CASE STUDY: Grand Valley State University
Ensemble Video’s Dropbox and Blackboard Integration Enhances Online Education at Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is a four-year public university in West Michigan that serves nearly 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It has a well-earned reputation for creating unique learning opportunities that attract students from across the state, throughout the country, and all over the world. Located just outside of the Grand Rapids metropolitan area, Michigan’s second-most populated region, Grand Valley State is one of America’s 100 largest universities. GVSU prides itself on the personalized liberal education it offers throughout its academic programs, and one way they are able to accomplish this is through effective use of video. Before using Ensemble Video, GVSU struggled with a challenge familiar to many colleges and universities: They licensed, owned and produced a large amount of video and media content, but had no centralized location to organize, store or deliver it to a variety of devices.
Mary Morgan, Library Technology Manager at GVSU, describes the initial attempt of storing and streaming media across several platforms as challenging. “There was no uniform way to manage and publish content; our users on campus were using YouTube, Vimeo and a home grown solution to publish video in Blackboard. This made uploading, viewing and supporting video difficult.” The University continued to acquire and produce more content from library archives, student presentations and educational videos such as screen capture presentations and faculty lectures. The need for a robust, easy-to-use video management system was becoming crucial. GVSU required a dedicated, easy-to-use video platform capable of organizing, describing, storing and delivering all of their media from one central location.
The University began using Ensemble Video in 2012 after seeking a future-proof video platform that enabled students and faculty to upload, access and share all of their videos in one place – anytime, anywhere and on any device. Eric Kunnen, the Associate Director of E-Learning and Emerging technologies says, “Video is becoming increasingly and exceedingly important in teaching and learning. It is one of the ways that faculty can convey complex and very difficult information, but do so in a very visually and interesting way.” Ensemble Video was chosen for its simplicity, its integration with Blackboard, and the Ensemble Video Dropbox feature.
Kimberly Kenward, an Instructional Designer at GVSU, is dedicated to helping faculty members who are delivering 100% online classes and flipped instruction. According to Kenward “Ensemble Video is the perfect solution, because of the Ensemble Video Blackboard Building Block integration.The fact that Ensemble Video works inside of Blackboard has been critical to the increasing adoption rate at the University. Searching and embedding video content in Blackboard is simple.”
GVSU is also excited about the evolution of Ensemble Video on campus.Not only are faculty members creating content, but students are also creating video projects and presentations using the Ensemble Video Assignment Dropbox. This feature has changed what the faculty members are seeing for final projects, private journal entries and reflective work within Blackboard.