The first full year at the Media Lab is complete, and we’re excited to share what it has accomplished. If you’ve visited the Media Lab in Moody Library, you likely know how busy the spaces are, but it’s not clear at-a-glance the scope of how integrated it is with Baylor’s academic life. Below, you’ll learn how many hours the recording spaces are booked, how many students and faculty use the space, how many colleges and schools participate, and which of their courses assign class projects that involve this space.
Our thanks, again, to the Shumacher Foundation for their gift, which helped open the physical spaces and provided equipment, starting with the DIY video recording studio in December of 2014, the A/V Loan program in 2015, and the full launch of the physical space in August of 2016. This included two audio recording rooms, an editing room, consultation space, and an update to our video studio.
If we lined up these 4,106 total hours of use consecutively, and distributed them evenly across our one video and two audio recording studios, we could open for fifty seven straight days without without closing once. If we limited their use to M-F 9-5, the three spaces would be full nearly the entire fall and spring semester.
“Because of the vast changes to the communication landscape over the last two decades, along with the influence of emerging technologies on students’ writing practices, it is essential for institutions of higher education to provide students and faculty with the new media training they will need to thrive in a range of rapidly-changing contexts. The Media Lab in Moody Library affords Baylor students and faculty the opportunity to develop facility with new media composing tools that are integral to communication practices in many academic and professional fields. I have used the Media Lab often in teaching courses in Professional Writing and Rhetoric, and my students have benefitted significantly. I am grateful for the resources in the lab, and I am indebted to the media experts who oversee the lab for the mentoring they have provided to me and my students.”
“The Media Lab allows my students to work on multimedia projects. Some of the work produced in the lab has been published in The Bundle Magazine allowing students to hone their skills while they build their portfolios. It’s a necessary space and I am so grateful we have it.”
The student portion of the 1,156 unique customers shows 6% of the student body booked one of our spaces at least once. Consider that these students worked on projects with one, two, three, or more fellow students, and it becomes apparent that the Media Lab quickly became a significant service to campus. Perhaps 10-20% of the student body used it in its first year.
10% of Baylor’s instructional employees had their students use Media Lab recording spaces. While ten of these faculty have additional distinctions, like department chair, director, or coordinator, most were simply faculty who included digital projects in their syllabus and whose students recorded work in the Media Lab.
Colleges and Schools
What level class is most likely to have projects in the Media Lab? Students in 1000- and 3000-level courses predominate, but we see that digital media projects are embedded in every year of undergraduate and graduate education.
“The Media Lab has opened paths for faculty to create and distribute course content in innovative ways that engage students in ALL learning environments. The multimedia resources produced as a result of using the Media Lab have encouraged faculty to (1) create student-centered learning environments based on research-driven best practices, (2) revisit instructional philosophies to refine how learning is measured and assessed, and (3) leverage the digital learning space our students are accustomed to interacting in.”
Baylor is currently comprised of fourteen Colleges and Schools, ten of which had students use Media Lab recording spaces in our first year. Arts & Sciences, predictably, contributes the lion’s share of projects, but most colleges and schools are represented. Nursing and Law, as well as International Programs and the Graduate School were the only groups that didn’t make the list (but there were graduate-level courses).
“When we needed to make a short video to allow Dean Nordt and selected faculty members to explain the proposed changes to our Arts & Sciences core curriculum, we turned to the staff at the Media Lab for help. They were able to coordinate all the details for us, and the chore of recording a number of different people at various times became pleasant as a result of their expertise.”
Video and Audio Booth traffic peaks after mid-terms, though there are class projects twelve months a year. Semester two was busier than semester one, even for the Video Booth, whose use continues to grow, even 2+ years in. This chart includes notable extracurricular projects, including:
- Auditions and casting materials
- Job interviews
- Internship and graduate program applications
- Student organization projects
- Staff training, marketing campaigns, & PSAs
- Kickstarter project updates
- Welcome, hype, and orientation videos
“The Media Lab has enabled the HR team to create content to promote Baylor Benefits, particularly with production of the SmartBen™ Video Tutorials.”
We are so happy with what the Media Lab helped accomplish in 2017, but we still have a long ways to go. Year one was a trial period, a learning year, to see what emerged. Felt needs, current media literacy demands, comparison with other higher educational institutions, and anticipating the future, all led us to launch the Media Lab. The numbers above confirm what we sensed:
Media creation and digital literacy are important themes across disciplines, among a broad range of faculty, and at every course level at Baylor University. For many, the Media Lab is the locus of this work.
Our experience shows that this work is worthy of more focused attention across the university. Our team will continue to review and add resources where necessary to adequately help faculty, staff, and students incorporate media creation and digital literacy into their Baylor journey.