University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine

University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine enhances educational experience for vet students with Mediasite.

University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine enhances educational experience for vet students with Mediasite. The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine wanted a multi-purpose capturing technology for its tech-savvy faculty members and students. The university needed to offer a variety of easy-to-use options, encouraging faculty members and students to enhance learning through technology. The College of Veterinary Medicine looked to Mediasite for a seamless solution that would make content available anytime, anywhere.

The college used Mediasite on a trial period and was immediately impressed. Guest speakers have contributed via Mediasite to student learning in online courses, question and answer sessions and individual lectures. One interesting Mediasite application involves digitizing microscope slides and distributing them via Mediasite, a technique that could replace glass slides in teaching labs. With Mediasite, the college hopes to collaborate with its graduates and other universities, creating unique learning experiences for its students.

At a glance

  • College needed easy-to-use, comprehensive lecture capture technology
  • Mediasite quickly adopted by tech-savvy students and faculty
  • Students engaged to participate actively
  • Future collaboration with graduates and other universities planned

Challenge

Administrators in the College of Veterinary Medicine sought to maximize the use of technology in their teaching, so the College’s Instructional Resources (IR) team set out to take advantage of online technologies. “We have a computer-literate faculty that is willing and anxious to try new technologies,” said Michael Sims, professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and director of institutional resources.

Institutional Resources wanted to offer a variety of technology options that faculty and students could chose from to enhance their individual teaching and learning styles, respectively. In the process of helping keep pace with ever-changing technologies, the IR team also worked to steer the college away from technologies that were too complex and thus leading to technological difficulties and discouraged users.

“We have always been interested in engaging students to participate interactively in their own education, in the classroom as well as in study groups,” says Sims. “And we wanted to deliver content as near to ‘anywhere/anytime’ as possible, to minimize the time spent in locating relevant subject matter.”

“We have a particular interest in capture,” said Sims. “For our purposes, it is important to get data, sound and video all on one screen, integrated in a format that is web-enabled. We started looking for a system that could do it all.”

Solution

The technology resource center on the University of Tennessee’s main campus was already using the Mediasite web communications system. The center leased the technology to the College of Veterinary Medicine for a trial period, which concluded with very positive feedback.

“Interactively engaging students in the classroom is a very important part of teaching, especially when some or all of the attendees are at a distant site,” said Sims. “Mediasite has allowed our college to interact with others at remote sites without unnecessary complication to the presenter. Archived presentations allow ‘would be’ attendees to participate at a later time. With this technology, we can invite a professor from another university to teach a whole course, part of a course, a lecture, or even participate in a classroom question and answer session. Can you imagine being a student and asking questions to a world renown expert just because he/she is willing to be a virtual guest in a class focused on his/her area of expertise?” asked Sims.

One innovative application which has emerged at UTCVM is using Virtual Microscopy to share microscope slides. Glass slides are digitized in high resolution in such a way that a computer replaces the traditional microscope. The digital images are then used in presentations or exams, archived, replicated, transferred over networks, distributed on a CD, integrated into course material on the website or via the school’s intranet – all to allow ubiquitous access.

“I am convinced that digital microscopy has the potential to replace glass slides in some teaching labs,” says Sims.

Result

Since using Mediasite and other technologies, UTCVM has recorded content ranging from classroom lectures to conferences, large and small. The college is now considering using distance education technologies to capture classroom lectures, conferences and will soon use this technology to offer continuing education to graduate veterinarians.

“With video-streaming technologies, students who have moved away from campus can still continue to learn from our experienced faculty,” said Sims. “Providing students with the opportunity to learn from professors at other leading veterinary colleges would also be a distinct advantage for our graduates.”

In the future, the College looks forward to interacting with other colleges and universities specializing in Veterinary Medicine through Mediasite. “The collaboration of our experienced teaching staff, coupled with that of the other 28 veterinary colleges in North America, would allow for a cross-listing of courses which would present a unique learning experience for veterinary students,” said Sims.

About the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine

The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (UTCVM), one of only 28 veterinary colleges in the U.S, was established in Knoxville in 1974. Since the college first opened, more than 1,600 students have completed their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, and the college’s clinical program has treated more than 945,000 patients.