By Angelo Fernández-Spadaro
Whenever I find I have an interest in a school or want more information about a certain program, I usually do what everyone does- I visit the school’s website. However more often than not, the school/program website is typically outdated, hard to maneuver and you can barely get an idea of what the program involves. The ‘informing’ content rarely provides the key information you are seeking; they just skim the surface and you leave as clueless as you came.
In the spring I enrolled at the University of Texas at Dallas to study Emerging Media and Communication (EMAC), and after my semester I am pleased with the program. However, when I signed up for this major I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I read the online material and talked to the adviser but that was it. Although I had a general idea about the program I wasn’t really satisfied after visiting the campus. Fortunately I soon discovered that EMAC program has a wonderful informative website, but this is the exception to the rule for many institutions. Many schools could improve how they utilize the web to inform current and prospective students.
Near the end of my first semester we were assigned a Final Project in one of my introductory EMAC courses. A classmate and I chose to interview fellow students about their experience in the class. As we were filming we realized potential students would find the introductory video informative.
I have seen a handful of videos used as an introduction or overview for a course or program, but I can’t recall one ever being made by the students who were in the course. I mean, as a student I’d find a video made by students, not the program or by people hired by the program, more credible. You’re getting a video from the perspective of students, which makes it easier to relate to if you’re feeling unsure about the classes or major you are going to choose.
Hopefully the EMAC program will use this video and that other majors/classes in the school and eventually other schools take this idea and use it too. With all the interactivity, information and creativity that’s out on the web, it’s a shame that the best you can get out of a school’s program or class is a paragraph of written text.
Video Examples URLs - check 'em out!