money for lecture capture systems.

Controversies and funding aside, lecture capture remains universally popular among college students.

Nine in 10 students said recorded lectures posted to course websites have increased the amount of material they learn during the semester, according to the Tegrity survey. Eighty-five percent of students aid the technology made them more efficient studiers, and 37 percent said they watched lectures twice a week. One in 10 students watched lectures more than six times in a week.

Seven in 10 student respondents said using lecture capture helped improve their final course grades.

About half of the students surveyed were using lecture capture in traditional classrooms, while the other half were enrolled in hybrid or online courses, according to Tegrity.

Campus technologists said late last year they feared the UMKC lecture-capture incident would dampen enthusiasm for an online tool that allows students to watch class lessons several times in one sitting.


Social Tech Gets Academic: GoingOn Brings Modern Social Modalities to Higher Ed in Latest Release

GoingOn Networks, Inc. (www.goingon.com) recently announced the latest release of the GO Platform, a modern, socially powered campus communications and collaboration environment that allows faculty, students and administrators to more effectively connect, converse and engage across all aspects of their academic life experience. With this release, GoingOn has significantly enhanced its Virtual Commons, providing users with easier ways to search, share and manage their Facebook-like activity streams, and expanded its powerful Community-building environment with two new modules, GO Conversation and GO Channels. These new additions to the GoingOn academic social network enable users to dynamically create collaborative spaces to connect with fellow students, cohorts and faculty members within minutes, as they extend the academic experience beyond the course and the confines of a classroom.

CEO Jon Corshen will showcase the platform’s new functionality as he discusses current social technology trends in higher education and best practices implemented by several client-schools, including Arizona State University and the University of Pennsylvania, during a web presentation being hosted on June 12 and again on June 19.

“When it comes to sharing resources and collaborating, campus portals are dying a slow death and using email to deliver ‘institutionalized SPAM’ is not a viable alternative,” said Corshen. “To see where it is all going, you need only to look at the modalities used by Facebook, Twitter and others, such as push, share, like, follow, comment and recommend. GoingOn provides the fastest and easiest way to build an engaging environment that supports these modalities and, more importantly, lays the foundation for a more engaged and connected campus.”

The GoingOn academic social network was launched in 2009 as a social classroom platform at the University of Pennsylvania and has evolved to become a much broader, socially powered campus communication network. It is being deployed at more than 30 of today’s top academic institutions.

Features of the latest release include:

Conversation Spaces
Conversations are easy-to-create web spaces that facilitate highly engaging and efficient information sharing and collaboration between as few as two users or as many people as desired. Conversations may be created around school programs, student organizations, study groups, research projects, informal courses or event discourse and debate. GO Conversation spaces combine the power of Facebook-like activity streams with rich content capabilities.

Enhanced Personal Commons
The Personal Commons uses intelligent Facebook-like activity streams to provide users with a private home page and hub for all communication relevant to his/her interests and group memberships. In this release, the Personal Commons has been enhanced with a new UI design, real-time status updates, sharing and advanced search and filtering.

Email Notifications
Notifications provide a critical engagement functionality in which users are alerted to ongoing network activity pertaining to their group memberships, content and connections. Users may set their preferences for the frequency of notifications, as well as the types of updates that would trigger a notification.

Enhanced Task Management
Enhanced Task Management provides group owners with the ability to create and share tasks with any/all users in the group and to track completion of tasks.

Updates to Site Roles
New site-level roles are being introduced, including Advanced Content Creator, Channel Builder and Community Builder. The new roles will expand the options available to Site Owners for delegating specific permission sets to any user across the network.

Directory Categories
Categorizing communities, conversations and channels (feeds) will make it easier for users to discover new groups by interest category, or even for filtering their existing membership groups. Site and Group Administrators will have the ability to create and manage the categories, while Group Managers will have access to choose from the available categories when building or managing their communities.

New Group Status Settings: Active and Inactive
Community Builders, Channel Builders and Group Managers may now control the Active/Inactive state of their groups. In doing so, access to the group and its content will be blocked to all visitors, including its general members. Only Administrators and Managers will continue to have access until the ‘Active’ status is reinstated.

Enhancements to Search
The site Search now has a filter for “Everywhere” and “Here” to provide the user with a way of targeting their search to the local group or the entire site network. If the user chooses to limit their search to their current group space (Community, Channel or Personal Commons), they simply choose the “Here” filter.

Bulk User Enrollment
Site and Group Administrators can now mass enroll all or any filtered lists of users into one or many groups using the Bulk User Enrollment workflow. This workflow adds to the other user enrollment options previously available to Administrators and Managers, including the Invitation workflow or the Sub-community member transfers.

Content Management & Administration Updates
Various content management and administration updates have been added to further improve administration efficiency and expand content management options for managers.

For more information about GoingOn Networks or to register for one of the web presentations on June 12 or June 19, visit www.GoingOn.com.

About GoingOn Networks, Inc.
GoingOn provides colleges and universities with an innovative, On-Demand communications and collaboration environment where students, faculty and administrators can more effectively connect, converse and engage across all aspect of their academic life experience. As the reliance on social and mobile technologies continues to accelerate, institutions are being challenged to create a more modern connected campus, where students and faculty can more easily communicate, share resources and connect with each other, from anywhere and at any time.

The GO Platform allows institutions to build a privately branded academic social network where users can more easily access school-wide information and resources and come together to converse, share ideas and expand their knowledge base. The GoingOn solution can be easily and quickly deployed without requiring development or technical resources and will grow organically across the campus. The platform combines an intuitive Personal Virtual Commons with Facebook-like activity streams, self-service tools for building collaborative spaces and integrated academic networking features. For more information or to learn more about GoingOn, visit www.GoingOn.com.

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The world’s best new universities

Today, the Times Higher Education magazine released the inaugural Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 list, which ranks the world’s 100 best universities that are under the age of 50 years. “100 Under 50” joins the prestigious World University Rankings, which is published every year. Both surveys rank universities on reputation alone using the largest international survey of academic opinion. Thirty countries and regions are represented in the world’s top 100 Under 50 ranking and six countries are represented in the top ten, including South Korea, Switzerland, Hong Kong, the US, France and the UK. The US is represented by nine schools in the top 100 and two schools in the top 10, which is believed to reflect the pioneering post-war period of development of modern research-led institutions…

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To keep college graduates around, offer local tax breaks

As a student at the University of South Alabama, that I will have no option but to relocate after graduation is troubling, says David Loeser for Yahoo! News. According to the Alabama Department of Revenue, the state has an income tax rate of 5 percent and a sales tax rate of 10 percent, with an average income of $36,000. It is very difficult for any graduating student who financed their education using loans to build financial momentum. There is a simple, long-term solution benefiting graduates, all local government organizations, and local communities in Mobile: All graduating students in the state of Alabama should be issued a minimal five-year income tax exemption, and any student who graduates with a 3.5 GPA or greater can earn a 10-year exemption. Even better, the state of Alabama should match the amount of savings up to $10,000 per year for the entire length of exemption. The exemption should be issued in reimbursement twice per year. Everyone benefits from this solution. Students will pay off loans, purchase property and settle themselves into their profession in Mobile and Alabama. The state would benefit from property tax, possible business tax and future income tax…

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Microsoft Windows 8 release preview available for download

The final test version of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system is available for download Yahoo! News reports. The Release Preview build of Windows 8 features new apps, richer experiences, tens of thousands of refinements and a touch-friendly Adobe Flash Player in Internet Explorer 10.
“We’re thrilled to be at this milestone with the Windows 8 Release Preview,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, marking the operating system’s final stage of development before being rolled out to PC and tablet manufacturers.
Microsoft released the previous Windows 8 Consumer Preview build of the operating system (OS) back in February. The OS was downloaded more than 1 million times in the first 24 hours and has since become the company’s most tested operating system of all time. Since then, Microsoft has made a number of improvements to refine the Windows 8 experience…

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