Campus & Community

WebCampus Launches Student Video Competition

Stevens students with a flair for making videos about their course work will get the chance to compete in an annual competition sponsored by WebCampus. The “Innovative Learning with Online Technology” annual awards, also known as the “S-Prize” initiative, was created to recognize students for demonstrating their mastery of course content using online learning technologies in innovative ways.

The student-produced recordings, which can be in the form of demonstrations, presentations, animations, simulations, interviews, or other appropriate format, will be reviewed by a panel of faculty judges at the end of each term. These videos will also be posted in an open online community web page.

Three semi-finalists will be selected in the following sub-categories:

•    Most innovative use of technology to demonstrate course mastery
•    Best use of technology to explain complex subject matter
•    Best use of technology to increase overall interaction between course participants
•    Best individual contribution
•    Best team contribution
•    Best Faculty/Student Collaboration

The winners in each category will be selected from the pool of semi-finalists once a year. For the first contest cycle, students will be competing for iPads or $500 awards. The competition’s first round of awards will be given at a ceremony on campus in January, 2013. The complete list of S-prize rules can be found on the WebCampus Multimedia Page.

“Although this initiative was originally intended for students in online classes, we wanted to open this up to students in all Stevens classes,” said Robert Zotti, assistant dean of WebCampus. “Many on-campus classes have online components – even some lab courses. We’re looking forward to seeing what students come up with, whether they take courses online or in the conventional classroom.”

The competition gained the enthusiastic support of the Stevens Academic Council.

“We are confident that we will see several benefits from this initiative,” said Ralph Giffin, associate provost of the graduate programs enterprise. “This will promote higher levels of student participation, learning and retention. We also believe that many instructors, through their exposure to what their students create, will be encouraged to integrate new tools, methods, and even new content into their courses.”

Charles Suffel, dean of graduate academics, noted that the competition will further expand and demonstrate the University’s leadership in online learning.

“As far as we know, none of the other online engineering schools have such an initiative,” said Suffel. “It has the benefit of enabling students to see what their classmates from other courses are working on, giving them the opportunity to review topics they covered in previous semesters, preview topics for future semesters, or even satisfy their curiosity about subjects not necessarily in their degree program.”

The S-Prize effort was inspired by the X Foundation, which sponsors a variety of contests designed encourage innovation, inspire the formation of new industries, and stimulate investment in research and development. Perhaps the Foundation’s most well-known contest was the Ansari X-Prize, a $10 million award that was won by Scaled Composites in 2004 for the first non-governmental effort to launch a spacecraft 100 KM (62 miles) above the earth’s surface.