UCTV launches new seminar program

UCTV formally launched its new seminar program in September, which broadcasts scholarly presentations such as lectures, debates and interviews.

UCTV formally launched its new seminar program in September, which broadcasts scholarly presentations such as lectures, debates and interviews.

With a variety of academic lectures and seminars presented on all 10 of the University of California campuses, creators of the UCTV seminar program aim to allow more people to see these programs. By providing access to the seminars via the satellite channel and website for a world-wide audience, UCTV is more accessible to more people.

“First, [UCTV seminars] is part of a broader complementary. It can be used in the classroom, every instructor can have this program on their computer and can upload lectures to post online for students,” said James Carey, professor of entomology at UC Davis and chairperson for the University Committee on Research Policy (UCORP). “Second, actual content can be used in teaching, professors can use seminars for lectures and can integrate video more deeply into the instruction.”

Many high-end seminars have to bring in IT people and it can cost up to $500 just to capture one event. Contrary to belief, it does not take money and IT personnel to formally broadcast seminars using UCTV, Carey said.

UCTV Seminars uses software such as Camtasia and a webcam with audio capabilities, which, when combined, captures the screen with slide and picture content in high quality. The webcam costs around $75 and the software costs $150, Carey said.

UC researchers are encouraged to submit their own video presentations to the UCTV Seminars site through the UCTV online video uploader. Submitted presentations can range from a simple narrated PowerPoint presentation to a highly produced video. Programs will appear alongside user-submitted data, including descriptions, related links, lecture notes, and other complementary materials, according to a press release from the UC newsroom.

“This is helpful for students who are looking for primary source information on the subjects of interest, and a way for researchers and graduate students to get their research out to the public,” said Alison Gang, director of communications for UCTV. “It is a way to engage in academic conversation even if you cannot be on that specific campus.”

In the essay titled “Towards a Video Strategy at UC Davis: Recording Research Seminars” by Carey, he wrote that the importance of recording and posting research seminars includes links to journal papers, academic outreach and digital technology as the present and the future.

“I was chair of UCORP, a systemwide academic committee, and on the agenda I presented the attempt to find synergy. The idea was that we would like to access any of the thousands of weekly seminars that are hosted at the universities. It was endorsed by our committee and approved by the University of California Academic Senate,” Carey said.

UC Davis departments such as evolution and ecology and entomology have already utilized the UCTV seminar program, Carey said.

The UCTV program costs the University of California system around $1 million per year to run. This includes costs for satellites, cable and other necessities, Gang said.

“We are looking at other options to be more cost-effective,” Gang said.

UCTV has its own YouTube and iTunes channel with both audio and visual podcasts.

Since 2001, UCTV has gathered and disseminated general interest programming from the University of California campuses to over 23 million homes nationwide through the satellite and cable networks, according to a press release.

It is free to participate and upload onto the website, Gang said.

“I want UC Davis to take the lead here and to realize the big opportunities available,” Carey said.

For more information, visit seminars.uctv.tv.

ALICIA KINDRED can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.