Professors in the University of Florida-Department of Physics run experiments and collect live data during lectures so students can see science in action. They needed a way to record the experimental data and replicate the science lab experience for the online students.

The university is a long-time Mediasite user. Since 2004, it’s been capturing what’s happening in classrooms and events on campus. With nearly 60 Mediasite Recorders on campus, it’s one of the most prolific users of Mediasite. So the university leveraged Mediasite to create a Lightboard video studio.

The Lightboard is essentially a glass chalkboard that allows instructors to write notes and draw equations while facing the camera, never having to turn their backs on the viewers. Instructors can create high-quality videos that are then uploaded to Mediasite.

“The Lightboard is a wonderful tool for creating instructional videos. It has been used by faculty in many disciplines to create over 2,500 videos that have been uploaded to Mediasite over the last 15 months,” said John Mocko, creator of the Lightboard. “It has also allowed the physics department to try a flipped classroom for the first time in a large course. Data has shown that students who watch the Mediasite lectures before attending class have grades averaging 12 points higher than the rest of the class.”

To replicate the science lab experience for the online students, Lightboard has a computer monitor attached to it with Mediasite Desktop Recorder installed.

“By feeding the Lightboard video output into a converter that makes it appear as a standard webcam to the computer, we’re able to solve the problem using Desktop Recorder,” Mocko said. “With Mediasite Desktop Recorder, we can simultaneously record the Lightboard video content, which includes the lecture slides, the instructor’s writings and the instructor’s expressions, and do that in sync with the content from the computer screen running the science data taking software.”

Students watching the recordings can see the experiment as it runs, as well as the results plotted instantly on the computer. The main benefit of this is to allow instructors to collect live data from the experiments and either talk about it in lecture or export it and send it home to students to analyze.

Learn more about the Lightboard here.

This is part of a continuing series about our 2016 Enterprise Video Award finalists. The award program recognizes Mediasite users for revolutionizing video in their organizations. Winners will be announced during Unleash 2016, our Mediasite User Conference May 2-4 in Madison, Wis.