Sherry Hutson

Sheey Hutson's website screenshot

COM455/ART 475: Multimedia Production and Editing

Ms. Hutson has taught “COM 455/ART 475: Multimedia Production and Image Editing” many times over the past several years. The course is taught in a computer lab, with plenty of opportunity for one-on-one assistance to students while they learn sophisticated software and techniques.

With the growth of online courses and programs, Hutson has been considering the challenge of offering the multimedia course in an online format. As the Internet has matured, audio and video are now viable options for offering rich content online. Hutson sees great potential in using those media to replace the hands-on, personalized assistance she can offer in a face-to-face meeting.

During the Fall ’05 semester, Hutson began experimenting with podcasting. She placed three of her course lectures in an audio-only podcast format, and asked current students to evaluate the material and the medium. The results confirmed her notion that podcasting lecture material can be quite valuable.

According to Hutson, podcasting can be extremely valuable for:

  • Students who wish to go back and review material they did not “get” the first time;
  • Students who do not like to take notes during a demo of computer techniques – they prefer to work along with the instructor – and then review the podcast later;
  • Students who face particular challenges with reading, writing, attention-span, and similar disabilities.

Over the next year, Hutson plans to produce more multimedia lecture and demonstration material in both audio-only and video podcast formats, with an eye toward taking the course completely online someday.


What’s New on the UIS Website

What New at UISSherry Hutson is the UIS Website Developer and oversees all aspects of the UIS website. In the spring of 2005, she began collaborating with the Development Office on a way to stay in touch with donors, alumni, and friends of UIS by keeping them informed about new and interesting web pages at UIS. Hutson began sending an email titled “Whats’s New on the UIS Website” to a large mailing list once each month, featuring five websites at UIS.

In October 2005, Hutson added two new distribution methods to the mix. She created a “What’s New” web page, where the five websites of the month are featured, along with the previous month’s selections.

She also created an Enhanced Podcast with the same material. The enhanced podcast includes a music bed under the narrative about the featured websites, as well as thumbnail images of each of the featured sites. On each image is a link that the user can click to go to the featured website.

The Enhanced Podcast is a subscription service in iTunes. Once a user downloads one of the monthly podcasts, future episodes will automatically appear in their iTunes software.

Hutson also listed the “What’s New” podcast in several podcast directories including Yahoo, Apple’s Education podcast directory, Podcast Bunker, and others.

Hutson’s students also weighed in on the “What’s New” podcast and agreed that it is a valuable marketing technique that young people especially will appreciate and respond to. They also were somewhat “spoiled” by the additional production value – music and pictures – and said they would prefer to have those elements included in course lecture podcasts as well.

Listen to the “On the Web at Illinois Springfield” podcast