ORIGINAL QUERY from Sarah Benton, Community Academy for Lifelong Learning, PA
Do any programs ever videotape courses and then sell or loan them to the membership? If yes, what fee do you charge and what types of courses do you videotape?

From Ely Myerson, Florida Atlantic University, FL
I suggest that you be cautious before you go into the video taping business, for two reasons: students who borrow or buy the tapes will likely not come to the course and given the limited pricing that will work, it is unlikely that you will make much $ from the deal.

From Michael Markowitz, IRP, New School University, NY

We only tapes performances of our theatre group which we make available at cost.

From Tricia Inlow-Hatcher, Encore Center, NC State university, NC
The Encore Center at NC State University videotapes on average one course per year. The courses are available for rental and are also shown on our local educational television channel (we offer this as a public service to the community). We rent the tapes to retirement communities and senior centers for $50 and to our members for $20. One piece of advice to those considering this -- the best courses to videotape are those with a lot of bells and whistles. Instructors who use a lot of audiovisuals are going to translate better to video than those who mostly talk and discuss.

From Sarah Fletcher, Furman University ILR, SC
Furman University Learning in Retirement (FULIR) is located in Greenville, SC. Our program has been growing since its inception in 1993. We now have about 560 students each term and offer over 70 courses per term. FULIR has video taped a few courses in the past. One of our most popular instructors has taught several different classes on Shakespeare. He is excellent and very popular. We often have enrollments of 80 to 90 students in his class each time his courses are offered. A former Furman student who is now a doctor offered to pay for the video taping of some of the Shakespeare classes. We charged a break-even cost for the videos when the course was over. ( I think they were $3-$4, or something like that, for each class in the 10-week term). Actually we didn't sell many sets. I have one set in the office that is available for loan, but it is rarely requested. Even though this professor is a wonderful lecturer, I think many people don't enjoy a "talking head" video. The courses met for 10 weeks, with one and a half hour classes each week.

From Mary Pat Bohrman, ALL, University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL
We have attempted to do this for a special program we presented, but the cost of doing it was prohibitive. We previously had a member videotape a class for future use, but the quality was so poor that it wasn’t useable. Would love to hear ideas on how to work around the professional charges for taping.

From Kali Lightfoot, OLLI, University of S. Maine, Portland, Me
Our conclusion has been that while people think this will be a great idea and they have occasionally talked us into taping a course, nobody ever actually looks at the tapes!

From Wilbur Birky, LLI of Elkhart County, IN
We have done so for only one of the 14 courses we have offered so far (we are a relatively new program). We did so at the request of some of those registered. In that case one of the class members volunteered to do it, then basically charged at his cost--and I don't remember what that was. But I believe only 5 or so of the 50 registrants purchased the CDs.

From Janette Brown, Emeriti College, University of Southern California
No, we do not. If we tape them, we host them on our website for free.

From Peter Rivera, Center for Lifelong Learning, University of TX, El Paso
CLL videotaped 8 (9.0 hours total each, 1.5 hrs./week) of it's 6-session classes. University communications students produced, edited and packaged the final product. Sessions were edited down to 1 hour each and ran weekly on local cable and continuously as streaming video on our website for 2 semesters. Our cost was +/- 50K, covered by a grant from Bernard Osher Foundation. Subjects chosen to represent variety of our typical program and lecturers from our most respected and popular faculty at UTEP. DVD copies (created on our office computers) are made available to members on loan. If members bring blank media, we burn copies they may keep for free. We had a ball doing it. Hope this helps.

From Joan Gamble, ElderCollege, Fremont, OH
We have on occasion taped a program for members who had to miss a session. This hasn't happened often and a amateur endeavors. In hind sight, I wish we would have taped some of our local history class speakers. They gave unique information and have since died, their knowledge gone with them.

From Fiona Valentine, LLI, Western Iowa Tech Community College, IA
Here is my somewhat negative feedback! My experience with videotaping lectures/courses over the years is that they are seldom worth the effort that goes into producing them. The reasons are:
1) the quality of the tape is rarely good, which makes them hard to watch
2) a tape can rarely, if ever, capture the interaction that took place in the classroom
3) people forget that the recording was ever made and they gather dust on a shelf somewhere
4) the people who made the recording neglect to inform others of its existence
For these and other reasons, I almost never record unless there is some archival value in having a record of the event.

From Claudia Boles, LLI, Anderson College, SC
We had a very nice course during which local leaders spoke about Creativity. The course leader arranged to have it video taped and several copies made. I kept one to loan out and we place one in the county library. It was a very nice event but unfortunately even thought we’ve tried to publicize the tapes there has been little call for them.

From Mary Gardner, LLI, Purdue University, IN
We don't videotape any of our courses. I almost feel that we use too many commercially produced videos in our classes (I feel the same way about elementary school classrooms, too!) However, it is an interesting concept.

From Karen Dumers, North Carolina State University
We rent them to members at $20 a set or $5 a tape. We videotape financial lectures, travel
and destinations, art lectures and Science, etc.

From M. Jerry Meketon, Academy for Lifelong Learning, University S. Florida, Sarasota/Manatee
We have video taped from time to time, but never for sale. We have taped speakers or lecturers so that members who could not be there could review what was said. We have also taped portions of courses for advertising purposes. Currently, we are video taping a course about the Sarasota school of architecture. This style was developed during the 1950’s and the architects involved are retired or will be leaving the area. It is unlikely that a future course of this scope will be put on. So we are professionally recording the event as a public service. The tapes can be loaned out to different community groups. The course ends March 5th. Will see how it goes.

From Noreen Frye, OLLI, University of Miami, FL
This is something we've been talking about but have not done yet. We're beginning to look at ways to reach out beyond our walls.

From Pat Mielke, SPARK, University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO
We do not have the equipment to tape our courses. We do use DVDs from “The Great Courses”, which have terrific lectures, followed by a facilitator lead discussion on the lecture. Usually we offer one of these courses each of the four semesters throughout the year.

From Callie, Five Colleges LIR, MA
We do not videotape seminars, but we have a program called Encore Presentations where a few excellent presentations are given as lectures some time later. We normally have two lectures scheduled for a session. Last year we had one Encore Presentation program, and this year we have two.




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