Today student video is increasingly common on campuses all around the world. Schools, colleges, and universities are recording more and more student assignments and presentations, challenging students to demonstrate expertise or model proficiency in a format that better approximates real-world scenarios than do traditional essays or exams.
As other institutions adopt video on an assignment-by-assignment basis, however, the sheer scale of student video produced at the Sauder School of Business stands out.
The Sauder team envisioned a class that wouldn’t just be a way for the students to learn about giving presentations — it would be a total presentation laboratory, a place to experiment, self-review and, finally, learn how to succeed as presenters.
The goal for the class would be to provide every student with the following:
- Presentations by individuals and groups recorded regularly each semester;
- The ability to review these presentations for self-critique;
- The ability to critique peer presentations and to receive peer reviews; and
- Fair and objective presentation grading and evaluation based on recordings that could be reviewed by the instructor at any time.
The class that eventually came into being was called Business Communications, and today it’s a required course for all incoming students.
But before it could begin, the team had to first answer the question of whether it could actually be done. To find out, Cameron Morrell, an instructor at the Sauder School of Business, visited a number of other universities to get ideas for how the course could be designed.
After extensive research, Morrell concluded it was possible. How it could be done is the subject of our latest case study.
“The key problem was, how to create a course whose key grading component was oral?,” recalled Morrell. “Students needed to be graded on a series of presentations, but we couldn’t devote all that class time to students presenting.”
“Initially we used a 2005 solution, recording the presentations with a camcorder then copying them on to DVDs,” added Rob Peregoodoff, Director of Sauder’s Learning Services team. “The test was for 40 students. It took two weeks of class time and a lot of faculty hours as well.”
The test complete, the team quickly realized that such a system simply would not be feasible for all 400 students.
Then the team discovered Panopto.
Panopto’s video platform runs on any laptop and accommodates virtually any recording device, from specialized camcorders to webcams, laptop cameras, and even smartphone and tablet recorders. Recording a presentation with Panopto is simple: just open Panopto, confirm the video sources you want to capture, click record, and present. Panopto does the rest.
The Test: 400 Student Presentations in 4 Days
In the spring of 2013, the first test of the concept took place.
Each class was divided into groups of 6 or 7 students. Each group was assigned to use one of the school’s small meeting rooms as a recording location. Setup was simple: each group used one the university’s existing laptops and a small HD camera to record themselves wherever they were most comfortable in each room.
“We created our own “Media Lab” without spending any money,” described Morrell. “We took normal student meeting rooms with no built-in audio-visual equipment, set up a laptop with Panopto inside, and hit record. With six rooms running simultaneously, we could record 40 presentations in less than 90 minutes.”
The first class session having proven successful, nine more followed over the next two days. In 48 hours, 400 student presentations were recorded, uploaded and made available to the students and the instructors via their existing Learning Management System (LMS).
“Other options we looked at are lecture capture solutions, but Panopto is a room capture system — meaning we can record student presentations anywhere we want, not just in rooms with built-in hardware,” said Morrell. “And keep in mind that the rooms we used are not designed for recordings — they’re just normal student breakout rooms. For that reason, we simply could not do this course if we did not have the software.”
The Tech: Post-Production Made Easy
Not only was Panopto easy to use — it was easy to operate, too. Just two technical support staff were on hand for all six pilot test classes, and according to Morrell, by mid-semester the students were quite adept at using the systems independently.
Within a few hours of class time, the students and professors alike are able to access the newly created videos in the LMS — on demand, from any device they choose.
Find out more!
Download the Sauder School of Business Panopto case study to see how the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business uses capture student presentations at scale — and all the new applications the school is finding for video all across campus.