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Suffolk U To Ramp Up Lecture Capture Deployment

Suffolk University's Sawyer Business School in Boston has rolled out a lecture capture system to support both on-campus students and the expanding base of students coming through its online program. The twist? The lecture capture software was free.

Beginning in 2008, the university began evaluating systems that would be able to use the school's existing infrastructure and allow faculty to cut down on the amount of time and effort it took them to create materials for online presentations.

"We got complaints from faculty that the process of recording multimedia was not easy, was there not a better way to do this, and that it was taking too long," said Praneeth Machettira, director of technology, in a prepared statement. "These were all correct perspectives."

The university went with CourseCast from Panopto. CourseCast is a lecture capture platform designed for capturing, editing, and streaming audio and video from presentations to the Web. Captured materials can be searched, linked, and annotated through the software, and recorded materials can be embedded in popular course management systems.

"The software resides on a computer, either in the classroom, office, or at home. You are the one that initiates the recording and you are the one that stops the recording," said Machettira. "The opportunity to allow people to record anytime, anywhere with standardized technology in higher education, is a big one."

Through Panopto's Socrates Project, CourseCast is available to academic institutions for free in exchange for those institutions participating in beta programs aimed at further enhancing the software.

According to information released by Panopto, Suffolk U was able to deploy CourseCast without paying any licensing fees but did pay for some hardware and support.

Suffolk U began rolling out the software in late 2008 to a beta group. It's expected to be made generally available to all business school students, faculty, and staff beginning in the fall. It will be available for both on-campus students and students enrolled through the online program and will also be accessible to Suffolk's network of schools.

Suffolk University serves about 8,900 students and has an annual operating budget of $219.9 million.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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