eClips for students by students

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www.alamo.edu/sac/ots.

www.alamo.edu/sac/ots.

Communication design sophomore designed video tutorials as a supplemental learning resource.

By PATRICIA MCGLAMORY

sac-ranger@alamo.edu 

Students who need information on using the Canvas learning management system, information on parking permits, accessing financial aid or getting online advising can access eClips on the college website.

eClips are one- to five-minute video tutorials designed as a supplemental learning resource and are a product of the office of technology services.

To create these video tutorials, the office of technology services partnered with communication design students and a member of the college speech team.

“We wanted to also tap some of the strengths of our very own students to bring this whole project together,” Usha Venkat, director of information and communication technologies, said Sept. 18.

Developed by Nick Lucio, communication design sophomore, initial eClips tutorials focus on information technology services.

The first roll-out of eClips took place in June 2011.

Lucio began by working on 19 older eClips to update them for a more modern interface.

Since then, he has developed a total of 38 eClips video tutorials.

Lucio is a part-time employee of the office of technology services, Venkat confirmed in an email Oct. 3.

“Continuance of his position will depend on the budget availability. However, our goal is to increase the number of training offerings through video delivery, and his position is critical to achieving the goal,” Venkat wrote.

From 1999 to 2002, Lucio worked for NewTek, a local software company that specializes in animation hardware and technology for Hollywood, Lucio said.

“I really cut my teeth on computer graphics with those guys,” Lucio said.

He worked in graphics for News 9 San Antonio from 2003 to 2004, and television station KENS 5 from 2005 to 2006.

News 9 San Antonio is no longer on the air.

He attended this college in 2003 and returned to continue his education in fall 2011. Lucio also attends a figure drawing class at Coppini Academy of Fine Arts.

Upon graduation from this college with degrees in communication design and traditional illustration, he plans to continue his education at California Institute of the Arts, Savannah College of Art and Design or the Vancouver Film School.

For the eClips on-camera narration, Lucio contacted the speech communication program of this college for “talent.”

Rebecca Henry, speech communication sophomore, narrates about 10 eClips tutorials.

Henry has been competing with the speech team since last fall.

She thinks the information in eClips will be appreciated by students.

“Especially the ones that need a little more help online that aren’t used to the whole online format … the fact that it (eClips) is there to kind of break it down for you.”

Venkat said the idea of video tutorials stemmed from two challenges: shortage of staff and the availability of students’ time.

“One of the challenges we have at San Antonio College is that we don’t have enough staff for the amount of training that needs to occur,” Venkat said.

With those challenges in mind, the OTS looked at what other universities and colleges are using, Venkat said.

Online research led to short videos called Hot Topics at the University of Indiana.

“What really attracted me to that was the fact that each video was just one- to two minutes in length, and it was based on topics,” Venkat said.

eClips is about convenience.

“It is about where our faculty, staff and students can access this information anyplace, anytime,” Venkat said.

Other Alamo Colleges do not use eClips, Venkat said.

“It is a service of San Antonio College,” Venkat said. “We are willing to share with the other colleges … definitely open to sharing, because all the colleges are from a single system.”

Venkat said other departments of this college, such as the continuing education training network and the business office, became interested in this product to demonstrate their services.

Existing technology is used for eClips.

“We didn’t have to go out and spend more money on other things,” Venkat said.

Mediasite is the districtwide streaming system, and Digital Signage is the system that allows the use of televisions across campus as a delivery medium.

OTS has run eClips on the Digital Signage system.

Venkat said, however, since the TVs are within the public area, audio volume has been an issue.

“Currently they (eClips) are not being run on the digital signage TV. We will look into other options, such as closed captioning, to alleviate the situation in the future,” Venkat wrote in an Oct. 3 email.

The OTS plans to start tracking user hits for eClips this semester.

They also plan to do a survey from both students and faculty to get feedback.

eClips can be accessed through the OTS quick link on the website for this college or by going to www.alamo.edu/sac/ots.

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