Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Course Reserves and Streaming Audio Strike Chord with Music History Students

During the second summer session, students enrolled in Dr. Heather Platt’s Introduction to Music class, were able to hear streamed music anytime, anywhere from the University Libraries’ web site. The result of a collaborative project between the Music Listening Center (MLC) and Video Information Systems (VIS), the pilot for streaming audio yielded fantastic results that will likely be expanded to other courses this fall. Keith Cochran, Music Librarian, sees an opportunity to increase access to the Music Listening Center’s rich holdings of musical resources.

Keith met with Professor Platt to discuss testing the new reserve option in her class. Soon they selected the repertoire and recordings to be used for the course. A total of 15 tracks were then given to James Whiteman, Technology Coordinator for VIS, to digitize. The streaming audio reserves were then accessed through a website designed by Jason Smith, MLC Coordinator.

The project complied with copyright law by restricting access to students enrolled in the course, requiring them to log in using their Outlook username and password, and suspending physical circulation of the materials for the duration of the semester. The streaming audio enables students to listen to the recordings whenever they need to, instead of having to wait for another student to finish. Many students also like to study for their listening tests while doing other homework. With this new means of access, they can now listen to their required pieces in the middle of working on another project that might require them to use resources found elsewhere in the library.

Streaming audio for course reserves provides more mobility and efficient use of resources for the students as well as providing a way to use our resources that poses no possibility of damage to the original source. It creates a great option not only for the students but for the faculty, staff, and areas involved.


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