Building a DIY recording studio and supporting media creation with Universal Design for Learning and the Community of Inquiry

Concurrent Session 6
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning has built a recording studio in response to faculty members' increasing need for media assets. This presentation will focus on the technical configuration of the recording space, its buildout and theories and frameworks to support access and engagement around media assets.

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Jason Guzman is a Learning Designer at the Columbia CTL. He works with faculty across a variety of schools at Columbia, with a focus on the College of Dental Medicine and the Mailman School of Public Health. Through these faculty partnerships, Jason has specialized in supporting faculty in using media to engage and support course design. Before coming to Columbia, Jason worked as an educator in NYC public schools, at CUNY LaGuardia College and at Island Acamedy, a correctional education center on Riker's Island Prison. Jason graduated from SUNY Stony Brook with a B.A. in Psychology and also holds an M.A. in education.

Extended Abstract

With the growth of flipped classrooms; blended and hybrid learning models; and online teaching; there is an increasing need for high-quality media assets. As a result of these advancements, there is a need to bridge the gap in digital competencies (Jacobs, 2013). With generous funding from the Office of the Provost and the Columbia College of Dental Medicine, the Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has built a recording studio to accommodate this need for video lectures, slide capture and annotation, voiceover, podcasts, and interviews.

This presentation will focus on the configuration of the recording space and its buildout. We will describe our technical workflows and best-practices referencing the frameworks and theories we used to inform our work. Lastly, we will discuss how we evaluate faculty experience and the impact on teaching and learning.

The studio was built with carefully selected hardware and software to create high-quality media and accommodate the variety of media creation needs of faculty in diverse disciplines.  We paid particular attention to the design and accessibility of the physical space. Our equipment includes a wheelchair-accessible ramp; a height-adjustable desk; and lights and a 4K camera on articulating arms to accommodate a range of orientations. Media ports, switches, and other peripherals have been located in easily accessible areas. 

A recording space not only gives the chance to have conversations with faculty about media creation but also about course design. It is also an entry point to expose faculty members to the various ways a CTL can support teaching and learning through educator-development programs and service offerings. 

Faculty members who use our recording studio consult with a learning designer before any recording takes place. During these consultations, learning designers advise on best practices for media creation. Mayer's 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning (Mayer, 2003) serves as a resource in planning media creation that considers cognitive load. We offer guidance on how segmenting videos and highlighting essential information can reduce cognitive load and maximize learning. We reference other course design principles, such as Community of Inquiry (Garrison, et al, 2000) and Universal Design for Learning (Meyer et al, 2014). The Community of Inquiry framework provides approaches to media use that considers the attention that needs to be paid to the teaching, cognitive and social presence when bringing course materials into a digital space. Universal Design for Learning helps us think about the variety of ways digital media content created in our recording studio can be represented and made accessible for a diverse audience and learning preferences.