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please refer to report pages referenced in the ↑ infographic – and click on it for a high quality .pdf

Fall 2020 Report

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Penn State provided enhanced flexibility to faculty and students to choose how they wanted to teach and learn during the Fall 2020 semester. While some classes were held in-person, others were entirely online, and many more were hybrid in numerous ways. Due to these changes, the Media Commons, Maker Commons, and Immersive Experiences Lab services had to continue to adapt processes to adjust to the new circumstances. The summer of 2020 was spent planning for the varied course delivery methods of Fall 2020 by evaluating existing resources, adapting these resources to fit several different modes of instruction, and creating all new resources to explore new opportunities.

Fall 2020 saw 4,726 students and faculty use the Media Commons, Maker Commons, and Immersive Experiences Lab initiatives across the Commonwealth. Much of this use was focused in 186 classes in nearly every discipline offered at Penn State. To facilitate these interactions outside of University Park, traveling consultants offered 110 remote sessions to provide instruction, consultations and support.

While the majority of One Button Studios across the Commonwealth were closed, the two studios located in Pattee Library still helped students and faculty create 866 academic videos, comprising over 17 hours of video. Students across the Commonwealth created 1,318 3D prints in pursuit of their course work.

In collaboration with the Bellisario College of Communications, a Mask Personalization event was held in August. Over 150 students, faculty, and staff engaged with the new Cricut Maker to create and augment their facemasks with iron-on icons and other art. A second event in October, a collaboration with the Center for Performing Arts and Student Affairs, drew 30 students.

Anne Hoag, director of the Center for Penn State Student Entrepreneurship, invited us to host two sessions at the annual Entrepreneurship Minor Faculty Retreat. 60  faculty, representing every discipline and every campus, participated in a facilitated play session of What The Deck and an interactive Adobe XD workshop which showcased new methods for enhancing a traditional entrepreneurial slideshow pitch and designing an app prototype.

In order to support students who chose to learn remotely this semester, Maker Commons partnered with University Libraries’ Lending Services to offer direct shipping to the students’ homes, in addition to the standard in-person pickup in the Pattee Library Atrium and shipping to campus libraries. In Fall 2020, 234 3D prints were shipped to homes all over the United States, from Washington and California, to Florida and Georgia. In total, these 3D prints traveled 26,550 miles, a distance of 1.1 times around planet Earth. More locally, University Park in-person printing totaled 780 3D prints and campus library distribution totaled 304 3D prints.

Two laboratory classes, BIOL 427 at the Beaver campus and FRNAR 100 at University Park, were supported by 3D printing lab materials used for experiments. These materials were shipped to the students to perform the labs. Materials included ten sets of five types of horse teeth and 90 sets of four types of crime scene objects.

The unique challenges of the Fall 2020 semester provided the opportunity to innovate around new workshop ideas and engaging assignments for faculty to incorporate into classes. We focused on using Adobe tools as we knew that all students could access Adobe Creative Cloud through the University and it could serve as the common thread through the disparate ways students were learning.

In the College of Agricultural Sciences at University Park, Estelle Couradeau’s SOILS 071 class used Adobe Spark for a group storytelling assignment where students researched a sustainability topic and explored the topic’s challenges and solutions by collaborating on a video and a Spark page with photos. Examples of the students’ work can be seen here.

At the Greater Allegheny campus, the twice-yearly Research Conference moved entirely online by mixing Adobe Spark Videos and Pages to create asynchronous accessible poster sessions for attendees and judges. Event coordinators created the conference framework in consultation with Media Commons, which had consulted on a similar transition for New Kensington in Spring 2020. Student participants received tailored Canvas course modules and live support sessions ahead of their mid-November deadline.

Continuing a partnership at the Beaver campus going back to 2012, Media Commons re-imagined BIOL 220W’s Regional Sustainability project for students working largely remotely. Groups completed six videos on topics ranging from the effects of climate change and invasive species on local maple syrup production to the widespread impact on water from local industrial activities and pollution.

Despite working remotely in and out of the city, students in the Penn State Center Pittsburgh’s City Semester program each created masterful short films demonstrating their experiential understanding of sustainability as applied by each of their community partners. Working with Media Commons and a scaffolded approach, students were onboarded to video production at home and supported with a series of storytelling consultations.

At the Berks campus, Professor Jayne Park-Martinez taught the brand new class METEO 133N – Ethics of Climate Change. In collaboration with Media Commons, Dr. Park-Martinez designed an activity that involved filming a discussion on different topics that would later be analyzed and edited to highlight key aspects of the conversation. This assignment was completed twice throughout the semester. The first assignment’s discussion participants were all from the class, while for the second discussion students were asked to include family and friends. This project was completed by utilizing Zoom for discussion recordings and Adobe Rush for editing those discussions. Two training sessions were provided, including one on best practices when recording discussions using Zoom.

As a new-to-Media Commons partner, instructor Jennifer Nesbitt at the York campus collaborated on the design of a podcast assignment for her ENGL 30 course, which included two conversational podcast assignments with the overarching theme of “Best of Web Media.” The first assignment was a discussion on nonfiction literature and the second assignment was to take an in-depth look at specific topics. Students used Adobe Spark Video to create the podcasts, which provided easy collaboration tools for students working remotely.

In the College of Arts and Architecture at University Park, students in the ARTH 112U course were invited to choose a digital medium with which to present a semester’s worth of research. Students created videos, podcasts, and Adobe Spark pages after participating in a Media Commons Storytelling workshop. Examples of the students’ work can be found here and here.

AED 322, another class from the College of Arts and Architecture at University Park, collaborated with our Immersive Experiences Lab to create an experimental new assignment focused on augmented reality (AR). Using the app Unity, students created an AR layer over top of an image of professional artwork. This layer added relevant historical or personal context to the artwork as experienced by the student and captured in a video. Here are two examples of the original artwork (one, two) and the AR-powered videos created by the students (one, two).

Students from Dr. Ann Clements’ Music 340: Music Learning and Development, from the College of Arts and Architecture at University Park, used One Button Studio at Home principles to record, edit and produce a multicam music video that included 24 students. Project Hope is a compilation of nearly 25 videos recorded via Zoom and edited together to form a virtual choir singing Penn State’s Alma mater. The students leading the project collaborated with Media Commons Consultants for expertise in remotely editing and producing the project.