Next time you’re looking for photo, illustration or digital 3D model to support your lecture or laboratory activity, consider stopping by WesternU’s new EdMedia Multimedia Repository at http://edmedia.westernu.edu. Launched in October 2016, the Repository was the brainchild of Adam Hain, a recent graduate of Cal Poly Pomona’s Masters Program in Instructional Design and integral part of CAPE’s faculty development team. Adam’s idea for the Repository began as a masters project, with the goal of reducing duplication of effort and making available to all of WesternU’s nine colleges a wide range of digital assets for medical education.
Unlike digital.westernu.edu, which provides images of university places, people and events, the focus of the EdMedia Repository is on academic resources. Digital assets have been organized into 7 media categories, ranging from individual photos and medical illustrations to entire interactive lessons using Articulate and Unity3D. The assets in each category include home grown assets developed by faculty and IT personnel, as well as copyright-free commercial resources. The site was developed in collaboration with the Pumerantz Library, which has access to its own media repositories.
In addition to the downloadable images and illustrations, the site includes links to working lessons and demos, as well as a Media Resources area with links to Open Educational Resources (OER), free or open source software, and stock images.
The site was built on a WordPress platform with help from Web Designer Anastasia Yakorkhina. The simple but elegant design draws attention to the digital assets while providing a user-friendly interface for browsing and downloading.
One of the challenges the development team faced was how to display certain assets – such as 3D models – in a form that could be evaluated by potential users. The solution came in the form of an external app called Sketchfab, which can be I-framed into a Repository web page. The Sketchfab app allows the user to rotate the 3D image to view it from all angles.
Another ongoing challenge is to ensure that digital assets uploaded to the Repository include copyright restrictions, acquisition data, and projects using the model, as well as MeSH headings, tags and other metadata to facilitate searches.
The EdMedia Multimedia Repository is currently accessible to all faculty, staff, and students with the appropriate WesternU credentials. During the rollout phase all media are publicly available, however users will soon authenticate with their single sign on ID to access all media – safeguarding the contributor’s intellectual property. Plans for the future include partnerships with faculty innovators and collaboration with other health professions repositories. Also on the horizon is watermarking of all media to provide effortless and accurate attribution for users. While the site was launched primarily with assets provided through external websites or in-house multimedia developers, Adam hopes more faculty will contribute to the site, “While I anticipate for the repository to be a great resource for finding media, I hope its real strength becomes its ability to facilitate sharing and collaboration on media between faculty members.”
Click EdMedia in the menu bar of the Teach Tech website or go to http://edmedia.westernu.edu to begin exploring this rich academic resource. For more information, contact:
Adam Hain, MA, Instructional Designer for CAPE, at firstname.lastname@example.org