With the provision of SMART Boards in many lecture halls, the free SMART Notebook 11 license for instructors, recording devices provided by the computer center, CaseTrain, and WueCampus, JMU provides an infrastructure that makes it possible for any lecturer to implement the IC without further expense. The Center for Media Didactics also provides professional support throughout the entire process of instructional video production for a fee.
Proficient utilization of SMART Boards, which have already been introduced in many lecture halls, serves as the basis for the creation of educational videos with the resources provided by JMU. To this end, the university computer center as well as the Center for Media Didactics regularly offer SMART Board training courses. Furthermore, in the iTable room at the Center for Media Didactics, instructors have the opportunity to independently experiment with interactive whiteboards produced by various companies.
Explanations conveyed via SMART Board can be recorded directly and discreetly at the touch of a button using screencast software – in addition to commercial products, freeware such as Open-Sankoré, Notateit, or HyperCam2 is available for this purpose; the only additional requirement is the installation of a microphone. Alternatively, tablets or notebooks connected to graphics tablets or used with smart pens are also suitable for the creation of teaching videos. SMART Notebook (available to lecturers free of charge in the computer center software shop) or Microsoft Journal – which comes preinstalled on every Windows PC as standard software – are just two of the writing tools available for this purpose. Freeware programs such as Pen Attention or Large Red Cursors, which cause the cursor to stand out more prominently on the screen, are advantageous as they improve the reception of SMART Board content. The Center for Media Didactics is meanwhile available to assist with more complex videos featuring various camera angles and professional quality sound recording.
The finishing process – including the rendering and editing of videos – may be accomplished free of charge with VirtualDub; however, professional programs for independent video production are also available in the Media Lab of the computer center. The acquisition of the knowledge and skills necessary to use these programs is made possible by seminars provided by both the computer center and the Center for Media Didactics. The latter can also take care of the entire video production process from start to finish for a fee.
The finished recordings can be made publicly available via YouTube or embedded in a CaseTrain unit where access is limited to specified users. YouTube offers the advantage that uploaders can easily insert corrections into their videos in the form of speech bubbles. CaseTrain, on the other hand, makes it easy to break up the video into sections via the insertion of any number of question slides between the video slides.
At the beginning of the semester, the seminar or lecture itinerary – together with worksheets and links to supplementary online resources – can be made available to students in WueCampus2 course rooms.