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New self-service, automated Video Express sites open on West Lafayette campus

Video Express
Video Express sites are pre-calibrated, making it possible for users to operate a room with little or no assistance.

Two new self-service, automated video recording rooms, called Video Express sites, are now open for use on the West Lafayette campus.

The new sites allow instructors to easily record high-quality video presentations and retrieve recordings through the Video Express website (Purdue career account user name and password required). The sites are located in Stewart Center, Room G62A and Siegesmund Engineering Library in the Potter Engineering Center, Room B66. Additional sites in Hampton Hall and the Discovery Learning Research Center are scheduled to be completed this spring.

Pamala Morris, an assistant dean and associate professor in the College of Agriculture, uses Video Express to produce short clips for the online and face-to-face versions of her multicultural awareness course. The segments, which she uploads to Kaltura for her students to access, incorporate lecture topics and build upon in-class discussion.

“Class time is limited, and students have busy schedules. The advantage of creating a video is that I can reinforce concepts covered in class or even introduce new concepts. Students can absorb the material on their own time,” Morris says.

Video Express sites are pre-calibrated – the lights, camera and audio ready to go when a user enters the room. Minimal setup is required to record, making it possible for users to operate a room with little or no assistance.

Last year, representatives from ITaP, the Krannert Computing Center and the College of Technology Distance Learning Center collaborated to create the first Video Express sites – Rawls Hall, Room 3074, and Stewart Center, Room G53. Improvements to the service, notably the creation of a user-friendly website where videos can be previewed and downloaded, were made in 2014.

“We all realize that video can be an important tool for instructors, but no one wants to spend a large amount of time figuring out the technology. That’s why we’re pleased to be opening six of these Video Express sites across campus this spring,” says Gerry McCartney, System CIO and Purdue’s vice president for information technology. “These self-contained video sites allow faculty members to do instructional videos without requiring a degree in cinematography to get decent results. Once our faculty members give the facilities a try I think they’ll be pleased with the final product.”

A distinguishing feature of Video Express is the user’s ability to control the video output via a tablet computer. With the touch of a finger, users can start and stop recordings or change a projected green screen image. Each site is equipped with a touch-sensitive Windows 8 computer, which can be used to make screen annotations. Users can also incorporate digital inputs, such as PowerPoint slides, movie files and websites. When a video recording is stopped, it is automatically sent to a media server, and the creator is notified by email when the file is ready for download.

“These sites are really professional and easy to use,” Morris says. “I like that I can switch the on-screen image between myself and my presentation slides just by pressing a button. I also love the fact that I can stop and take a break to collect my thoughts between videos or re-record a segment if I make a mistake.”

Kevin Mumford, an assistant professor of economics in the Krannert School of Management, found the Video Express sites to be especially useful for demonstrating the data analysis and statistical software students learn in his econometrics course, which he teaches both in a classroom and online.

“One of the complaints I’ve heard from students in the past is that they couldn’t remember how to accomplish certain tasks with the software even though I provide help sheets,” Mumford says. “With the online videos, students can watch me demonstrate the software and follow along at their own pace.”

Faculty and staff who want to learn how to operate a Video Express site are encouraged to register for ITaP’s spring break workshop series on Tuesday, March 18. Led by ITaP educational technologists, the series will give participants an overview of a Video Express site in addition to sessions on editing and sharing video.

ITaP educational technologists are also available for one-on-one site demonstrations and consultations on using post-production software, such as Camtasia.

More information on Video Express, including how to reserve a site or add professional captioning to videos, is available on ITaP’s Video Express Web page. To schedule a consultation or training session on using Video Express, contact ITaP’s teaching and learning group at tlt-consulting@purdue.edu.

Writer: Jonathan Hines, technology writer, ITaP, 765-496-7998, hines18@purdue.edu

Sources: Gerry McCartney, system CIO and vice president of information technology, 765-496-2270, mccart@purdue.edu

Pamala Morris, assistant dean and associate professor, College of Agriculture, 765-494-8293, pmorris@purdue.edu

Kevin Mumford, assistant professor of economics, Krannert School of Management, 765-496-6773, mumford@purdue.edu

Last updated: March 6, 2014