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The University of St. Thomas is a private, Catholic, liberal arts university located in the Twin Cities metro area of Minnesota. Enrolling over 10,000 full-time undergraduate and graduate students across campuses in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Rome, Italy, St. Thomas is the largest private institution in the state.

 

Situation

St. Thomas, like many institutions across the country, is constantly looking for innovative ways to reach more students and improve their overall learning experience. In recent years, the university has aimed to increase it’s blended learning course offerings, especially for programs like it’s part-time MBA program where the ability to accommodate a variety of schedules is key for students already in the workforce.

The push for more blended learning courses also presented its fair share of obstacles. In particular, the university needed to equip faculty with the communication tools necessary to succeed in a blended environment. St. Thomas needed a way for faculty to create videos for their courses even if they weren’t savvy with video software. Although they already had a number of video tools available to faculty (Essemble, Camtasia, Jing etc), a few key challenges prevented them from gaining widespread adoption.

1. Steep Learning Curves

The majority of St. Thomas’s faculty are not filmmakers and don’t have time to spend hours learning how to create and share simple video content. Creating a video and sharing it in the LMS involved using an application to record, finding the video file on your local hardrive, uploading it to an editing application, and then pushing it to an LMS.

2. Lack of Support for Student Recording

Video was limited to faculty creating and sharing content with their students, but there was not a solution for students to create videos.

3. Expensive

Budget was obviously a concern for St. Thomas, and paying for every faculty member and student to have access to multiple video tools added up quickly. On the flipside, only having a few licenses created bottlenecks and deterred faculty from taking the time to create content.

“ilos is the easiest video capture and playback platform we have ever come across.”

Lisa Burke

Dir. Office of Instructional Innovation, , UST Opus College of Business

Criteria for Evaluation

  • Simplicity Faculty were not video experts and needed a platform that simplified the video creation and sharing process.
  • Student Engagement Students must be able to create content as well to fully utilize the power of video in the classroom.
  • Cost – Campus-wide license without breaking the bank.
  • Quality Finding the balance of easy to produce but good enough to share.

Why ilos?

  • Ease of use – ANY faculty member could start creating and sharing videos directly into BlackBoard in minutes, not hours or weeks.
  • Student Recording – ilos enabled both faculty AND students to record video content at a fraction of the cost.
  • Adoption – Faculty actually used ilos because it SAVED them time and provided an innovative way to connect with students.

Solution

St. Thomas partnered with ilos to put video in the hands of all of their students and faculty. Faculty use ilos to capture lectures, create videos for their blended courses and give feedback on assignments. Faculty also use ilos to allow students to record presentations using video.

Faculty who have created a video

Total Videos Created

Average Videos Made Per User

Results

St. Thomas partnered with ilos to put video in the hands of all of their students and faculty. Faculty use ilos to capture lectures, create videos for their blended courses and give feedback on assignments. Faculty also use ilos to allow students to record presentations using video.

“Before ilos, it was always a question if you even wanted to build a video because of all the effort it would take; now you don’t even think about it, it’s very straightforward and easy to do.”

Jason Pattit Ph.D

Assistant Professor, Management,, UST Opus College of Business