The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine

The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine confirms Mediasite’s impact on student learning.

The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine confirms Mediasite’s impact on student learning. The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine has a large number of commuters in its student population who rely on streaming lectures to enhance their classroom instruction. The School needed a reliable, secure and transparent lecture capture solution that would not require high-level technical personnel to operate. Mediasite by Sonic Foundry was selected, installed in six classrooms and is now used to record and index all lectures in half of the School’s executive MBA programs. Faculty members appreciate the ease-of-use and security of the platform, while students are achieving better grades. When asked to put a price on their experience using Mediasite, 82 percent of students revealed they would pay higher tuition for streamed and archived instruction.

At a glance

  • Required a reliable, secure and transparent lecture capture platform
  • Created six classrooms that are Mediasite-enabled and equipped with digital teaching devices
  • Enables faculty to create secure online content
  • Students report the platform has helped them achieve better test scores
  • 82 percent of students say they would pay higher tuition for streamed and archived instruction

Challenge

The Paul Merage School of Business endeavors to be a business school of the future, as innovative, dynamic and agile as the world for which it prepares its students. At the same time, the students are also busy executives whose work schedules conflict with class schedules. Several years ago, to help meet the needs of these non-traditional students, the School began webcasting courses in the MBA program for Executives (EMBA) and MBA for Health Care Executives (HCEMBA).

“Classrooms are a very precious place where people give up their time to come in and participate. A lot of students who needed the sessions could not make it,” said John Clarke, assistant dean and chief information officer of The Paul Merage School of Business. “We were everybody’s hero when we went down the webcasting path.”

But the honeymoon effect wore off quickly. The solution, developed in-house, was cumbersome to use, distracting in the classroom and occasionally failed, requiring a high-level technical staff to revive it. According to Clarke, the outages were extremely disruptive to the classes and students who were depending on the webcasted content.

The School needed an easy-to-use solution with high reliability and uptime. “In spite of our best intentions, we were quite familiar with introducing distracting technology to classrooms. This time we wanted to do no harm,” said Clarke. Faculty also wanted to create a secure and indexed course catalog.

Solution

Mediasite met all of the School’s criteria. Its track record of solid, reliable performance at other institutions led Clarke and his staff to adopt the technology. “Mediasite works right out of the box. It’s solid, straightforward, simple and well-supported,” said Clarke.

Today six classrooms are Mediasite-enabled and equipped with a variety of digital teaching sources including ceiling-mounted robotic cameras and wireless and boom microphones. Mediasite seamlessly records of all of these sources for more than 60 hours of content each week from an adjacent control room. Students and faculty say the technology, which is completely transparent in the classroom, has had a direct positive impact on instruction.

“This is a tremendous benefit for students who can’t be at a class session to view it later. And it’s also a benefit for the other students who can attend class. They are reviewing lectures again and again, zeroing in on the parts that they need to,” said Clarke. “This time we’re doing it right in terms of making the classroom better and the learning stronger.”

“The availability of streaming video lectures through Mediasite has definitely enhanced my learning experience in a variety of ways,” said Yvonne Bean, EMBA class of 2008. “Being able to review the TA sessions on Mediasite has increased my test scores and I often replayed lectures to complete papers and final exams.”

Once skeptical about classroom capture, Imran Currim, Ph.D., Chancellor’s Professor of Marketing, is now webcasting all of his lectures. “I was concerned it may encourage absenteeism because a lot of students commute a long time to get here. But the attendance has been 100 percent, and they are all viewing the lecture as well,” said Currim. “I think that is quite remarkable. It tells me the students are interested in going back for learning purposes.”

Currim is also impressed with Mediasite’s security. His curriculum includes a complex economics case that he’s been working on for his entire career. “My nightmare was that my solutions would be posted online somewhere and the case would be destroyed. We are able to customize the view so that only registered users are able to study it,” said Currim.

Result

The Paul Merage School of Business is now committed to streaming and archiving all instruction from the EMBA and HCEMBA programs, and Mediasite has made a quantifiable impact. In fact, students like Joseph Smith say they are willing to pay more for a school that uses classroom capture.

“Since I am a fully employed student, my opportunity costs are pretty high, so it is worth spending more to go to a school that has Mediasite,” said Joseph Smith, EMBA class of 2008. “Having the flexibility to use this tool to reinforce the material if I’m not available to attend class is an invaluable part of my education.”

When UC Irvine conducted a survey of EMBA students who used Mediasite to review their lectures, the results revealed:

  • 93% of students said streaming and archiving instruction would be a factor in selecting one MBA program over another
  • 82% would pay higher tuition for a program that streams and archives instruction, with almost half willing to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 more for their two-year degree
  • 91% used Mediasite to view lectures
  • 74% used the technology to review a lecture they had attended
  • 71% found they were more engaged in lectures when they didn’t have to focus on taking copious notes
  • 83% said they learned more in courses when lectures were available on demand

“This is an example of how we don’t just talk about strategic innovation in the classroom, but we innovate in the way we deliver instruction ourselves, using Mediasite to make our program more effective and enrich what is already a very solid educational experience,” said Clarke. “Faculty members engage the students more intellectually and cover more material. Everyone comes to class at a higher level. The fact that more people would come to our program because we’re doing this is just icing on the cake.”

About The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine

The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine offers four dynamic MBA programs – plus Ph.D. and undergraduate business degrees – that deliver its thematic approach to business education: sustainable growth through strategic innovation. Business leadership, collaboration and communication are taught through in-class and on-site experiences with real-world business problems. Six Centers of Excellence and an Executive Education program provide numerous and varied opportunities for students and the business community at large to enhance their education experience and update their professional expertise. While the Merage School is relatively young, it has quickly grown to consistently rank among the top ten percent of all AACSBaccredited programs through exceptional student recruitment, world-class faculty, a strong alumni network and close individual and corporate partnerships who generously invest in the School with both time and contributions.