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					         Tandberg CusTomer Profile
         aCCeleraTing deCision making




universiTy of akron
                                                                                         Students’ learning
                                                                                         retention and grades
                                                                                         improve, thanks to
                                                                                         use of the TANDBERG
                                                                                         Content Server for
                                                                                         recording and sharing
                                                                                         class content.




Challenge
With a dynamic campus known for innovation, the University of Akron takes pride
in its high-tech facilities and ability to offer courses to neighboring communities.
In 1997, the University learned that nearby Medina County was the only one of the 88
counties in Ohio without a 2- or 4-year presence for higher education. The University
quickly took action.

As Jeanette Carson, the University’s Manager of Distance Learning and Audio Visual
Services, recalls, “We worked with state representatives in Columbus and received
$3 million in funding over 3 years to build a fiber network from the University to all
nine Medina County High Schools. The University of Akron was able to provide those
students with post-secondary classes to which they would otherwise not be available
for them to enroll.”

In 2002, the University realized it was time to upgrade its distance-learning video
communications equipment. That’s when Walter Jevack joined the staff as a Video
Network Engineer, bringing his expertise in IP networking to help with the overhaul.
Now, the University’s distance-learning network includes 33 distance-learning
classrooms both on and off the main campus; further, the University offers post-
secondary courses to high schools in Medina County, Belmont County, as well
as to three high schools within Summit County, where it is based. The University
also collaborates with other 2- and 4-year higher education institutions, offering
undergraduate and graduate-level distance-learning courses.




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10 22 2008
         Tandberg CusTomer Profile
         aCCeleraTing deCision making




soluTion
Jevack, who designs, builds and implements all the distance-learning classrooms for the
University, says that when he came on board, “We were looking to do our own bridging
and contemplating a specific product when one of our engineers happened to see the
TANDBERG’s Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) at an industry trade show. We bought four
of those and we have been happy ever since.”

In fact, the University is now almost exclusively a TANDBERG site, with all of its distance-
learning classrooms equipped with TANDBERG video systems, while a central control
room houses network infrastructure and management equipment such as the TANDBERG
Gatekeeper, TANDBERG Management Suite (TMS) and TANDBERG Content Servers (TCS).

The Content Server in particular is proving to be a valuable addition to the University and
its students. As Jevack explains, “We use the TCS for archival of classes that students might
miss for one reason or another. For example, the high schools with which we collaborate
have a different calendar than the University, with different vacation days and different
snow days. In addition, some students who participate in sports programs cannot make
it to the post-secondary classes. So we use the TCS to record the classes and then the          “We can now transcode
students can go back the next day, or whenever they have time, and view the classes.”
                                                                                                 video captured on the
“Recording and archiving classes for students who could not attend was the original              TCS into multiple file
reason we purchased the Content Server,” continues Jevack. “We did that for a couple
                                                                                                 formats so students
of years, and then as more instructors realized this was available, they wanted to use
the TCS to record classes even for students who are in attendance. A lot of the classes          can view content on
are lecture-based, so if you don’t take quick enough notes, you miss things. With the TCS,       their own computers,
students have the option to review what happened.”
                                                                                                 both Windows and Mac.
The latest version of the TCS includes an option for transcoding, which Jevack says is           And, we can make the
a valuable new feature: “We can now transcode video captured on the TCS into multiple
                                                                                                 content iPod-ready.”
file formats so students can view content on their own computers, both Windows and
                                                                                                 WalTer JevaCk, video neTWork
Mac. And, we can make the content iPod-ready.”
                                                                                                 engineer, universiTy of akron
Carson expounds on the subject, noting, “The value of the Content Server is that students
can capture a class as a Podcast or video file and watch it over and over again on their
devices, for example, before exams.”




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           Tandberg CusTomer Profile
           aCCeleraTing deCision making




resulTs
For the high school students who enroll in the University’s distance-learning post-
secondary classes, the benefits are measurable not just academically, but financially
as well.

“The students can enroll in these college-credit courses for free,” explains Jevack, “and
they get credit for their high school class requirements as well as college-level credits.
Some of the more ambitious students who start these classes during their junior year can
go from being seniors in high school directly to their sophomore year in college.”

“The parents are saving thousands of dollars for every class they would otherwise have
to pay for at the college level,” remarks Carson. “And these classes transfer to any state
college in Ohio — not just the University of Akron.”

“However,” she adds, “we are finding that once we build these relationships with students
through this program, many of them are more likely to come to the University of Akron
rather than other state schools.”

Indeed, the number of high school students enrolled in the University’s distance-learning    “The value of the Content
post-secondary program is steadily increasing each year, and coincidentally enrollment
                                                                                              Server is that students
at the University is also on the rise.
                                                                                              can capture a class as
“Students now expect technology to be automatically available to them,” observes Carson.
“By offering tools such as the TCS, we are meeting those expectations and increasing
                                                                                              a Podcast or video file
our enrollment.”                                                                              and watch it over and
                                                                                              over again on their
                                                                                              devices, for example,
                                                                                              before exams.”
                                                                                              JeaneTTe Carson, manager

                                                                                              of disTanCe learning and

                                                                                              audio visual serviCes,

                                                                                              universiTy of akron




                                                                                             Contact TANDBERG today to learn
                                                                                             how our solutions will support your
                                                                                             distance learning programs.

                                                                                             Email us at tandberg@tandberg.com.



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