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Online Course at the Wharton School Reaches More Than 50,000 Students and Alumni via Mediasite


Online course on Economic and Financial Crisis delivered to desktops around the world

MADISON, Wis.- Sonic Foundry, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), the recognized market leader for rich media webcasting and knowledge management, today announced The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania used Mediasite to deliver its online course, Economic and Financial Crisis: Causes, Consequences, and Policy Options, to students and alumni worldwide, creating a series of real-time expert lectures addressing the financial crisis.

The 16-week online course was designed in late 2008 by Professor Mauro F. Guillen, to speak to the many facets of the downturned economy, and featured experts in finance and economics who offered their insights on a weekly basis.

“The instructors were so deeply immersed in their areas of expertise that it was just a stunning reaction, in near real-time, to one of the most incredible financial events of the last 100 years. Mediasite was very valuable in delivering that information,” said Alex Milne, senior director of public technologies at The Wharton School. “The professor was happy to open the content up to students in other areas. We adjusted quickly because we knew the information would lend itself nicely to the rich media format.”

The Wharton School had just deployed its Mediasite program at its Pennsylvania location, but went into full production when the School received a request from a student in the Executive MBA program at the Wharton San Francisco campus asking for access to the lectures. Milne’s team viewed this as the perfect opportunity to initiate a multimedia course, originally streaming to about 1,000 students between the Pennsylvania and California campuses. When word about the course spread to alumni, the School opened it to a worldwide audience culminating in more than 50,000 viewers.

“People were just clamoring for any insight into the financial crisis. Once they heard about this course, and then especially when they looked at it and they found this really compelling format, they were intrigued,” said Milne. “We can present lectures in a way that didn’t exist before, in a way that allows the end-user to interact with compelling information. No technology can save a bad presentation, but combining this content with Mediasite’s technology produced results we never expected.”

The Wharton School has installed Mediasite permanently in 12 rooms and plans to be in full production in the fall.

“The Wharton School’s quick deployment to an international audience exemplifies Mediasite’s ability to offer information with unprecedented reaction-time,” said Rimas Buinevicius, chairman and CEO of Sonic Foundry. “The professors and experts who provided insight throughout this course deserve the credit for the huge success. Mediasite made the global broadcast possible, but their knowledge and experience provided an unparalleled understanding of a unique situation.”

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.

This announcement is part of Sonic Foundry’s next-gen education initiative. With its higher education Mediasite community now topping 600 colleges and universities, the company is highlighting customer stories that exemplify the convergence of technology and education. Through webinars, news and speaking engagements, Mediasite users around the globe are sharing their best practices for using lecture capture to bridge time and distance, accelerate research and improve academic performance.


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