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Looking Back: Supporting the Commonwealth, Spring 2012 – Spring 2016

Four Years of Media Projects

What an amazing, transformative thing these last four years have been at Media Commons. To commemorate a milestone in our public reporting, we wanted to spend this summer taking a look back at the ways in which our services have changed and evolved to meet the needs of the University. Let’s get started?

The first thing noticed was that the way in which we track projects at the University Park campus has changed. As we continue to grow our Media Commons service, we are continually evaluating the metrics we use to measure success. Each individual course section was once counted as an individual project. Now, with courses like ENGL 015, which has upwards of 50 sections each semester, we count each course as its own project. Because of this, the project numbers at University Park appear to decrease in this animation. In actuality, the number of people we have helped at University Park has increased over time. With the introduction of the Maker Commons service this past spring, we anticipate the number of projects to increase as instructors become familiar with the new offering.

One trend that’s notable from across the Commonwealth locations is that the intensity of project work has increased. While earlier on in our history, projects were spread a bit more evenly across campuses, it’s now shifted to being more tightly focused around specific campuses. Generally, this is because consultants are providing much more in-depth interactions with faculty and students. It’s also the case that these campuses are fostering the kind of teaching and learning experiences that result in instructors including rich, media assignments. The hope is that more of this attitude towards non-traditional coursework will spread as University-wide initiatives like engaged scholarship are advanced.

Hitting the Road: Supporting Campuses

Over the past four years, Media Commons consultants have traveled over a third of the way to the moon with miles logged during the Fall and Spring semesters (this doesn’t count our summer travels!). While we are still seeing if this can get us some sort of certification from NASA, we do know that it’s allowed for us to develop productive relationships with our campus partners and clients and to strengthen services offered across the Commonwealth.

One particularly notable shift that you may notice at the beginning of the animation happens around the Spring/Fall 2013 mark, when both traveling consultants moved their home campuses to ones on the east and west side of the state, respectively. By doing so, the number of trips being completed stayed rather consistent while the overall mileage dropped. What’s this mean? Consultants suddenly found themselves spending less time in the car and more in classrooms, faculty offices and working alongside students.

Another change: around the Fall 2015/Spring 2016 mark, you’ll notice a blue bar appearing on the instrument cluster. This represents the addition of a traveling representative from University Park. This new position augments the existing campus travel and allows for specialized support like the One Button Studio tune up and roll out of new spaces and services.