Is Video in Your Future?
A former U.S. in-plant manager, who now oversees audio visual services at a New Zealand university, discusses how video and print can work together to provide a multimedia approach to learning.December 2012 By Jean-Luc Devis
I have worked in the printing industry for 35 years, most of that time as an in-plant manager. And though I've thoroughly enjoyed my career in printing, when I was offered the chance six months ago to come to the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand, to lead a new group called the Learning Technologies Support Unit (LTS), I jumped at the opportunity.
Though my work here—overseeing audio visual services, video conferencing services and a video production unit—is much different than what I did as an in-plant manager, there are similarities. And there are also lessons in what I do here that I feel other in-plant managers can learn from.
Like printers, we work behind the scenes. Faculty don't necessarily see what we do, but my team consists of outstanding technical experts. What I'm really proud of is that they are a very service-oriented team. They treat each of the faculty members and students as customers; they try to get out there and make sure things are going well, because they realize the importance of it.
Among the services we provide at LTS are the automated audio and video recording of lectures. We produce short movies and video clips, some of them for marketing to inform prospective students of capabilities, others for creating awareness of university events, but most of them for teaching purposes.
Supporting the Teaching Mission
My group, LTS, was consolidated into the Digital Media Group (DMG) over the past year. This group includes the University of Canterbury's in-plant, Canterbury Education Printing Services (CEPS), and the Electronic Media Learning Team (ELM). Together our mission is to inform, enrich and support the university's learning and teaching practice through personalized learning across a range of multi-media technologies. That's a mouthful of words that really says we provide teaching tools tailored to increase faculty effectiveness for teaching students.
Our team works to provide faculty the tools necessary to create a more holistic learning experience for the students—which is essentially the mission of every higher-ed in-plant. This involves deploying emerging digital technologies along with the more traditional ones. As part of the Digital Media Group we are capable of pooling together our ideas and resources to create an even better, richer learning experience for our students.
A veteran of five different in-plants over the past 35 years, Jean-Luc Devis is a familiar face in the in-plant industry. He most recently served as Washington State Printer, and prior to that spent four years as director of Printing & Mailing Services at Oregon State University. You can contact him at the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand at: Jean-Luc.Devis@canterbury.ac.nz