Okay. We're starting.
Thank you all for joining us today for EduALL.
I'm excited to first introduce you to Tom Livne,
our CEO and Co-founder,
to say a few words.
Thanks Michal, and thanks everyone for
joining us for our first virtual summit.
I'm happy to be here.
I know it's a challenging time for all of you.
We got it today,
top thought leaders from the higher education.
I know that moving classes
online and engaging all students,
is not a simple thing to do.
I hope this summit will give you best practices and
inspiration on how to make the best out of this time,
while making sure classes are inclusive for all learners.
So back to you Michal to start our first session today,
and thank you again everybody for joining us.
Enjoy and stay healthy.
Thank you so much Tom.
Thank you everybody for joining us again for EduALL.
We're very excited.
We have 15 incredible thought leader with us today,
and we're exploring how we can make
higher education work for all learners.
We know this topic is super important
for all leaders in higher education,
and many of you are using
different technologies to find
the need to engage all students.
We know that due to the coronavirus,
this has been especially challenging time for all of you.
Many of you have been moving quickly to
bring your classes and courses online.
So I really hope that this summit
[inaudible] for the events.
You can submit your questions
during each of the sessions in
the Q&A feature here in Zoom for each session you join.
We're featuring Verbit live integration with Zoom today,
so it's very exciting as well.
You're enabled to view
live transcription throughout the session.
So to enable transcript,
just click on arrow next to
the bar where it says close captioning,
at the bottom and click View Full Transcript.
There is also will be two times throughout the event
this morning where you can select from multiple sessions,
so you can go back and forth to
the page where you have the different sessions,
click to the session and enter the Zoom.
You can go back to the page
again and click and go to the other session.
So I'd like to welcome you all to
the first session, Universities in Action.
I have here with me today,
Mark Nichols from Virginia Tech,
Korey Singleton from George Mason University,
and Richard Hoar from FIT.
They're implementing different campaigns and
strategies in their organization,
and this is a great time for
us to all listen and learn from them.
So Mark and Korey, followed by Richard.
I will turn it over to you, Mark.
Just introduce yourself and
tell us what you're doing in your school.
Okay, great. Thank you Michal.
So my name is Mark Nichols,
I have the pleasure serving as the senior director for
Universal Design and Accessible
Technologies with Virginia Tech.
I thought I would just start by just giving
a brief demographic information about Virginia Tech.
So we are a R1 land-grant institution.
We have multiple campuses,
slightly north of 36,000 students,
and roughly 2500 teaching faculty
across nine different academic colleges.
You can go back one more, Michal.
There we go.
So over the past two and a half years,
I've had the pleasure of leading
a very talented IT accessibility team,
and we really focused our efforts on
franchising accessibility, if you will,
under the umbrellas of both Universal Design
and Universal Design for Learning.
Just a quick history as you're viewing this slide.
Since I was five years old,
I've been involved in the scouting program
and I share a passion for outdoor recreation and sports.
As the current Scout master of our local troupe,
I find that scouting BSA's motto of "Be prepared",
which is depicted in the visual
on the screen of a gold coin,
"On my honor, I'll do my best,"
with the words "Be prepared" on there.
That this motto appropriately aligns to
our strategic goals for accessibility at Virginia Tech.
We don't necessarily know who
will be consuming all of our digital content,
but statistics roughly inform us that there's
15-20 percent of those individuals will have
a disability with no average learning traits.
Therefore, in order to be prepared,
we must take the stance of creating
accessible educational materials that afford students,
and faculty, and staff,
and visitors successful engagement in our environments.
So I have a personal belief that
everything we create must be accessible,
but I fully recognize
that sometimes that's easier said than done.
So we have a few campaigns to help us
move on that path of
making sure everything is accessible.
Michal, if you'll switch to the next slide there.
One more slide. There we go.
Back one more, sorry.
There we go.
In order to be prepared,
we shifted our method of engagement
with the campus community,
creating accessible content in general.
I mean, let's be honest, it can be very complex,
it can be confusing,
especially to faculty and staff
across campus who are unfamiliar with best practices,
tools that are available, support resources.
So that is essentially how we created and gave birth,
if you will, to the Choose
Accessible Learning Material initiative.
This initiative benefits teaching and learning.
I mean that in the broad sense,
in that teaching and learning is
not just classroom instruction,
but anything occurring on
campus that involves instruction and
information sharing by incorporating
principles of Universal Design for Learning.
So instead of presenting the campus with a linked list
of requirements for accessible design,
which quite frankly often resulted in comments like,
"I don't have time for this," or,
"Are you funding a GA to help me with this?"
or, "Is there a cheat sheet for this?"
Probably things you've never heard at your institutions.
The idea behind this was to move
the educational community at Virginia Tech into
a plus one approach, a mindset.
Join a campaign, make it simple and manageable,
and the idea is build success in one particular area,
then rinse and repeat, if you will.
The underlying goal of
these campaigns involves changing perceptions
around accessibility in the broad impact
that proactive accessible design can have.
So we have three campaigns that
align to WCAG 2.0 AA standards,
and also aligned to our most frequent
areas of requested support,
which two years ago they were captioning and contrast.
So we have three current campaigns.
One is Keep C.A.L.M. and Check Contrast
and Keep C.A.L.M. and Caption On,
and then lastly, our most recent campaign,
is Keep C.A.L.M. and Describe Images.
Our plans were to release two campaigns every
year underneath of the initiative of Keep Calm,
based on the levels of support and that
we were receiving requests
for across the campus community.
We develop marketing materials, flyers, magnets,
and stickers that complement each one of
these associated campaign webpages.
Word of advice,
never underestimate the power of stickers.
Nothing beats walking into a meeting with
our Chief Information Officer
and seeing these stickers on his laptop lid
that spark discussions that I didn't have to start,
which is really the power of these stickers.
We've had tremendous success
with people sharing these stickers.
They spark conversation in inquiry
and helped to establish community around
why you should be considering accessibility
and why you should join these campaigns.
So people wanted to be a part of that naturally.
It grew organically the excitement around it.
For faculty in some level became more of
a manageable task amidst
a sea of endless requirements and
expectations that they have on a day-to-day basis.
One of the things we did was we worked with
Capstone Communications class
on campus where students developed
some of these marketing materials for
us that were tailored to faculty and students,
and this served as a final class project
for them on two different semesters.
So talk about authentic learning at its finest.
Now this was a really nice opportunity
to leverage students on
our campus and we received
free help from some very creative student minds.
So I share this as one possibility of
no matter what your role and position is at your campus,
these are campaigns that could be started
up and expanded in your respective institutions.
I'm happy to make any of
the campaign materials that we've developed,
posters, sticker files, all the back-end
files available to anybody
that would like to recreate these.
In fact, we've had several institutions
in Virginia here that have also taken
this concept and morphed them into campaigns for
their own respective universities using
their color schemes and priorities for accessible design.
So just feel free to send me
a chat or send me an e-mail and
I'd be happy to share those raw files with you.
One of the other campaigns
and programs that we have that we're focusing
on at Virginia Tech is
really about building the community of practice
and we started from a grassroots effort.
A lot of our efforts have been within the past 2-5 years
as far as really ramping up
the approach to accessibility on campus.
A few years ago, we established
the accessibility network at Virginia Tech.
It brings together champions who share
a common vision for enhancing digital accessibility
and my team facilitates these meetings that
provides information about what's
happening on campus around accessibility,
training, how to incorporate
universal design into your respective work,
utilizing assistive technologies,
and choosing accessible learning materials.
Network is made up of faculty and staff.
Actually, prior to releasing
the C.A.L.M. campaigns which I just spoke about,
the network provided us with
some great information back on
focus areas and how to
establish buying and ownership across the university.
So there are four main
subgroups in our accessibility network:
the web content creation,
instructional, media & publications,
and web developments.
They make essentially these subgroups are
engaged to make recommendations back to
the main accessibility working group
for the university around areas of focus,
resources that are needed,
tool sets that may be needed in order to effectively scale
accessibility improvements across the university.
So one of the things that this network
recently identified within the past year and a half,
was that there needed to be
additional focused training for
role-based accessibility training for stakeholders
across campus including our managers on campus.
So this led us to develop
a accessibility professional grant certification program.
This program is open to any interested faculty or staff
it provides their training and exam fees
to become a certified accessibility professionals
through the International Association
of Accessibility Professionals.
Both would be Certified Professional
and Accessibility Core Competencies
called the CPACC and the WAS program,
the Web Accessibility Specialists.
So these grants are awarded
in an opportunity to allow anybody from campus
no matter what your role is to come and
participate in a community of
practice that meets on a weekly basis to
prepare for these certifications exams.
The primary role and goal of this is to build
a standard best practice in accessibility.
But also these individuals have a requirement to
serve on the accessibility network at Virginia Tech.
So we've been able to leverage a lot of
the resources with our learning management system Canvas,
with our video content management system,
Kaltura and Zoom, with our captioning partners,
Verbit, and Live Captioning,
and ASR Level Captioning to really build
awareness of these tools inside of this grant program.
So people can when they're going through and
preparing for these certification exams,
they have a firsthand knowledge
of what this looks like at Virginia Tech
and the impact this is having at Virginia Tech.
This semester was our first semester that we expanded
the online community of practice
and actually one of our other panelists here,
Korey Singleton, is participating in
that online community on a weekly basis.
So we're looking at expanding
this outside of the State of Virginia
to see if this is something in the future
we can build capacity on through Zoom for anybody
interested in these certification exams.
Obviously, Virginia Tech wouldn't pay
for those as much as I love to say,
"Sure, we'll fund the certification costs for everybody."
But this is an opportunity that
the most important element of
this is building the community,
coming together on a weekly basis,
having discussions around the impact
of the training materials,
how that looks at your institution,
the impact of those resources,
and then having a set standard
for everybody to continue to build and make
progress across the university or
other institutions throughout the state
or hopefully throughout the nation.
That's a quick nutshell, if you will,
a snapshot of what's happening at Virginia Tech.
Thank you very much Mark.
It was very inspiring and interesting.
Korey, would you like to tell us a little bit more on
the strategies your implementing
in George Mason University?
You're on mute Korey.
Just unmute yourself so we can-
Thank you. Sorry about that.
Thanks Michal. Mark, good information
and I will cosign that training is excellent.
So I appreciate all of the information that
Rob Finches has been
feeding to us over the past few weeks.
I'm with George Mason University.
My name is Korey Singleton.
I'm the Assistant Technology Initiative Manager there.
We report directly to Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics.
I'm actually working under the ADA Coordinator.
We also work very closely with Disability Services
which oversees the accommodations
for students with disabilities.
So from a Technology-Accommodation standpoint,
we broadly address the needs of
employees with disabilities and visitors
with disabilities through the ADA Coordinator
and students with disabilities
through the Disability Services Office.
The ADA Coordinator also oversees physical access.
So we might pull our role over there in
that sometimes as well.
We have a very collaborative partnership,
that's why we call it Accessibility@Mason.
We're not housed necessarily under
Disability Services which is under University Life
or which would be the equivalent of say
Student Affairs or Academic
Affairs in other institutions,
but we do work very closely with them.
There are a lot of different baskets were in.
I'm going to focus on what we're doing
around the instruction
and the strategies we've
taken to address instruction at Mason.
Just briefly, I'll give some
demographic just like Mark did.
Mason is located about a half-hour
outside of Washington, DC.
We have roughly about 39,000 or so students now enrolled.
There has been a huge dedication
to growing our online learning.
This offerings in the last,
I'd say probably 8-9 years,
maybe 10 years or so,
and that's continuing to ramp up.
I think in the last two years,
I believe almost every student at
Mason has taken at least one online course,
whereas about three or four years ago,
that was maybe one in seven or one
in eight students had taken a fully online course.
So you can see there's a lot of dedication,
and what we're finding which is
interesting is that a lot of students at
Mason who may be actually on campus
are taking online courses.
So they maybe living on campus,
but still taking online courses,
which is very interesting we found over time too.
So just in the next slide,
we'll talk about what our approach is.
About eight years or so,
we put together an IT accessibility working group,
and what came out of that group was,
we decided to take a high risk-high impact approach.
So the group consisted of a lot of
different individuals from distance education,
legal counsel, compliance, diversity,
and ethics, the ATI, libraries,
faculty from the different academic units,
What we all settled on or rather we found agreement on,
that was common ground,
was that we really need to proactively
address the needs of students with sensory impairments.
We have roughly about 70 plus students,
just to give you the context,
we have roughly about 70 plus students
who fall under the category of blind, low vision,
deaf, or hard of hearing this semester.
That was upwards of 100 in fall and spring 2019,
so those numbers tend to grow,
[inaudible] depends on each year,
but we found that
we really needed to proactively address those groups.
We also found that we really needed to proactively
address the online course development process.
There are a lot online courses that were
starting to be developed at that time,
and we wanted to make sure
that accessibility was a part of that growth strategy.
So it's a two-fold approach.
Part of it was looking at legal and seeing
that there are a lot of OCR settlements
happening at a time,
where if you ended up settling,
you pretty much followed a whole institution approach,
top-down training, hiring staff,
putting in place policies.
We were doing a lot of those things without
actually having that settlement to work with.
we weren't going to sued, that was a good thing,
but also we wanted to be
proactive and follow what the law
suits in settlements were saying.
There was pushback in terms of
going the whole institution route,
we couldn't really give full-scale training
because there were a lot of people would just say,
just like Mark was pointing out,
we don't have time, we don't have the resources,
you can't require this.
So that's why we've settled behind.
We can actually really target
all those students with sensory impairments
who are taking courses.
We can also target those online courses
that are being developed,
and then start capacity building
around accessibility and universal design there.
So Mason took a very targeted approach
going forward. Next slide.
Just to highlight those strategic
partnerships a little bit more,
we work with disability services
to identify the students with
sensory loss and what courses they're going to be taking.
We do pre-semester faculty training workshops
but those faculty members that are
specifically teaching those courses,
and usually that happens somewhere between
2-4 weeks before classes start.
I'll talk about what we're doing
to take the next steps with
that approach in a few slides.
We also work very closely with the Stearns Center.
Stearns Center is like a hub
for teaching and learning on campus.
It's where the distance education folks
in the instructional design team are housed,
it's the center for teaching faculty excellence.
It is not a house.
There are a lot of instructional
design training workshops for faculty.
For example, there was a six-week cohort which
is built around teaching
faculty on how to develop
one module and open online course,
one week of that,
six weeks is actually dedicated solely to accessibility.
So we provide training in that respect.
There are also a year-long grant funded efforts,
which usually one faculty member working with
an instructional designer over the course of the year
to build up an entire online course.
So what you'll find is that accessibility is heavily
integrated in that depth development process as well.
We also offer courses accessibility reviews,
which we've done roughly 125 or
so over the past four years or so now,
and working closely with the Stearns Center.
So I point those different things out to
say that even though there's a heavy emphasis on
technology accommodations through disability services and
also online course development
through the Stearns Center,
you'll actually find that you're making
a pretty big impact as you move forward.
A lot of the faculty members
are teaching face-to-face courses,
a lot of the faculty members are moving
on to teach other online courses.
They share a lot of what we
share actually directly with other faculty members ,
and we find that a lot of things get and are being
through word of mouth from people who've
received training in one way or another.
So it's pretty interesting
in how that's grown organically,
just taken a targeted approach.
I mentioned some of our other partnerships
here, Information Technology Services,
which is our efforts working with identifying
strategies and tips for making
blackboard courses more accessible, Kaltura.
Architecture Standards Review Board is
actually where we purchase procurement,
that's kind of our purchasing for Kearney group,
and as members not only from different areas within ITS,
but also are accessibility folks.
So we get a chance to review
incoming technology purchases and
provide feedback to those people who are
actually making those purchases on our campus.
We also have worked closely with the library and with
the folks handling web development.
So we try to target,
what are the universities
supported applications, in this instance,
Blackboard, Kaltura, WordPress, Drupal,
which is our front-facing
multimedia content for our main pages.
So by going in all of those targeted areas,
by working with the Stearns Center,
about working with Disability Services,
we end up going to those for
lack of a better term right now checkpoints,
the places where faculty members
actually go for training.
So instead of us necessarily having to be
the face of accessibility all the time,
we can actually go to those different checkpoints.
One of the things we had to do to
actually make things happen was to
meet faculty members in the middle,
Mark mentioned training,
and how you run into situations where
faculty members are enabled
to do some of the things that you train them to do.
We actually reoriented our services
to be able to meet faculty members where they are.
So we actually started providing captioning and
transcription support services about eight years ago,
where captioning is centralized out of our office,
faculty members can submit requests.
We will caption that content
and get it back to them to be
able to use in their classroom.
Again, going the targeted route of
identifying those students with hearing loss,
but also working through courses that are being
actively developed through
our office of digital learning.
Over the years, we've found that there was
a lot of buy-in around captioning and
transcription and a lot of
the faculty members that were coming to
us not because they participated in training,
because the faculty member in
their department got captions,
said that the process was really easy,
it was quick to turnaround,
and so then other faculty members just
started showing up to take advantage of the service.
So piggybacking off of that,
we found that we needed to offer document remediation
and web accessibility support as well.
Documentary remediation will focus on PowerPoint,
Word, and PDF documents.
Again, we're training people on how
to do all these things on their own,
but most actually will submit the content
in order for us to remediate it for them to
ensure that their content is accessible.
As it relates to web accessibility,
that's more of so reviewing
the applications that are being used in courses websites,
third-party websites that are being used in
courses so that we can make
sure that the resources that are being
implemented are also accessible
to students who may be sign in.
So it may be if a faculty member decides to use Piazza
or some infographic from
some beautiful third party website that they decide,
we can give them feedback on
what works and what won't work as
relates to students that may be taking those courses.
So in that way, we're trying to go
beyond just videos and documents,
to think about broadly,
how are you designing instruction,
and how can you provide
maybe alternative assessments for students
who may not be able to participate
in some of these activities.
The hope is that there are assessments
that can be done
designed for all to sit down and participate in,
but that's not always the case.
Certainly with certain subjects,
it's just not possible to do.
So for that reason, we want to give
people options and think broadly
about how to meet the needs of
many students who are sitting in those classes.
So I mentioned earlier the next steps
and this builds off of what we've
been doing with disability services.
So we've been calling that the
Mason Academic Accessibility Plans.
Again, this is targeted
towards students with sensory loss.
But the idea is not just to
focus on the courses that they'll be
taking say for example now in Summer 2020,
but we want to look at Fall 2020,
Spring 2021, and so on.
So we identify not only the students,
but the degree programs that they're enrolled in,
the academic advisers that
they're going to be working with,
the department chairs, the
schools and colleges that they're enrolled in.
The idea is that if we can craft a way to ensure
that the students with sensory impairments,
that the courses that they will be
taking are as accessible as possible,
and we start our training efforts there,
then that's something that naturally branches out to
a lot of different areas within the department.
Those students are enrolled in every college or school,
they're enrolled in a lot of different degree programs,
and I'll give you an example
of what that looks like in the next slide.
So this is just an example of what it looked like
when we started talking about in Fall 2019 rather.
There were roughly about 69
students with sensory impairments,
approximately 2-5 courses per student.
That worked out in 2019, 270 different courses.
Over 264 instructional faculty
that should be targeting for training.
Every college and schools represented
55 different degree programs,
that's one in 10 degree programs at Mason.
So why do I mention all of those numbers?
Those numbers are useful when we go
and have conversations up the chain.
One of the things that we benefit from
by being under Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics,
is the ADA coordinator who is actually
the Associate Director of CDE
and she reports directly to the Vice President for CDE.
The Vice President reports directly to
the University President and sits on
the Exec Counsel for the university.
So it's easy to push those numbers up the chain and say,
this is the impact of what we need to do.
This is the message that we're trying to push across.
For us, being able to bring numbers to the fight,
and I mention fight because often times,
it's a struggle to try
and get that information out there.
It has been really helpful for us.
So I will turn it over to Ric now and go from that.
Korey, that was very interesting.
Thank you. Thanks again.
I love it.
Ric, this is your turn,
tell us what's happening in FIT.
Thank you Michal and it's wonderful to be
able to speak with you all today virtually, as it were.
So let me tell you a little bit about myself in
the Fashion Institute of Technology here in New York.
I'm a Program Director with our IT division
and I oversee the charge of Media
and Event Technology Services.
Our group does everything
from classroom, faculty support,
to instructional technology design,
and conference production, and media production.
So we find ourselves having
a hand on a lot of the initiatives that are out there.
Today, I want to start with the good news, I guess.
We're part of the State University of New York system.
It has 64 institutions across the state of New York.
We are now rolling out
an electronic and information
technology accessibility initiative
that is pretty widespread.
It prescribes to have
any EITA officer on each one of the campuses to
oversee assurance of all these measures
and to really implement them as it continues to grow.
The four areas of focus within
the initiative, I've got them listed here.
Web accessibility that some of you spoke about earlier.
Classroom accessibility that gets to the
architectural and the technology selection process.
We're working with our library as well.
It's a big focus on student life there,
and digital content accessibility.
So very similar theme.
So what we're all looking at
sounds universally out there.
But FIT really does look at and always has looked at
accessibility as part of our core diversity mission.
It gets back to enabling all learners that have
an inclusive environment regardless
of your background or ability.
So with that, I guess go to the next slide here.
That's a look at today's state
and I think the future's bright in that regard,
but it certainly was not always the case.
Recently, the low hanging fruit that I found when I
came in the organization and
working from the technology perspective,
our event venues where we
do a lot of our live productions
and we're involved in
the architectural work putting those together,
there were no real prescribed accessibility
beyond baseline ADA standards.
There were no methodical accommodations for people with
listening trouble or really just any alternatives.
Digital signage was another category
where the campus was really excited to
get into this category and
start using it for internal communications,
but it really was viewed more
as almost an artistic platform,
then a communication mechanism
that can be used universally.
Then, of course, video captioning.
Probably, how I came to this conversation today.
But early on, my team started to identify needs for
high-quality accessible media usually by requests
and we had to come up with a solution that
would be readily available,
rapidly available, high-quality, human,
it couldn't just be the machine language
that started to become invoke.
It also had to scale well because this
was an increasing need on the campus,
not just a one-off special event.
So that's the challenges we ran up against,
but in the next slide here.
Some of the, we were able to meet those challenges,
for example, before it was
really required by the initiatives out there,
just implementing our own standards and
saying we should be doing something
universal throughout our large event venues
and then filtering down
smaller and smaller as we start to upgrade the campus.
Video transcription and captioning
was quickly a standard for us
and something that became indispensable
as the institutionalization went forward.
Then, in the digital signage spaces,
we began to design and implement these.
It was from an accessible first perspective,
so we built that right into the core aesthetic.
So we could have experiences that were more
meaningful for a broader cross-section
of people who would be taking advantage of them,
and without compromising any of the design intent.
So I think it's been
really good that our campus has been able
to really embrace this with
both arms and just move through this process.
But it really has, I think,
raised the bar for all students and
all guests at the college.
We find that, for example,
I say the assisted listening system in our theaters,
in order to accommodate that,
it forced us to be
more mindful of the sound systems we are implementing.
Lo and behold, when we have press events now,
those sound systems are
already pre-engineered to have
multiple outputs that we can
feed mixes to for these things
to bring in special equipment or ad hoc redesigns.
It's just a more thoughtful design process that
happened at the beginning and
we're reaping the benefits of that now.
The video accessibility, I
personally wish this was more of a
standardized going through college because having
searchable text transcripts assigned to
all the video product that we have out there in the wild,
it makes it so much easier to go
through lecture material or
even live events for our communication purposes,
we'll often stream eight-hour museum symposia.
To be able to pinpoint a part of
that presentation and really
get into it without having to go
through the exhaustive video,
it just has so much power.
So something I would have loved when I was younger.
Into the digital signage too,
we find that having the signage less of
an art piece and more an openly interactive element,
it really does cause people to get the message.
They do interact with the content, they do explore more,
and I think that pays good dividends as well.
So kind of short and sweet one,
but I was hoping we keep maybe
have a little bit more conversation.
I love what my colleagues here we're saying.
I'm definitely going to steal some of
your experiences as we
continue to really ingrain this in our community fabric
because it's a worthy cause,
and there's always challenges,
but some really elegant ways of
meeting those challenges. What I'm hearing.
Thank you so much Ric.
So now I want to move to some questions.
It is time for you to
send us questions in the Q&A feature.
I'll start with the first question.
This is for George Mason,
for you Korey:
For the accessible media and the mediation therapist,
is there a fund that helps support that service?
If so, have these fund organized?
Yeah, we receive baseline just cross them all.
Sorry, talk about the originating part.
You mean where they originate from?
Okay. So initially when we started the process,
we received a grant for $20,000 to kind of get started,
and so we pretty much have kept that the entire time.
Right now it's at about 25,000 that we receive annually,
but it's backstopped by central funds at the university.
So if we run over the 25,000
university just pays
the rest of it at the end of the year.
We've averaged probably about 28,000 to
30,000 annually over the last four or five years,
with it jumping up to as much as 50,000 plus last year.
So the goal of this year is to
try to get a budget of
50 and then continue
to have it backs up by central funds,
but that's pretty much how it works out.
Okay. Next question is also for you Korey.
Is it your faculty who are creating
the stability materials for their courses?
Are you experiencing any pushback from
them on the amount of the work that is added?
Are you asking them to return
and do the same previous courses?
Yes. We always receive pushback.
Mark alluded to this earlier.
You're always going to get pushback,
which is why we had to put services in
place to meet faculty members in the middle.
So for example, with documents,
what we started asking faculty members to do,
we used to ask them to do everything.
But when you start thinking about
a word document and maybe 10 different things you're
asking folks to do and
you're getting pushback on all those things.
But it's actually not really difficult for us
to restructure a document for us,
for a faculty member.
What is difficult for us is to
provide alternative text descriptions,
because they actively chose to use
whatever images or multimedia that they're going to use.
So with them being a subject matter experts,
we asked them to provide
alternative text descriptions and we
will actually go ahead and try restructure the content.
Meaning like writing headings and things like that.
Most faculty members will
probably send it to us to do all of the restructuring.
They have not pushed back when it
comes alternative texts because
they realize all of the other stuff
that we're not asking them to do.
So that was a way for us to find some common ground,
like us asking you
to do all these other things may be a challenge for you,
but you can provide the descriptions because you are
the one who actually made the decision about that image.
So that's one way to take a step forward.
With captioning and transcription, to be honest,
when we put some services,
we put a tool in place to allow
faculty members to go and basically get
automatic speech recognition and then go in and clean up
their own captioning and it wasn't happening.
We did that for about a year and a half,
almost two years before you
actually put the service in place.
So we invested this money,
we provided all of this training around campus.
We have one staff member take advantage of
it separately as a part of a grant.
So we just figured
that the only way that this was going to
happen is if we took a step
forward and actually provided this service.
That's what I think we found with
things over the years that certain things are not
going to happen to the way we need them to
happen unless we meet faculty members where they are.
Next question is for you Ric:
How is captioning for your live streams facility?
I love that. I'm very glad someone asked that,
because we actually are starting to do
some newer things in that category as
early as this week because of the coronavirus situation.
We have a public board that has to vote on matters of
the college and one of the requirements is
those obviously have to be publicly available.
When you can't invite the public to an open session,
your only option then becomes
to livestream it and caption it.
So worked with VerbIt this week
to put together a solution using
our livestream provider and
have the live text added to the page in real time,
which is a really neat application to see that happening.
It was a beautiful implementation where it worked with
the quick responsiveness of the AI
doing its work and then the human cleanup work
that came a few instances behind it.
So we had a really nice transcript
that came as a cause of that.
We're also engineering a lot of other mechanisms,
because as this continues to be the mode going forward,
more and more live streams and live real time events,
we want to have highly
available systems in place for that.
So we use a lot of cues from broadcast,
the same kind of technologies
that your local weather station will
use to do a cut in the middle of the night.
If the tornadoes coming, they might not have time
to schedule a transcriptions weeks in advance.
So having the AI tool set at your hands is
definitely a huge benefit without compromising
the quality that your audience really deserves.
So I hope that answers the question,
but yeah, we're doing a lot in that space now.
It's some of the core innovation
that I really got into this line of work for.
Thank you, Ric. So time is up for us.
We need to run to the next session,
so I'd like to thank you,
all the panelists; Ric, Mark, and Korey.
Thank you so much for collaborating with
us and came here to speak today.
I hope all of you got a lot of
best practices and inspiration for
how to implement that in your school.
We're moving to the next session.
Thank you, everybody.
Thank you all.
Thank you, Michal.
Thank you, everyone.
Thank you, Michal.