Spring 2014 Report
Welcome to Summer! Now that the Spring 2014 semester has wrapped up, Media Commons would like to share our summary of the term that was. In the most recent semester, our busiest Spring to date, the consultants worked with 91 projects – a 7% increase over Spring 2013 – and helped 6,981 people in the classroom, through appointments and via the hotline.
Liberal Arts continued to be the #1 source of projects, fielding 30 this semester. However, the strategic partnership with Earth & Mineral Sciences at University Park brought a tie for #2 with Health and Human Development, each with 11 projects. Other notable sources of non-Humanities course projects in Spring 2014 were the Smeal College of Business (6) and Eberly College of Science (5).
A theme of the Spring semester was the ways in which Media Commons – through resources, initiatives and in-class training – has been able to help foster connections within and between communities at the local, regional and global levels. This potential for world-wide impact was explored by three intrepid instructors through a new Collaborative Video Pilot. The pilot allows students – regardless of geographic location or computing platform – to edit video with classmates using software that requires only a web browser and internet connection. Initial feedback is encouraging and MC staff looks forward to rolling out a larger pilot through Summer and into Fall.
The One Button Studio continues to expand its democratization of the video production process through strategic partnership with Media Commons spaces and support. New studios came online during Spring 2014 at Penn State Behrend, Penn State Berks and in the Pollock location at Penn State University Park. At the same time, existing OBS installations gave voice to 1,317 students, faculty and staff as they logged 552 appointments, totaling 182 hours in 3,658 video projects.
The Media Commons website has become a wildly popular resource for those seeking multimedia production support – even outside the University. The Free Media Library is now the second most visited item on the site, logging nearly 9,000 visits in Spring alone. These visits came from across the globe, with particular interest from our friends in Great Britain, Canada and Australia (13% of visits, up from 6.5% in Fall 2013).
The Spring 2014 semester also saw courses using MC resources to engage with – and understand the dynamics of – the communities around them. Dr. Cassandra Butterworth-Miller asked her Biology 220W students to produce public service announcements that not only highlighted biological issues with regional significance to the Beaver campus, but that also called viewers to realistic action. While the western MC consultant was busy offering critiques and grading advice, University Park consultants were busy with an 80 student section of CAS 175. Groups in this course taught by Craig Rood were asked to analyze how media has been used to influence mass audiences and then to use these artifacts in their own video critiques of persuasion and propaganda. Finally, two separate courses in the eastern region (at Abington and Berks) asked students to produce advertisements for local community resources. Marketing 422 with Nick Santarone saw students creating 1-3 minute ads for groups like a local Catholic high school through a partnership with the Rotary Club while Kesha Morant-Williams asked her CAS 100H groups to record either video or audio ads to be broadcast in support of the Reading Health System and its wellness services.
To get all the details about these Spring 2014 highlights and more, download the full report below: