SWIVL on Over

Videos and lectures that are embedded into online courses can enhance and invigorate the learning experience. They also provide exciting learning options for students, largely because such tools are often replaced with journal articles and discussion board chats.

That means that students who study online can sometimes miss out on engaging instructor presentations. Yet adding those functions can be expensive, not to mention plagued with problems, says WilmU’s educational technology specialist Russ Lichterman.

SWIVLweb-1024x576So Lichterman and Dr. Matthew Davis, director of online learning and educational technology, decided to create a cost-effective and user friendly solution. Their plan was to give face-to-face instructors the opportunities to record lectures in their classrooms. Those videos are then embedded into the online course versions.

Thus the Lecture Capture Pilot program was born. The do-it-yourself program uses a robotic camera turret called a Swivl, with an iPad mini mounted in it. “With 15 minutes of training, an instructor can record high definition video and crystal-clear audio with the equipment,” says Lichterman.

Davis says that the videos allow online students to experience rich lectures that feature Wilmington University faculty members. The videos also facilitate multisensory learning, which is an important component of effective online learning.

According to Neuro-Instructional Design and Neuropedagogy: Strategies for Developing Compliant and Dynamic Online Courses, a concurrent session presented at the 2014 Drexel University E-learning Conference, researchers supported the advantages of multisensory learning and those advantages have been well-documented in voluminous cognitive, scientific research, says Davis.

The Swivl connects wireless audio from the instructor via a small marker that’s clipped to his or her shirt or lapel.  The marker also acts as a remote control and an infra-red tracking beacon that lets the Swivl follow the instructor around the room. The videos are uploaded to a cloud using WilmU’s online video platform, then made available on Blackboard. “Each setup costs only a fraction of what a classroom with a hardwired lecture capture solution would cost,” says Lichterman.

Davis and Lichterman piloted the program utilizing the talents of WilmU’s College of Business instructors: MSM program chair Dr. Greg Warren, and the course BBM 402: Strategic Management; and adjunct Russ Figueira, with the course MGT 6501: Organization Theory and Design.  Also, a course in the College of Education utilized Swivl and was presented in July by assistant professor Dr. Joseph Massare.

The program is available to all WilmU instructors. (Learn more at wilmu.edu/multimedia.) WU