Meet the Staff: Steve Covello, MS

Contrary to the implications of his official title of “Rich Media Specialist,” Steve Covello’s responsibilities are diverse. Rich media encompasses a combination of:

  • communication platforms,
  • non-text media such as video,
  • online interaction,
  • images,
  • and instructional design.

 

Steve explains, “I see my role here as an intermediary between ‘what is’ and ‘what could be’. I evaluate whether certain tools, techniques, and systems would improve our students’ and faculty’s online experiences, test them in our Ed Tech lab, and then present the ones that show evidence that they will be successful with our faculty and operations.”  All of this happens within the framework of promoting sound instructional design practice. I see my role here as an intermediary between “what is” and “what could be”.

But wait, there is more. Steve also creates instructional documentation, works one on-one-with faculty on rich media integration, and facilitates orientations and workshops for both students and faculty.

Since then Steve has been working on several major projects for the college, including:

  • Chalk & Wire e-portfolio system:  Graduate students will be using Chalk & Wire to create a collection of their academic work, professional profile information, and programmatic reflection throughout their academic career.
  • Kaltura streaming server: the Kaltura plugin is available via your Moodle course so that you can upload videos directly into your course. The benefit of uploading video media files to Kaltura rather than directly into your course is that they won’t eat-up the bandwith of the Moodle server (i.e. slow Moodle down for everyone) and the media file will run on any player… which will eliminate those calls from students saying they can’t watch the video!  Kaltura is available as one of the options in the “Add a resource” drop-down menu of your Moodle course.
  • Faculty Resource Center:  This new online resource is your one-stop-shop for faculty resources.   It was developed on a WordPress foundation, which allows multiple authors to contribute to the content.  The content will continue to grow and evolve in the near future.  In fact, if you are reading this paragraph you are on the Faculty Resource Center at http://teach.granite.edu.

Is your head spinning?  Steve warns, “There are a number of websites out there, but it is important not to become too tangled up with everything that is happening right now. We are amidst a Golden Era in the development of webtools and platforms that could be used in online instruction.”  But if you want one to start with, he recommends: http://www.scoop.it/t/e-learning-and-online-teaching

As much as he is fascinated by recent advances, Steve still believes that faculty are the most important factor in the online learning ecology.  The questions he emphasizes include: How well are our online courses constructed within the Moodle environment? How well do we surround rich media with context, active engagement, and discussion that elicits critical thinking? What tools and platforms do students use to present evidence that learning outcomes have been achieved, and how do we assess them?

To learn more about Steve Covello, see his staff bio.

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