Though we haven’t officially opened our still-being-built Digital Learning Center, the equipment we have in place has allowed Schewe to help out a couple of “earlybird” classes with their projects. The first of these classes — Political Science 375 — completed a “get out to vote” commercial today, and the results were fantastic! With four groups in the class, each group produced a video using shot footage, Audacity, Camtasia, and a variety of other tools. Over the course of four, thirty-minute sessions, the group was trained on how to record audio, cut footage, and add effects to a video. Once those initial sessions were complete, additional help was provided by Schewe’s Outreach Librarian, Luke Beatty (me!). For the inaugural DLC project, it was a remarkably smooth ride. There were, however, a few issues.
Audio looks like it will be a persistent issue with the DLC. Switching the audio between microphones, headphones, and multiple screens has proven a challenge already. Though consistent documentation will help, the process is unintuitive. We’ve got IT working on a simplifying solution, but in the meantime, the students are left to navigate the issue on their own. The recording of audio has also proved problematic, as we’ve had a lot of background noise in the recordings thus far. This poor recording quality is resultant from the fact that we haven’t yet carved out a quiet space for recordings, and may also have something to do with the microphones we’re currently using (not fantastic, not poor — just a mid-line product).
We have also had some issues arising from our use of a double-screen setup. We currently have two multimedia production machines, each of which is using a double screen setup. While this setup has a certain visual appeal, the double screen configuration has led to a variety of mouse problems and general settings malaise. We are considering doing away with the double screen setup and instead purchasing two production-quality Macs, which would then leave us with four great computers and one screen for each computer. Thoughts?