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Looking Back: The Knowledge Commons Effect from Spring 2012 – Spring 2016

The Knowledge Commons Impacts Development

Successful growth of Media Commons across the Commonwealth can largely be attributed to the strong partnership with the University Libraries. This collaboration took on a formalized shape in the Knowledge Commons in Spring 2012. Opening first at University Park, the Knowledge Commons has spread as a concept and directly impacted 14 of our campuses.

The partnership with the Libraries at University Park has made Media Commons resources available to a staggering number of students, faculty and staff. Anyone holding a Penn State ID card is able to reserve space in our production facilities and receive support from a consultant. This widely used resource at UP has also provided an incubator and home for Maker Commons. The strong relationship already established with University Libraries has opened up Maker Commons resources like 3D printing to the campuses, too. Through Interlibrary Loan, its possible for students, faculty, and staff to receive 3D prints, no matter their geographic location.

As Media Commons consultants worked with their campus partners over the last four years, efforts have been made to integrate as many resources as possible into Library spaces. From adding our lending equipment to the campus collections, to placing computers in accessible and communal spaces, to installing the One Button Studio around the Commonwealth, elements of the Knowledge Commons have been integral in streamlining the production of academic videos state-wide. Further, students now have access to not just production and post-production equipment, but also the research support that only librarians can provide.

Moving forward, plans are in place to continuing making this happen at campuses like Greater Allegheny, which will see its MC computers in the Kelly Library for Fall 2016.

One Button Studio Sweeps the Commonwealth

Perhaps the most notable impact of the One Button Studio is the number of installations across the Commonwealth. Since its inception in 2012 at University Park’s Knowledge Commons, 19 further locations have come online. Collectively, these One Button Studios have been used in creating 49,542 videos, which represents over 83 days of academic content produced by students and faculty.

At University Park, Media Commons manages One Button Studios in five locations: Pattee Library Knowledge Commons, College of Earth & Mineral Sciences in the Hosler Building, College of Agricultural Sciences in the ASI Building, Physical & Mathematical Sciences Library in Davey Lab, and the Pollock Building. The proliferation of OBS on campus allows students, faculty and staff the convenience of using Media Commons resources at the location of their choice – as well as access to resources specific to their college, department or discipline.

Across the Commonwealth, the One Button Studio has been integrated into 11 campuses and the Penn State Center in Pittsburgh. By making these production resources locally available, Media Commons has made recording everything from course introductions to practice presentations to stories of engaged scholarship much more accessible to our students and faculty. This certainly accounts for the 4,865% uptick in video production using the OBS between Spring 2012 and Spring 2016!

Supporting a Popular Resource

One Button Studios have been popping up rapidly across the Commonwealth, with an average of two coming online per semester since Spring 2012. With these new resources comes the need for a reliable support, both centrally from University Park and on-demand locally.

That’s why Media Commons developed a web tool, launched in Fall 2015, that addresses common issues and can be accessed 24/7 by users and campus support staff. The tool has been accessed by 1300 visitors since its debut, over 300 of which originated outside of the US, showing the reach of the OBS concept beyond Penn State. The tool is under constant development based on feedback from our community.

In addition to the support website, staff members from Media Commons periodically make visits to One Button Studio locations to calibrate the equipment in what’s called our One Button Studio Tune-Up. Responding to experience with keeping the OBS in top shape at University Park, Media Commons expanded full-time staffing to include a consultant role with a job description that specifically includes travel for the Tune-Up. Since being available in Fall 2015, this white glove service and installation offering has been utilized 7 times at 6 campuses.