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Lightboard offers more options for teachers, students

OKLAHOMA CITY – When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City shifted 85% of its courses to an online/hybrid format, the change posed a big problem for classes utilizing formulas, equations and drawings.

Instructors had their back to the camera while writing on a whiteboard. They needed a way to make online classes more personable and friendly, a way to better connect with their students.

OSU-OKC Library Director Elaine Regier came up with a solution, and the Roy & Marian Holleman Foundation provided a $10,000 grant to fund it. The money was used to purchase a lightboard studio package for instructors and students to use in the library. 

The package provides clear lightboards, recording equipment and recording software that flips the video to display the writing and the instructor’s face at the same time.

“Switching to the clear lightboard allows instructors to face the camera while writing.  The software then flips the video so that the writing is properly displayed for viewing,” Regier said. “Students can actually see the instructor’s face during the recorded lesson while also viewing any equations or drawings.”

For students who are uncomfortable with the online environment, OSU-OKC is doing everything possible to improve the experience and ease the stress they feel, said Jackie Weston, senior director of institutional grants and compliance. 

“This technology provides a friendly, personal touch to the online experience because of the ability to face the camera while writing on the board,” Weston said.  

Regier said the technology is great for students who must complete video assignments for their classes or demonstrate the use of equations. They also can complete projects involving analysis of images and documents and prepare class presentations, she said.

“Most students would not have access to this type of equipment, and some do not have access to video cameras of any kind,” Regier said.

Providing the equipment in the library allows students to create quality products and helps prepare them for the workplace, she said.

The equipment also provides opportunities for library professionals to collaborate with faculty to create and present high-quality instruction and to lead informational literacy conversations.

Providing innovative technology for the creation, distribution and consumption of information is a core function of the educational role of an academic library, Weston said.