Big Bend Community College Adopts Mediasite for More Cost-Effective Online Learning

Jan 20, 2010 (07:01 AM EST)

MADISON, Wis., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sonic Foundry, Inc. , the recognized market leader for rich media webcasting and knowledge management, today announced that Big Bend Community College has streamlined its virtual classroom offering by using Mediasite to deliver courses.

Big Bend's Mediasite program is the focus of a live webinar at 11:00 Central on Tuesday, January 26. Visit to register.

With about 4,000 students, Big Bend is one of the smallest community colleges in the state of Washington. The school also has one of the largest service districts, covering 4,500 square miles. A year and a half ago, the staff was forced to look at their 12-year, multi-million dollar videoconferencing distance learning program in the face of new budget restrictions. The school discovered that videoconferencing provided a very high-cost low yield service.

"Even with that investment it was still really a struggle to maintain a stable environment over an 11-week period of time for the quarter," said Russell Beard, director of information and communication services at Big Bend Community College.

Beard launched a "best of breed" campaign, with the goal of eliminating videoconferencing and exclusively using Mediasite to capture lectures, special events and internal meetings, like the board of trustees meetings. Big Bend began mediasiting in the fall of 2007 and, its lecture capture programs, fueled by grants, have been growing ever since.

"Mediasite lived up to the hype. In June we built our third and fourth Mediasite classrooms, funded almost exclusively by grants. They're brand new, in use now and are a big hit. We've gone from having to beg, borrow and threaten faculty to use these IT classrooms to having a line of faculty that want to use the Mediasite classrooms," said Beard.

"I don't think I can emphasize enough how big of a revolution Mediasite has created on this campus. It's far more cost-effective for us. We can invest in a classroom and have it available to every one of our constituents who have a decent internet connection," Beard continued. "We have four classrooms that have Mediasite capability right now. If I had 12 they'd be full."

Beard plans to expand the school's Mediasite offerings in 2010, including adding curriculum to help faculty become more effective online instructors.

"We have found time to apply for and get grants, but this all happens because the president of the college supports the vision," Beard said. "My role is to discover, advise and help instructors find the tools that will make them more successful in the classroom. The Mediasite platform is at the top of that list. It's been nothing but a raging success."

The patented Mediasite webcasting and content management system quickly and cost-effectively automates the capture, management, delivery and search of rich media presentations that combine audio, video and accompanying graphics for live or on-demand viewing.

Sonic Foundry is the global leader for rich media webcasting and knowledge management, providing enterprise communication solutions for 1,800 customers in education, business and government. Powered by Mediasite, the patented webcasting platform which automates the capture, management, delivery and search of lectures, online training and briefings, Sonic Foundry empowers people to transform the way they communicate. Through the Mediasite platform and its Events Services group, the company helps customers connect a dynamic, evolving world of shared knowledge and envisions a future where learners and workers around the globe use webcasting to bridge time and distance, accelerate research and improve performance.

CONTACT: Tammy Kramer of Sonic Foundry, Inc., +1-608-237-8592,

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