Duquesne University School of Nursing

Duquesne University remains at the forefront of nursing education with Mediasite.

Duquesne University remains at the forefront of nursing education with Mediasite. The Duquesne University School of Nursing sought new technology to enhance its forensic nursing program and meet the nation’s growing demand for nurses. They videotaped classroom presentations and guest lectures, but the process required extensive and costly post-production. Further, more distance learners couldn’t interact through Blackboard© because they didn’t receive materials efficiently. The school looked to Mediasite to bring a rich classroom experience to students via the web.

Mediasite has transformed the way the university now delivers classroom content. Students in remote locations are now able to interact in real-time with Mediasite. The forensic nursing program has grown tremendously, with doctoral students recording live Mediasite dissertations and using on-demand viewing to prepare doctoral and thesis defenses. The result has been unlimited use of Mediasite and continual improvement in the quality of education offered.

At a glance

  • Schools must meet the demand for training qualified workers to address the national nursing shortage
  • Mediasite simplifies production time and dramatically eliminates costs, transforming the delivery of classroom content
  • Quality of education heightened by rich opportunities for real-time interaction between students, faculty and guest lecturers
  • Nursing program experiences rapid growth and increased ability to reach underserved areas


The United States is in the midst of a nursing shortage that is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for healthcare grows. Compounding the problem is that colleges and universities across the country are struggling to expand enrollment levels to meet the rising demand for nursing care. Duquesne University School of Nursing is at the forefront of this challenge, as one of the first institutions in the country to offer online programs in forensic nursing education. In 2003, the forensic program was awarded a three-year Advanced Education Nursing Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

“A major goal of the funding was to enhance the program through technology in order to better serve online nursing students located throughout the United States and in various other countries around the world,” said Joseph Seidel, videographer and computer technology consultant.

The school sought a solution that would allow it to share instruction in a clear and concise manner. In addition, they wanted to bridge the gap between a regular classroom and an online environment, providing students with the best of both worlds.

Duquesne’s online forensic nursing program collaborates with The Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law, whose courses are only offered in a regular classroom setting. To make the Institute’s classes available to online students in a user-friendly, rigorous and cost-effective manner, the university researched available new technology and selected Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite web communications system.


Prior to Mediasite, the university employed a short-term solution of videotaping its courses. Each week they featured nationally known guest lecturers and real-world crime scene investigations. The end result was an extensive videotaping process, requiring much equipment, time and money.

“We wanted our distance learning students to have the same rich experience as being in class and interacting with professors directly,” said Seidel. “But, our early approach was exhaustive in terms of the time, effort and expense we incurred. We truly had to manage the entire process step-by-step which demanded a great deal of time and money. Mediasite simplifies the post-production time and cost dramatically.” In addition, distance learners experienced a lengthy delay in receiving the DVD for a class, making it difficult for them to interact with students on campus via the Blackboard® course management system.

“Mediasite brings the classroom to the student via the Internet and allows them to ask questions of the professor in real-time, not later when they have a moment to email the professor directly,” said Seidel. Students and faculty who cannot attend lectures have the ability to ask questions of the presenter and hear questions from live audience members through the use of wireless microphones. Another added benefit is that doctoral students can view presentations from their peers and professors on-demand in preparation for their own defenses.


"Mediasite has transformed the way course content is delivered to our distance education students," Seidel explained. "The feedback from students has been incredible and the growth of the program is due in large part to the quality of the courses offered online."

Over the past year, Seidel says the School of Nursing has expanded its educational opportunities by providing continuing education for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Training. An initial live SANE training is now offered on a continual basis through Mediasite to reach underserved areas where few nurses are trained in caring for victims of violence.

"We have found an unlimited number of ways to use Mediasite to improve our nursing distance education," said Seidel. "It allows us to branch into other clinical areas, enhancing the capabilities of our doctoral program through live dissertations."

Mediasite has provided a framework for future advancements in distance education at the School of Nursing’s students, faculty and staff collaborate to provide similar innovative programs in their own departments.

"We look forward to continuing our use of Mediasite as we seek to both educate and inform our students in this demanding field," said Seidel.

About Duquesne University

Duquesne University first opened its doors as the Pittsburgh Catholic College of the Holy Ghost in October 1878 with an enrollment of 40 students and a faculty of seven. Today, Duquesne University is a progressive, educational community which has more than tripled from its early 12.5 acres to its present, self-enclosed 40-acre campus. Duquesne’s tremendous growth includes more than 10,000 students in ten schools of study.