by Jacey Overton, Marketing Communications Manager
LifeSize Video Center, our recording and streaming product, has become very popular since we first introduced it last April. We just launched our first series of updates to the product based on customer feedback, and wanted to share how one customer, Globe University, is using it creatively in an educational setting.
First, the new features give LifeSize Video Center customers even more customization options, like the ability to implement organizational branding and unique browser icons directly into the web UI. The enhancements in software update 1.1 also give IT administrators more simplified management controls, LDAP integration, reporting capabilities and the ability to embed video URLs directly into any Web page.
Tom Umphress, Information Services Director for Globe University/Minnesota School of Business, said after testing these new features:
“LifeSize Video Center is an unparalleled product that allows users to clearly and easily get their message across, no matter the time or distance. For example, we are using LifeSize Video Center to capture professors’ lectures, in simulation training for our department of nursing and for internal admissions training to our remote campuses. We look forward to implementing the new features of Version 1.1, especially the LDAP connectivity, embedding of videos and branding components. When a student logs into the web portal to view a lecture they will be able to use their standard student login and they will see the Globe University/Minnesota School of Business logo, which creates a truly seamless user experience between the university and the IT back-end. That’s what makes LifeSize Video Center so applicable for us.”
Based in Woodbury, Minnesota, Globe University/Minnesota School of Business isn’t your typical college. With more than 16,000 students in 28 campuses in the Midwestern U.S., students can choose from combinations of day, evening, in-room and online programs at any of Globe’s regional locations.
Due to tremendous growth, the university began a plan in 2009 to add five additional campuses. More students created a need for a larger, more robust Admissions Department.
With admissions representatives now spread out across three states, the university needed a richer, more collaborative communications medium to link the departments together to discuss enrollment and registration practices, share program content updates, and training. The department needed the ability to not only meet face to face via a rich communications medium in the various locations, but also to record sessions for future playback.
These communications challenges were presented to Tom Umphress. His IT team did some research and found LifeSize Video Center, a solution that, when connected to LifeSize video conferencing products, would allow students and administrators to stream, record and auto-publish their presentations with one button.
Now all new admissions representatives attend training sessions live, in person, or via video conference from their home campuses using LifeSize equipment. The instructor leading the session in Minnesota records the admissions representative’s presentations with their LifeSize Room 220 and LifeSize Video Center systems as the hiring manager watches the live or recorded stream on their PCs using a unique URL and log-in. So instead of travelling to Minnesota to attend the course, new representatives can attend the session from their home campuses via LifeSize, increasing face to face communication and improving knowledge absorption. The systems also allow the hiring manager to be involved in the training. They can watch the new representatives as they progress through the program and provide feedback and presentation critiques to help them further hone their skills.
But the buzz about the Admissions Department’s recording tool quickly made its way around campus, and university officials and IT staff decided to try the technology in other departments. Soon Globe’s nursing program began using LifeSize Video Center in a unique way.
Nursing students regularly use a high-fidelity human patient simulator (HPS)—in effect, a high-tech dummy with realistic bodily functions. This is a growing trend in nursing schools across the country, where students gain hands-on experience with a very lifelike patient without the real-life consequences. The HPS is connected to computers and can be programmed to mimic the symptoms of a wide variety of medical conditions. They produce heart and lung sounds, their chests move, and they can be programmed to speak and interact with the nurses.
Now with the recording capability of LifeSize Video Center, sessions are recorded via LifeSize endpoints in the lab, so students and professors can evaluate their performance later back in the classroom, opening up a new level of learning.
“We’re making good on our promise to deliver a higher quality education,” said Umphress. “With LifeSize, the technology just works the way it’s supposed to and the products are feature-rich, yet simple enough for the novice user. Students, professors and administrators are excited about this new tool, and we are looking at expanding the program into more degree programs, for internal recruiting and even internationally.”