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Ashland University Selects Mediasite by Sonic Foundry for Web-Based Learning


Mediasite used across several departments to boost retention and student recruitment.

MADISON, WI — Sonic Foundry, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), the recognized market leader for rich media communications and knowledge management, today announced that Ashland University, named to the top tier of Midwest universities offering master’s programs by U.S. News & World Report and “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review, has selected the award-winning Mediasite platform for online instruction and lecture capture. Mediasite is used in several areas, including the College of Nursing, the Dwight Schar College of Education, the Ashland Theological Seminary and the Athletic Department.

“Ashland University is entering a new phase where we are more aggressive about acquiring leading edge technology like Mediasite for synchronous and asynchronous distance learning,” said Dr. Frank Pettigrew, Provost and former Dean of the College of Education. “Over the last year, we’ve made great strides in staying current – or outpacing – the leading universities driving technology adoption in Ohio.”

“Increasingly, schools like Ashland University are recognizing the competitive difference Mediasite can make in attracting new students and improving learning outcomes,” said Rimas Buinevicius, chairman and CEO of Sonic Foundry. “Enabling students to review complicated material repeatedly, at their convenience online, helps meet the demand for technology-enhanced learning from today’s media-savvy students while advancing an institution’s reach beyond classroom walls.”

Ashland University instructors record lectures with Mediasite to reinforce studies, reduce distractions and improve retention as students review content at their own pace. Prior to implementing Mediasite, Ashland University staff looked for a more efficient way to stream and archive asynchronous course instruction.

“We had been encoding lectures with a different system, and the quality of the visual aids was not satisfactory for instruction,” said Thomas Kemp, M.A., Director of Instructional Technology and Support. “We could see the limitations of the existing synchronous and asynchronous technology. The Provost spearheaded the Mediasite initiative on campus because he wanted to build a powerful web-based learning platform. Mediasite is being used to archive instructor presentations. We then add those lectures to our Angel learning management system for on time, on-demand access of content for our students. Our public Mediasite catalog is where you can see several different examples of how Ashland University is using Mediasite to our advantage in online learning.”

Ashland University’s College of Nursing developed an online curriculum to facilitate RNs who are working toward their BSN degrees. Using Mediasite for lecture capture gives these fully-employed students the opportunity to create their own schedules and watch recorded lectures on demand.

“We’ve seen a real growth in the BSN program, and have increased the ability for students all over northeastern Ohio to register and successfully complete those courses. Mediasite helps make that happen,” said Pettigrew.

Ashland University’s College of Education, one of the largest among private and state institutions in Ohio, equipped an observation room with Mediasite to capture student teaching so faculty, classmates and the students themselves can assess the efficacy of their student teaching. After their performance is evaluated, many education students often incorporate their best lessons into digital portfolios as they enter the job market.

Ashland Theological Seminary, a graduate division of Ashland University, offers theological training via Mediasite between its Ashland, Ohio, campus and its extension in Detroit, Michigan.

“Theological education has been an integral part of Ashland University’s mission for over a century, and perhaps few people would suspect that a seminary would be the driving force behind new technology adoption across the rest of campus,” said Vicki Taylor, Director of Technology for Ashland Theological Seminary. “But we are home to a group of forward-thinking professors and theologists who have gone out of our way to push for teaching the gospel with technology like Mediasite.”

Additionally, the Athletics Department uses Mediasite to capture Eagles Site with Head Coach Lee Owens, a post-game show of the winning football team featuring highlights, interviews and player statistics.

“Once we realized how easy it was to actually put a program together, and then make it accessible to alumni, players, coaches, faculty and potential recruits both live and on-demand, we knew we had something special. Mediasite far exceeded our expectations,” said Lee Owens, head football coach of Ashland University. “We use Eagles Site to make the football program important, to promote it in the community and with the alumni and to get people excited about football. Anytime you can do that it’s going to help you win.”

Since its introduction in 2003, Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite has set the standard as a transformational communication medium for delivering critical information and sharing knowledge. Trusted by more than 500 colleges and universities, the patented Mediasite webcasting and content management system quickly and cost-effectively automates the capture, management, delivery and search of rich media presentations that combine audio, video and accompanying graphics for live or on-demand viewing.


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