Living in tornado alley, one must always be prepared for Mother Nature to rear her ugly head.

With a threat of severe weather, there are the typical precautions people take, like boarding up windows, creating an emergency plan and stocking up on food. Something else that’s essential that might not be as obvious is the importance for schools to have a plan in place to ensure classes aren’t interrupted for very long, if at all.

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City knows this all too well. When a tornado touched down in the surrounding area (the school was not hit by it), lectures went on as planned thanks to Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite Video Platform, managed by OUHSC’s Academic Media & Digital Services. The weather caused the power in a College of Medicine building to fail, but because Mediasite was on backup power, it kept recording the class even though the lights and other equipment in the room weren’t working. After class, they published the lecture as always for students to access. So no one missed a beat.

In Oklahoma, the weather is unpredictable, but the education must go on.

“A lot of students don’t actually come to the lectures (when weather is bad). They watch Mediasite. In the College of Medicine, we record everything,” said Tierney Binkley, media assistant in the College of Medicine Office of the Executive Dean. “I know the students appreciate having lectures recorded.”

Female doctor holding a tablet PCMediasite has proven to be a lifesaver in times of inclement weather, but that’s just one example. For the past 10 years, the university has collaborated with Mediasite for automated lecture capture and video management. The system is used by five of the seven OUHSC colleges to capture classroom education, continuing education, grand rounds and faculty and staff development. Since its inception, OUHSC has captured more than 4,000 presentations representing approximately 8,000 hours of content. Students, faculty and staff have accessed this content almost half a million times.

In addition, faculty often record short video lectures and demonstrations from their computers or within one of two professional recording studios operated by OUHSC’s Academic Media & Digital Services, and those can also be uploaded directly into Mediasite repository, regardless of the source.

Being able to provide students an additional study tool has proved invaluable. And, if students miss a class because of an unforeseen circumstance, they don’t have the additional stress of having to get someone’s notes, or try and make an appointment with the professor to be brought up to speed. In addition, being able to rewatch all or part of a lecture bolsters students’ ability to learn.

“Providing tools and resources to support the learner experience and increase student success is paramount at OUHSC. Student success is our success,” said Richard L. McMahon, assistant vice provost for academic technology.

Disclaimer: The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center does not endorse Mediasite products or services outside of the institution.