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Articles: Software

Event-related providers were asked: “What type of campus event could college administrators do a better job planning?”

“Open houses and campus tours are great opportunities to engage prospective students and parents, but many colleges and universities are not getting the full return. Offering students more immediate ways to learn about or sign up for events from their mobile devices is key to converting visitors into prospects. Promoting events online with registration in the same place will also lead to better results.”

Developing a successful model for creating an e-textbook program is key to taking digital course materials to the next step of widespread use. Here are three ways to design an e-textbook initiative.

What is the most important factor in ensuring an e-textbook initiative is successful, and is there anything administrators tend to miss in planning that, if handled better, would result in a more successful program?

“We’ve seen that successful programs often start as small pilots. Instructors might begin with simple e-books and then move into more powerful adaptive learning software. Many of them then launch inclusive access or immediate access programs that save students money and deliver materials on day one.”

One decision to be made in launching or expanding an e-textbook program is whether the office managing it should be on the business or the academic side.

Here are two options. 

Campus store

Since the retail manager negotiates the costs of digital course materials anyway, many institutions choose this administration model. Cornell University houses its e-textbook program in The Cornell Store.

ESL ASSIST—Computer science student Yihan Liu,  who is from China, signs out an Amazon Dot Echo from his Arizona State residence hall. He plans to use the device to improve his English. (Charlie Leight/ASU Now).

Arizona State has partnered with Amazon to offer free Echo Dot smart speakers to about 1,600 students, most of whom live in the new Tooker House residential hall.

Video analytics has been considered the next big thing in campus security. But the surveillance technology, also known as video content analysis, is just beginning to catch the eye of higher ed security administrators.

Increasingly sophisticated cameras may enhance security, but they also raise privacy concerns.

Administrators must confront these issues when upgrading surveillance technology and tracking the analytics it generates, advises Larry Consalvos of IXP Corporation, the company that provided software, consulting and project management for Cal State, Northridge’s systems.

Now hearing-impaired students can see real-time captioning of spoken events, also referred to as live captioning.

What roadblocks are colleges coming up against in expanding access for hard-of-hearing students during class and at live events?

“While budgets and regulatory awareness can be roadblocks to accessing university classes and events, technology is the greatest challenge to delivering live captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

 Crowd-powered captioning Like with crowdfunding, the future of live captioning may be powered by a group.

With professional captionists costing as much as $100 per hour, a lower-cost solution is in the works to allow groups of average typists to provide real-time captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing. Legion:Scribe is making that happen.

Whether it’s on-site or remote, captions will vary in quality, says Margaret Camp, director of student accessibility services at Clemson University.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is considered the most accurate level of transcription, which is “utterance-for-utterance,” she says.

The captionist types everything heard. However, this level of accuracy costs twice as much as another form of live captioning, called “meaning-for-meaning.”

The UBTech 2017 session “Teaching With Glass” offered insights into a powerful yet affordable approach to recording lectures in a natural style.

The disconnect between students’ digital lives and their classroom experience is narrowing as professors are increasingly embedding video in their courses—for both in-person and online learning.

Below is a closer look at how two universities, Butler University in Indiana and the University of Florida, are enhancing learning videos for their online courses.

Butler University: Adding quizzes to video

Technology used: Panopto video platform for recording lectures

Interactive boosts: Voiceover can be added to PowerPoint slides. When the instructor finds a place in the presentation to add a quiz, the video gets edited and a multiple-choice, true/false or multiple-answers type of question can be inserted.

Here are some examples of content ideas for interactive video content as well as best practices that are already employed by various universities and colleges across the U.S.

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