We’ve taken you behind the scenes for a few of the UVU Aviation educational technology team’s project shoots this past year. You got to see it here first when various projects were released on YouTube. But what about the big picture? Here’s a closer look at what the educational technology group does to strengthen the aviation program here at UVU. This will be the first in a series of blog posts this year highlighting the various teams that come together here at UVU’s School of Aviation Sciences.
Realizing the role media and technology could play in improving the quality of education, a little over four years ago, the educational technology team began formulating a vision for developing and building interactive educational activities, videos and promotional pieces for UVU’s School of Aviation Sciences, as it sought to improve aviation curriculum and the experience of UVU students. The quality was of such significance that in 2011 the team was selected as a world semifinalist in the Adobe Innovation in Education awards.
In addition to engaging technology-enhanced activities, the team sought to tell the historical and emotional significance of aviation through the Animated History of Aviation Video. The video quickly went viral and reached people around the world, being featured on sites like the Huffington Post, local news websites, AVweb, FlightAware and others. Since then, dozens of museums, universities, airports, teachers and even an airline marketing firm have requested to use the video.
About 18 months later, the team began work on a long-term vision to create ultra high definition aviation content, sharing a common goal of helping students to maximize their learning and showing aspects of aviation that have never been shared. One of the first projects the team took on was an interview with Candy Bomber Gail Halvorsen, whose story and message of selfless service has impacted all who’ve heard it.
Shortly after, the team was called upon to create a video documenting the National Intercollegiate Flying Association regional event hosted by UVU. The video showed the competition in ways it had never been seen before by most outsiders. The video grabbed the attention of the national NIFA board and UVU was invited to capture the national event in Ohio the following spring, where UVU competed for the first time. More than 10,000 people have seen the video and UVU quickly gained recognition for their contributions at the collegiate aviation level.
The educational technology team also is responsible for the design of the aviation website, one of the most visited of the entire university. Those searching for aviation degrees and aviation online programs will likely find UVU in the top results on popular search engines like Google because search engine optimization has been a high priority of the team. Current UVU students benefit from a seamless user experience that includes a dynamic back end IT infrastructure overseen by the educational technology staff with a near perfect record of operational reliability for online courses.
Social media is another important function tasked to the educational technology team. The team was recently praised for its forward-thinking focus on students and its representation of UVU through a strong social media presence. In addition to The RADAR blog, students, faculty and staff can connect and interact on Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram, where students can share their own content with the hashtag #flyuvu.
Fast forward four years and nearly 400,000 You Tube Views, 158 videos and more than 70 educational activities later, you might wonder what more can the team accomplish? Well, it’s not just UVU aviation students who have taken note of the team’s commitment to quality. The team has caught the eye of the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy and the Federal Aviation Administration, who have been working with UVU to demonstrate how engaged learning through thoughtful instructional design and the leveraging of multimedia and technology can drastically improve training, while also producing a financial benefit to their respective organizations. In addition to working with these organizations, the team has taken on the lofty goal of developing a multimedia rich private pilot course which is expected to be released in part sometime late 2015.
What’s next on A Closer Look? Check back next month for a feature on our aviation maintenance team.