Wayne State University

Wayne State University takes the lead in Information Science using Mediasite.

Wayne State University takes the lead in Information Science using Mediasite. The Wayne State University Library and Information Science Program wanted to enhance student learning with live classes for remote students. The university had four off-campus sites and offered online courses through Blackboard©. When Wayne State discovered Mediasite, it took the next logical step in the expansion of their distance learning program.

The Library and Information Science Program has increased its enrollment by reaching remote students, and it captures almost 30 Mediasite recordings each month. Professors use the interactive features to check on student comprehension and provide higher quality instruction. Students, as well as their employers, appreciate the time saved in reduced travel. The school has expanded its use of Mediasite and credits it with driving the school’s notable growth.

At a glance

  • Program wanted to improve distance learning instruction with real-time technology
  • Mediasite provides faculty with immediate feedback on student comprehension during class
  • Student enrollment increases and benefits of instruction are expanding to new audiences
  • School credits Mediasite with driving school's growth


Joseph Mika, director of the library and information science program, sought to take advantage of a technology that would enhance student learning. The school already had transitioned from a successful on-site program to four off-campus sites to offering online courses using the Blackboard® course management system. The next logical step seemed to be the integration of live classes for remote students.

Mika discovered Mediasite while attending a recruitment meeting for directors and assistant deans more than two years ago. At that meeting, he spoke with the assistant dean of the university business school, who raved about Mediasite, so Mika went to see it in operation. About two months later, the Library and Information Science Program had its own Mediasite system.


“I went after something I knew worked and had a chance to observe,” said Mika. “The equipment itself is very straightforward and easy to use. It only took a matter of hours to get up and running after watching the demo by Sonic Foundry personnel and using the technology ourselves.”

The Program utilizes Mediasite to capture a minimum of 25-28 recordings per month. Seven teachers capture four lectures per week. Program faculty have affectionately nicknamed Mediasite “ECHO,” which stands for “enhancing courses held online.”

“I love Mediasite,” said John Heinrichs, assistant professor in Library and Information Science. “It’s a whole new way of teaching. Now I can stop, run polls to see if students understand the content. I can see if there are any questions being keyed into the moderator function and answer those right away.”

Working students also are able to save time that otherwise would be spent in transit between school and their places of employment. In fact, some employers are so appreciative that their student employees can remain on-site, they allow them to view Mediasite classes at the office.

“The students seem to really love it,” said Heinrichs. “They don’t have to travel during tumultuous Michigan winters and are able to review lectures – stop and replay, which they obviously can’t do in a conventional classroom environment.”


Mediasite has changed Heinrichs’ very own approach to teaching. Since the Program purchased Mediasite, Heinrichs takes care to enunciate his words and to avoid meandering around the classroom as he drives home a compelling point. He now uses masking tape to corner off the area in which he must remain so that he can be sure to be visually captured by Mediasite.

Besides online course content, Mediasite now is being used to capture new student orientations. “We used to require students to come to our campus for orientation classes – now we can capture orientation online and provide a virtual orientation,” said Mika. Additionally, Mika recently wrote a grant that would allow department faculty to offer Mediasite continuing education curricula to rural librarians not wishing to undertake a master’s degree.

“It’s an issue of increasing the student body by reaching remote individuals who otherwise would not be in our Program,” Mika said. “Mediasite is helping us expand the benefits of our teachings as well as increase our student enrollment,” said Heinrichs. “It’s not just a teaching and learning tool; it’s a driver of growth.”

About Wayne State University

The Wayne State University Library and Information Science Program can trace its origins to 1918, when the Detroit Normal Training School began offering courses in school librarianship to elementary teachers in the Detroit Public School system. After the training school became the Detroit Teachers College in 1923, the library science program grew and it remains one of only 56 accredited programs of library science in the U.S. and Canada. In recognition of the growth of the Program and the expansion of its curriculum, the name was changed to the Library and Information Science Program in 1993. The program has 600 students, 15 full-time and 60 part-time faculty members.