Videolicious University Program: Westminster College
Videolicious currently offers a Videolicious University Education license program with a complete no-cost Enterprise license for any higher-ed institution to use Videolicious as part of its curriculum. One of the 80+ universities taking part of in this program is Westminster College, a liberal arts college located in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.
Leading this effort at Westminster is Bradley Weaver, Broadcasting and Media Production Lecturer. Weaver, a broadcast journalist since 1985, moved from TV news at WPXI to teaching at Westminster College in 2000 and has constantly been “evolving with the technology” to further the education of his students and the school ever since.
Prior to partnering with Videolicious, Weaver had been “trying to put shooting and editing all on the smartphone, from the “field” with a goal to get students to realize that they don’t always need expensive, professional cameras and high end facilities to produce quality content.
“Having a way to shoot HD in the pocket can be cost effective,” says Weaver. “Our smartphones and apps that we use, like Videolicious, help us control the costs of changing technology.”
Videolicious kicked off at Westminster College in four courses, including a interdisciplinary cluster. This required students to take Weaver’s Digital Media Essentials class along with a biology classed called Birding. Together the cluster was called Tweetspeak: Birding and Blogging.
Other classes using Videolicious included Media Writing and the Introduction to Liberal Arts courses. While Media Writing students were mostly broadcast majors, the Liberal Arts and Tweetspeak courses included students from all majors, including environment studies, business, psychology, or undeclared. These students had no previous experience with cameras, filming, editing or script writing. Weaver thought this was a great opportunity to expose any non-journalist students to broadcasting.
“The more they used [Videolicious] and the more they watched the tutorials, their worked improved,” says Weaver. (Weaver himself learned how to use Videolicious from the 200+ recipes and technical tutorials on the Learning section of the Videolicious website.)
Two requirements of the courses were for students to log their camera roll after filming and to use a lav mic when recording interviews.
“I took a traditional TV news approach [with logging],” explained Weaver. “You need to get all of the pieces together and then write your story. That really excelled for me – telling the story that you shot.” He also enjoyed teaching students that traditional journalists film themselves on camera for stand ups. “It really kind of turned on that light bulb on for them because of how the app is structured. It forces them to tell the story they shot and not get into the mentally that they are writing a newspaper article.”
The purpose of the Digital Media Essentials course on Bird biology and bird blogging was to “communicate the learning process to a lay audience through blogging, social media, shooting video and interviews via smartphones, writing for the platform and editing videos with the Videolicious app. The students became citizen scientists and contributed to online databases (e.g., eBird) while also starting out as citizen journalists. Along the way, they produced a blog about their experiences.” In addition to posting on their blog, student’s were also encouraged to share out their videos on social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, and their Vimeo Channels. Their work gained attention when Westminster’s marketing office shared the student’s Videolicious projects to their site and via social media.
“It’s exciting to know that people are interested in what we are doing and I think with the user friendliness of the app, the students are carrying that over in conversations to their other instructors,” says Weaver. “I also tell them that there’s the potential that they work for employers some day that use Videolicious; so that’s a nice leg up to have during the interview process.”
When it comes to the future of the Videolicious University Program at Westminster College, there are big plans for next year! Weaver is in talks to have Westminster students traveling to Alaska use the app and is thrilled that the only major equipment that students will have to travel with will be their phones!
Posted on August 18, 2016