Green Screen Room

Jeff Ello, associate director of client services for Krannert Computing Center, tests "Green Screen" equipment in the the school's video studio in Rawls Hall. (Photo by Clayton Jewell)

Going Green

Self-service video studio enables online learning innovation

Producing professional-quality video content for online instruction traditionally requires expensive studio equipment, control room staff and a post-production process, but not at Krannert.

To assist the new online Master of Science in Economics program, the Krannert Computing Center developed a self-service, automated studio at a cost of about $15,000. Instructors can record lectures while incorporating PowerPoint presentations or whiteboard examples, all with the push of a button. Completed videos are ready to post online within minutes of filming.

It’s not only allowed instructors to create engaging online content, but it’s also changing the way Krannert students learn in a traditional classroom setting.

It all started when Krannert faculty began developing the online master’s program in economics. It was clear they needed an easy way to record lectures for distance learners. So, the Krannert Computing Center built a do-it-yourself recording studio in Rawls Hall, nicknamed “the Green Screen Room.”

“We’re a top-tier business school offering online academics. The quality of our online content needed to reflect this,” says Jeff Ello, associate director of client services for the KCC. Since no all-in-one solution was available, the Krannert Computing Center designed one.

By combining standard video equipment and KCC-developed software, Ello and his team were able to achieve a professional, easy-to-use system. The green screen allows content accessed through a Windows 8 touchscreen computer to be presented on-screen while filming. There are no post-production labor costs, which results in huge savings.

This solution attracted the interest of IT directors from top 20 business schools when they visited Krannert in May. Directors from the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Chicago; and the University of Virginia were given a tour and a demonstration of the room’s capabilities.

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