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DELTA Tour Highlights Innovative People, Products and Places

Helen Chen learning about how DELTA technology supports online learning from Tony Pearson, Shawn Colvin and Leisa Bolles during the tour.

What better way to demonstrate some of the areas DELTA excels in than with a guided tour featuring a few of the stars in the organization? Assistant Vice Provost for Marketing and Communications Kathy Harper came up with the tour idea to show how DELTA does an excellent job with “technology, partnerships and people.”

Harper led the recent walking tour for Senior Vice Provost for Instructional Programs Helen Chen and Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving Reshunda Mahone to showcase many of the DELTA work spaces and services. In addition, many DELTA employees participated along the way to share stories about their work.

I was surprised to learn of the many ways NC State University is promoted through the outreach and technology provided within DELTA,” Mahone said. “My mind is opened to the unlimited possibilities to reach our NC State alumni and friends, and expose them to the ways we are Thinking and Doing the Extraordinary within DELTA.”

Three other DELTA leaders served as tour guides along with Harper — Director of Media Production Services Leisa Bolles, Senior Director of Digital Learning Stacy Gant and Senior Director of Academic Technology David Howard.

“I wanted folks to see and experience the scope of things that DELTA does first-hand,” Howard said. “The tour provided an opportunity for highlighting the fact that we don’t just provide awesome technology (though we do). We also provide an amazing set of support services to NC State’s faculty members delivered by the knowledgeable, collaborative people who work for DELTA.”

Howard also added the most impactful part of the tour was “seeing all the ways that we impact teaching and learning at NC State and hearing from colleagues about the passion we have for solving problems and helping faculty.”

Harper joined DELTA in February of 2022 and is appreciative of all the support and guidance she has experienced from her colleagues at NC State.

“While I had the idea for the tour Stacy, David and their teams did all the heavy lifting. They jumped in not only to make it happen, but to make it awesome,” said Harper. “As someone new to DELTA, I really enjoyed the tour and learned a lot as well. I’m so glad to be here and be part of DELTA. It is exciting to be able to share and highlight how DELTA is making such a positive difference for faculty and students at NC State.” 

Highlighted Areas of DELTA

CTI Mini Studios

Director of Digital Media Innovation Mike Cuales and Immersive Media Developer Stephen Waddell kicked off the guided tour by providing an overview of XR technologies being developed by the DELTA team. One of the projects highlighted on this stop was a 360 VR video experience produced for the Shelton Leadership Center to address generational differences in the workforce. 

DELTA has a range of mixed-use studios available for production including mini-studios available for faculty members who would like to record course content for online delivery at no cost. The other two are located on the Main Campus in the Ricks Hall Annex (Rooms 133 and 145). They are user-friendly environments that require little training and expertise to operate. 

Instructors who are not scheduled to teach in a Panopto-equipped classroom often use the mini-studios to record lectures, exam or topic reviews, course introductions or overviews, guest lectures and any other content which needs to be recorded for online delivery.

If you need a reservation to use the mini-studios as an Online and Distance Education instructor, you can complete this form. For other registration and records requests, NC State offers a variety of different classroom resources.

IST Team Meeting with Faculty Fellows

Director of Instructional Support and Training Bethany Smith welcomed the tour participants to a meeting focused on best practices for identifying students who need extra support. They were exploring reports and gathering feedback on IntelliBoard, a new instructional tool. Faculty viewpoints are critical to developing training and documentation to support IntelliBoard usage on campus.

DELTA Faculty Fellows are grant recipients who have been employed at NC State for at least five years. They share instructional best practices with colleagues by leading workshops, publishing articles and presenting at conferences.

Educational Media Design

Associate Director of Educational Media Donnie Wrights and his team showcased several instructional media projects. One involved an interactive augmented reality (AR) lesson on how to examine a horse while the other centered on attracting users from different parts of the world to an NC State Spanish language course.

DELTA staff members have a wealth of experience producing courses and instructional materials based on sound instructional design principles. By using their services, educators collaborate to create stimulating and engaging learning experiences which help students to thrive.

Often, the best way to access these resources is through the DELTA Grants. In addition, faculty members can get advice and recommended resources for incorporating instructional media into their teaching toolkits through instructional consultations.

Central Control Room (CCR)

DELTA’s Video Communication Services (VCS) team works diligently behind the scenes to record content for NC State’s distance education classes. Senior Associate Director of Video Communication Services Tony Pearson and IT Manager of Tech Support Shawn Colvin provided an overview of the classroom technology support DELTA provides. During the time of the tour, six classes were in action and were being monitored by VCS staff.

CCR went through a complete overhaul of the classroom source monitoring system, essentially rebuilding the system from scratch using internet protocol (IP) technology, during the summer of 2019. The transition was necessary due to the aging infrastructure that required the multiviewer system, used to transmit and distribute media from DELTA classrooms to CCR, to be decommissioned. 

Immediately following the overhaul, technicians had greater flexibility and the ability to monitor more classroom source signals at any given point to efficiently manage their daily workload. The larger screens at the workstations provide a better view inside the classrooms.

“We want faculty to focus on teaching while utilizing technology to enhance learning in our media-rich classroom environment. Our team thrives on customer service and the goal is to provide a student-centered, on-campus classroom experience to the distance students,” said Colvin. “Our technicians are certified professionals and utilize established quality control measures to ensure captured lectures meet VCS standards before they are released to students.”

John Gordon shares information about video projects with Reshunda Mahone, Helen Chen and David Howard.

Instructional Media Productions Studio

Associate Director of Instructional Media Production (IMP) John Gordon and team showed off the high-end, impactful videos his team produces on the last stop of the tour. The studio is located in Park Shops and serves as headquarters for this talented group of media creators.

While they have an impressive base of operations, this team offers field production as well — taking students to places they cannot travel to in person. They are able to deliver the experience to the viewer’s location which enhances accessibility and remote learning opportunities.

Gordon explained that IMP is different from other media creators on the NC State campus.  IMP focuses on instructional design principles when creating media and then they bring a cinema quality to the entire production.  

“Our goal with every project is to stand out for the ease in which students comprehend material while watching and hearing very-high quality produced instructional media,” explained Gordon.

DELTA has produced videos from a variety of locations such as laboratories, factories, farms, arenas and more. Additionally, the studio allows for innovation and production of immersive technologies like 360° video and photogrammetry which allow students and faculty to experience and engage with digital objects and environments in a whole new way. 

Just like the educational media team, the DELTA video producers offer a wealth of expertise in producing courses and instructional materials based on sound instructional design principles. They also provide resources through the DELTA Grants programs and instructional consultations.

A few examples of DELTA field production are as follows:

Want to see more examples of DELTA’s video production services? Take a look at our portfolio page.