Madison, Wisconsin – (The Hosting News) – May 8, 2008 – Automated rich media communications technology firm, Sonic Foundry, Inc.’s Mediasite solution, has been honored with the USDLA Award, for its innovation.
Last week. Professor Diane Zorn, a professor at New York University, won the highest accolades at the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) National Conference, with the USDLA Excellence in Teaching for Online Distance Learning award for Sonic Foundry’s webcasting platform.
Dr. John G. Flores, Chief Executive Officer of USDLA noted, ”As a premier organization for the entire distance learning profession, we are honoring Diane Zorn and Sonic Foundry as leaders in their industries. Together they have raised the bar of excellence, and we are truly honored by their contributions to the distance learning industry.”
Facing skepticism from other faculty members that a distance learning course could fulfill the course requirements, Ms. Zorn applied for and won a grant to develop a rich media coursecast powered by Mediasite by Sonic Foundry. Her goal for students taking the online course was for them to learn tangible skills, not only concepts.
Ms. Zorn explained, ”The design of the course, which wouldn’t be possible without Mediasite, assumes that greater quality means greater individualization of learning.”
Ms. Zorn uses the Mediasite platform to create student-centered, highly interactive rich media courses that promote deep and durable learning. She incorporates built-in continuous assessment, asynchronous discussion, clarification of expectations, website orientation and synchronous, real-time interactions. Her courses-which teach business ethics and philosophy to first, second and third-year undergraduate level students-range in class size from 50 to 90 students. About 10 percent of her students are adult learners from age 30 to 50. The enrolled students are learning remotely from the Greater Toronto area, across Canada and the United States, Australia, Pakistan, the Middle East and Europe.
Students can select the content delivery mode they prefer: about 10 percent use video hand-held devices to view the lectures, such as video iPods, another 30 percent use mp3 players to listen to the lectures while the majority of students view the lectures on their PCs or Macs.
Rimas Buinevicius, Chairman and CEO of Sonic Foundry added, ”In our opinion and many others, Professor Zorn has taken lecture capture to an entirely new level. We are immensely proud of the ways she has capitalized on Mediasite’s capabilities. She is truly on the leading edge of meeting the diverse needs of her students within a flexible, interactive learning community.”
The USDLA presented the award on April 23 at the 2008 International Distance Learning Awards in conjunction with its 2008 National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Since 1987, USDLA has been the world’s premier distance learning association. The USDLA International Awards program annually awards outstanding individuals and organizations engaged in the development and delivery of distance learning programs.
Through her pioneering use of Mediasite in the classroom, Ms. Zorn also won York’s University-Wide Teaching Award in 2007, and has been nominated for the Commonwealth of Learning Excellence in Distance Education Award in 2008.
Founded in 1991, Sonic Foundry provides rich media communications and knowledge management, providing enterprise solutions and services that link an information-driven world. Based in Madison, Wisconsin, the company has received numerous awards including the 2007 Frost and Sullivan Global Market Leadership Award, Ziff Davis Media’s Baseline Magazine’s sixth fastest-growing software company with sales under $150 million and Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500. Named a Bersin and Associates 2007 Learning Leader, Sonic Foundry’s webcasting and knowledge management solutions are trusted by education institutions, Fortune 500 companies and government agencies for a variety of critical communication needs.
To learn more, please visit: www.sonicfoundry.com.