Villanovaâ€™s College of Engineering Selects Mediasite for Distance Education
DENVER â€“ Oct. 20, 2004 â€“ EDUCAUSE 2004, Booth # 1525 â€“ Sonic Foundry Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), a leading rich media solutions company, today announced Villanova Universityâ€™s College of Engineering has purchased three of the companyâ€™s Mediasiteâ„¢ rich media presentation recorders to capture and stream courses for its graduate degree program. The recorded classes serve as an important adjunct to in-class learning and facilitate effective online learning for students in the distance education section.
Engineering courses, particularly at the graduate level, create unique challenges for institutions interested in offering distance education programs because of all the complex graphics and simulations used by the professors. As a result, technologies that might be effective in capturing and streaming PowerPointÂ® slides for a liberal arts course are ill-suited for the technical disciplines like engineering and healthcare where the content includes highly detailed imagery that is generated from a variety of devices.
Mediasite solves this problem through its unique dual-channel, real-time processing technology. The patent-pending VersaVisualâ„¢ technology enables the capture of multi-source, multi-format visual content from virtually any analog and digital source. Featuring the industryâ€™s fastest multi-channel encoding system, Mediasite greatly compresses workflow and easily handles complex engineering diagrams, maps, photos, detailed medical imagery, intricate drawings and other applications where visual clarity is critical. All of this is accomplished in real time and is completely transparent to the instructor.
â€œItâ€™s important for us as an institution to offer an optimal learning experience regardless of where the student is sitting when that learning occurs and Mediasite instantly creates an online mirror image of traditional class-based learning,â€ said SeÃ¡n Oâ€™Donnell, director of distance education for Villanovaâ€™s College of Engineering. â€œOur professors really love it. To be honest, they were a little disheartened by our earlier distance education efforts because they couldnâ€™t use their computer images effectively. With Mediasite, thatâ€™s no longer an issue. Now they can teach the way they want, using all the complex high-resolution images that are so essential to graduate level engineering courses.â€
In addition, by integrating the Mediasite recorders with its WebCT course management and academic enterprise system tools, Villanovaâ€™s College of Engineering is able to provide synchronous and asynchronous learning modalities complete with real-time video streaming, live chat, bulletin board communications and the posting of notes and other materials to support the learning process. Students without broadband Internet access can download each class and watch â€œoff-lineâ€ while traditional classroom-based students also can access the rich media archive of recorded classes to review complex concepts or to make-up a class. The WebCT portal interface also allows the College of Engineering to authenticate and track each studentâ€™s viewing of the course materials.
â€œVillanova Universityâ€™s College of Engineering is the perfect example of a multi-unit Mediasite customer who generates a large amount of complex, rich media content and needs a product with Mediasiteâ€™s unmatched capabilities in real-time capture and scalability,â€ said James Dias, vice president of Sonic Foundry. â€œAs the demand for Web-based distance education continues to grow exponentially, Mediasite provides a highly automated system that enables higher education institutions to quickly meet that demand head on without creating IT/AV headaches or interfering with the teaching process in any way.â€
About Sonic FoundryÂ®, Inc.
Founded in 1991, Sonic Foundry (NASDAQ: SOFO) is a provider of rich media communications technology for the enterprise. The company’s high-performance rich media presentation systems are trusted by Fortune 500 companies, education institutions and government agencies for a variety of critical communication needs. Sonic Foundry is based in Madison, Wis. For more information about Sonic Foundry, visit the company’s Web site at www.sonicfoundry.com
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