Webcasting, as defined for the purposes of our use is: "Transmission of video and audio online (over the internet) from one source to a large group of receivers."
A webcast transmission can be delivered either live, or recorded and delivered “on demand” giving the flexibility to the viewer to watch the webcast whenever they wish. However, rather than requiring a download like a video podcast, a webcast uses a progressive video stream onto the user’s computer so there is no need for hard drive space or leftover media files. This on demand availability allowing the sharing and distribution of the recorded webcast, via a portal or database, plays an invaluable role to the learner. It means that content is at the fingertips of students, and that unlimited playback is possible. The main benefit of this is the flexibility provided to the viewer who is not constrained by time schedules like those of more traditional broadcasting.
As these webcasts involve heightened interactivity they become educational webcasts, where a linear broadcast of a lecture or educational piece of video is made available and students are asked to discuss the piece or can submit questions and opinions as well has interacting live with the lecturer. As the students are given an increased level of interactivity by allowing them to submit information to the discussion (be it text, graphic, audio or video) the experience will become more engaging for them and make for a better learning experience.
At eLearning, we believe in providing the best support for faculty and staff for this methodolgy and share a vision for capitalizing on the inherent and the designed advantages of this unique mode of learning. Using professional design tools like Adobe Connect, we offer free access to all NIU faculty and staff. If you would like to try Adobe Connect visit our page here and for more information about Adobe Connect contact Aline Click at eLearning@niu.edu.
View a sample lecture capture using Adobe Connect!