Student Insight Enabled by New Presentation Tool

Providing a great learning experience to students will always be an iterative process, especially with the constant change facilitated by advances in new technology. The Office of Medical Education at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine has met this challenge head on over the past five years by implementing frequent updates to their content delivery system. That’s really just a fancy way of saying they do a lot of lecture capture, to the tune of approximately 2,500 hours of recordings, which are viewed over 200,000 times a year—a truly staggering figure when you consider each cohort consists of around 150 students. But the effort and planning that goes into all these recordings has paid massive dividends in the student experience.

Continuous Improvements

While Feinberg’s medical students appreciate the ability to review class recordings and special videos throughout their academic experience (and especially around exam time), one way in which the digitized version of the class experience was not up to par was specifically around those instances when instructors used laser pointers to highlight something on a slide. Before now, if they did not go back to the podium and use the mouse to point out the specific area of the slide they were focusing on, it was near impossible for students watching after the fact to know where to look.

Spotlight Remote
The Media and Design team within Northwestern IT worked closely with the Office of Medical Education to test a number of options and the solution they landed on was to incorporate a new laser pointer, specifically the Integrate Logitech Spotlight Remote, into the classroom design. Now, instructors are free to move around the room and can highlight anything on screen without returning to the podium. Best of all, anything they highlight with the remote is accurately captured in the recording.

Say, for instance, an instructor was teaching a unit on prenatal development and wanted to highlight something from an ultrasound. Previously, those watching the recording would only see the basic image. Now, their experience is exactly parallel to that of being physically in the room as the lecture is delivered:


The Spotlight remote is particularly useful for pathology lectures, in which specific cells are highlighted on histology slides (which are pink- and purple-tinted). The Spotlight uses brightness and contrast to call things out, perfect for this type of content.

“The addition of this tool has really been a benefit to the students as they asynchronously engage with the video content,” said Dr. Patricia Garcia, director of the Office of Medical Education in Feinberg**. “This small update to the classroom design has greatly increased students’ understanding of the fine detail captured in each live recording.”  

**Dr. Garcia and Northwestern University have no financial ties, sponsorships or agreements with Logitech.