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Video Learning: Where Do We Go From Here?

As COVID transitions from pandemic to endemic, what does the "new normal" look like in higher education? For Ohio State Director of Instructional Media Scott Nelson, it's all about making sure that the advances universities made in remote, hybrid, and asynchronous learning remain available for the students that need them, and that colleges continue to leverage the flexibility they've discovered. In this clip from Streaming Media East 2022, Nelson discusses his current role, a mix of advocacy and making sure departments have the right tools to keep hybrid learning going.

Learn more about elearning and hybrid learning at Streaming Media West 2022.

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Scott Nelson: During the pandemic, we had to figure out how to fundamentally shift from an instance where we had a virtual campus and an in-person campus to everybody being online, which was a learning experience. And so I guess the question that I keep getting asked is, where are we going now? We have a lot of folks who are falling back into that old routine of what we were pre-pandemic. We have a lot of students who actually want us to continue to make content virtual because it's flexible, it's on-demand, and it's more accessible or more attainable to them, And so as a university or institution, what direction are we going? Does everything just flip back to the way it was?

And so my work, now that we're coming out of the pandemic, is we are really thinking of our work in this hybrid university way. So no longer is it our virtual students, our online students, and our on campus students that never interact and see each other, but bringing those worlds together so it's an interchangeable experience. And so our in-person, traditional students, when they take their online classes, it feels very similar. It looks similar, it feels similar. It's laid out similarly. How do we do this cultural shift? That's what we're excited about.

A lot of that comes with consultation. It comes with advocacy. It comes with meeting with directors and deans and instructors because their natural tendency is, "I want to go back to just standing in front of my students and spewing information."

Currently, my work is a lot of advocacy work. It's a lot of coaching and supporting to encourage instructors. "Keep doing what you've been doing. Don't go back to what was."

I'm creating a lot of resources. The three things that are most important as I'm working with instructors are security, accessibility, and ease of use. They're not too worried about security, but security is probably the top concern for the university. Accessibility is a huge one, making sure it's not only accessible from a disability standpoint, making sure that there's captions and transcriptions. But from a bandwidth standpoint, if we have a student who is out in rural Kentucky or Appalachia, and they have minimal bandwidth, we need to make sure the experience for them is not interrupted because of that. How do we make sure that immersive content is available to somebody who may not have a device that is traditionally used for immersive design?

And so I'm always thinking about those things. We have come across so many tools that just do so many amazing things, but the UI and the UX on them is so overwhelming and so cumbersome, our instructors don't utilize any of it. We don't need to give them a Ferrari when they need a minivan. We have so many tools out there that we purchase because they do everything, but we only need it to do a couple things really well.

And so for anyone that's out there developing tools and technology, don't focus on being able to do everything across the board. Figure out what are the most important things and have it do it really well and really easily. That UI/UX is gonna be one of the most important things if you're developing for instructors.

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