Cuyahoga Community College

Viviane Buchanan Video Interview Link
Smart TV Studio
Cuyahoga Community College meets students where they are to enhance distance learning with video-on-demand from LEIGHTRONIX
A custom PEG Central site provides students with the ability to review course material at any time, from anywhere
PEGvault-SD digital video encoder at the Smart TV station
The PEGvault-SD digital video encoder automatically transfers lectures to the college's custom branded PEG Central streaming video-on-demand site.

Looking for a way to extend their reach past the college’s metro campus in Cleveland, OH, Cuyahoga Community College turned to LEIGHTRONIX for help implementing their own online, streaming video-on-demand site. The streaming site, hosted at PEG Central™, provides students with direct access to their professors at their own convenience through pre-recorded online video lectures.

Instructional programming is produced out of the campus’s Smart TV Studio, where professors teach live five days a week. During the live broadcast, the lesson is captured, digitized, and automatically sent to the online distance learning portal.

“We have about 16 courses that are aired out of this studio and it’s very convenient for our students because it gives them an enhanced distance learning experience,” Viviane Buchanan, manager of Smart TV Operations said. “It gives students the ability to see their professor and feel like they have some interaction with that person, which is different than a simply Web-based course.”

Before implementing PEG Central, the school offered students video-on-demand through an internal network. This meant that students still had to visit the campus to have access to prerecorded media when working on assignments or reviewing for a test.

“We had an internal service, and that was nice, but students had to come to the campus in order to access it from our technology centers, so there was an inconvenience,” Buchanan said. “Our students are so busy, so many of them work and have children, so I wanted to find something they could access from home.”

Smart TV's PEG Central Video Player Window
Even students who opt to participate in the studio classroom appreciate the ability to watch classes over again, especially when preparing for tests.
Tim Carney, Smart TV's video tech
Tim Carney, the college’s video tech, switches video feeds between coursework and the professor in real time while lectures are being recorded.

Engineers at the metro campus recommended Buchanan look into a LEIGHTRONIX streaming solution, prompting the Smart TV studio to purchase the PEGvault-SD™ digital video encoder and subscribe to their PEG Central service. The encoder records media in real time as professors are teaching, then automatically transfers digital media to the college’s custom branded streaming site. Once there, an administrator of the site can add titles and other metadata to the video before publishing the content online. Metadata could include index points, links to other Internet hosted resources, and lecture descriptions.

“I think the important thing about having video-on-demand available for our students is that they are able at any time, at any point in the semester, go to the video archive and look up a piece of material that maybe they didn’t quite understand and review it. That’s all without having to travel down to campus, find a tutor, find the professor, or anything like that,” Buchanan said. “So it’s all done at their convenience.”

The college’s assistant professor of mathematics, Colin Sheppard, teaches a distance learning course through Smart TV Operations. His MATH 1060 lectures are housed online at the college’s PEG Central site.

“Even the students who are inside the studio classroom appreciate the ability to go back and watch classes over again,” said Sheppard, who has been using the site since it was first implemented in the Spring of 2010. “Especially when it comes time to prepare for a test. Students in my course feel it’s a huge advantage over other distance learning courses.”

Sheppard feels that PEG Central is one more tool that makes it easier for students to access information, allowing them to have a better overall learning experience.

“Anyone involved with education these days knows that meeting students where they are is the big focus on where college is going,” he said. “Any flexibility we can give our students and any way we can get our students the information they need, in a way that they can make the best use of it, is both welcomed by our students and our faculty.”

Sheppard highly recommends PEG Central as a way to supplement instruction within college courses.

“I know that my cable college math course shown on PEG Central, has better enrollment than any other course that I teach here at the college,” he said. “If professors have any means of capturing a course in a video format, and making it available to students via the Internet from their home computers, it gives them a huge advantage and I would recommend this.”

Within the school year Buchanan would like to increase the college’s offerings on the site because she feels it has truly enhanced the distance learning experience for students.

“I think this is a wonderful service,” she said. “I think that every college should have it. Our students love it and we are constantly getting positive feedback from students thanking us for the opportunity.”

Buchanan feels it’s the convenience of being able to go back and review content when needed directly from a professor that makes it so popular amongst students.

“It enables students to go back and review material at their convenience from home, at any point in the semester,” she said. “Even if they only use it for portions of lectures, I would strongly recommend this to other colleges and universities. It really enhances teaching.”

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