How Webcasting Helped Wayne State Fight the Nursing Shortage
This scalability played a large part in WSU’s decision to begin using the Capture Stations, according to Puente.
"All you have to do essentially is have your server up, whether it exists or not. You don’t have to buy any special software or service software. It’s pretty much a $15,000 investment for a Capture Station," she says.
Once a Capture Station begins recording, it automatically webcasts the recorded content live as an integrated synchronized rich media presentation and saves it in an on-demand archive for later viewing, according to Germain. These presentations can be viewed on both Macs and PCs via the Internet Explorer or Firefox web browsers and support the Windows Media, Real Media, Flash, and MP3 formats.
Meanwhile, the Media Management System acts as a portal for organizing presentations archived by the Capture Stations, according to Germain. By searching for a specific keyword, users can bring up any presentation that matches those criteria.
WSU uses the system in conjunction with Blackboard to make lectures searchable. According to Germain, the portal is integral to WSU’s success in this area, because without it, users wouldn’t be able to find lecture content as easily in Blackboard.
"If a student didn’t know that a particular course on pediatric arrhythmia or something was taught on a certain day by a certain professor, they might not ever be able to find that if it didn’t happen to be on the outside container of that information on Blackboard," she says. "The AMMS captures data from slides, slide notes, from closed captioning, and the external metadata. So when a student’s searching, they’re really drilling down into all that stuff."
Accordent’s technologies have allowed the College of Nursing to increase enrollment in its classes, helping the institution get more trained nurses out into the field, according to Puente. These individuals can then move up to graduate-level courses and, eventually, become teachers themselves.
In addition, the college has entered into partnerships with remote sites throughout Michigan, utilizing the Capture Stations’ webcasting abilities to provide distance learning opportunities in specialized areas such as neonatal nursing and women’s health. This allows students statewide to gain knowledge they otherwise might not have access to and, in turn, makes them more likely to teach at WSU after graduation, Puente says.
"Once they get their master’s, they can come back and teach or be clinical instructors at the site," she says. "It works well for us because we’re partnering with hospitals, so … this is pretty much a promotion for [students] that the hospital’s paying for to get their degree. So sometimes, they’re a little more apt to come and assist teaching here at Wayne State."
Puente says she thinks distance learning can be just as effective as classroom instruction, especially because WSU limits online classes to theory-based material, and students must also complete clinical courses for real-world experience.