Up Close and Personal
Video may have killed the radio star in 1979 but in 2012 video has become the most powerful medium for sharing information. More than 4 billion videos are viewed every day online and there are many experts who believe that online video accelerates innovation and is influencing learning in a way that is as significant as the invention of print. At Acadia University, the development of the Multimedia Case Management Series (MCMS) is leveraging the power of video to enrich the post-secondary learning experience and with a recent licensing deal with Curtin University in Australia, is taking on the global market.
Developed by Dr. Conor Vibert, a professor of business strategy in Acadia’s F.C. Manning School of Business, and Acadia video producer Dave Sheehan, MCMS is an innovative, online case management system designed to replace the traditional paper-based business case studies used in post-secondary institutions and the corporate training market. The software provides a hosting platform for a wide-ranging database of multi-media case studies, video interviews with business executives, and topic - specific videos. The interactive learning experience is enhanced by the integration of assessments tools, discussion boards, tag clouds, title indexes, RSS feeds and other tools into the platform.
In addition to multimedia business cases, the MCMS currently hosts more than 7,000 video clips and 350 interviews filmed in nine countries on four continents. “What makes the MCMS content unique is that it represents a range of small and medium-sized business owners and managers, as well as CEOs and executives in multinational companies from around the world and across Nova Scotia,” Vibert says. “The problems and challenges faced by small or medium-sized businesses here are probably similar to those faced by businesses elsewhere, and that’s the beauty of the content. It’s relevant and transferrable."
MCMS has enjoyed a warm reception from global executives who have shared their time and insight on topics such as selling, managing a professional service form, building a brand, managing a major capital project, running an airline, operating a regional bank, organizing a national food services organization, creating world class software, and running an international franchise operation. Many of the clips are local, capturing insights about fruit growing in the Annapolis Valley; the Nova Scotia wine industry; the area’s farm community; and regional entrepreneurship, to name a few.
"With such rich and interactive content, the MCMS is a powerful way to engage students and valuable stakeholders," says Director of Acadia’s Office of Industry & Community Engagement (ICE), Leigh Huestis. "It also introduces Acadia's expertise and resources in business education. The recent licensing agreements with Curtin University in Perth, Australia and the University of Prince Edward Island prove that MCMS has regional, national and international application."
ICE support has been intrinsic to the development of MCMS, securing Springboard Proof of Concept funding, an Innovacorp Early Stage Commercialization (ESCF) fund award as well as negotiating licensing deals and helping to shape the overall strategic direction of the product. "We could never have been able to commercialize MCMS without the expertise of ICE," says Vibert.