Professors in the McDonough School of Business are expanding their usage of technology that records and posts their lectures online in an initiative that may soon spread across campus.
According to John Carpenter, chief technology officer for the MSB, 53 professors have used a technology called MediaSite to record over 600 lectures since the school began using the service last year. Of these 600, about 410 lectures are currently available for students through MediaSite or Blackboard.
Carpenter added that students are increasingly taking advantage of the videos.
“Last year we had 1,728 videos watched,” he wrote in an email. “This year to date we have 3,501, or a 103 percent increase, with another six weeks to go.”
Lectures are only available to students enrolled in the class, but the university is looking to expand the program. Lectures might be made available to a broader audience using sites like iTunes U, which shares lectures from over 800 universities around the world.
The university plans to eventually develop the program across campus, according to Carpenter. The recent construction of the Rafik B. Hariri building permitted easy incorporation of the technology, but the school is currently considering ways to install the necessary equipment in older buildings.
According to Carpenter, the Hariri building, which opened in 2009, was designed with the intent of allowing professors to record their classes. Fifteen of the building’s classrooms feature built-in cameras, computers, microphones and connections meant specifically for MediaSite use.
Carpenter wrote that in addition to MediaSite, professors can also use computer software to record lectures. He also mentioned that some professors uploaded content to YouTube and iTunes beforeMediaSite became available.
“Right now, having a lecture capture capability is kind of cool, but it is no secret,” he wrote. “Any first-rate school, Georgetown included, will want to have this capability. Very soon I hope it will be a standard technology that will be as familiar to GU students as Blackboard.”
Students said they find the program helpful, whether or not they attend the lectures in person.
“You never really miss class because the slides and the lecture are online, and you can go back and look at them at your own pace,” Jenny Ong (MSB ’15) said.
Brooks Holtom, a professor in the business school who uses the lecture-capture technology, said it was especially helpful in the event of scheduling conflicts.
“The place that I find it most useful is in accommodating individual religious holidays and personal circumstances for different students,” he said.