Northwestern’s recent addition, the DeWitt Learning Commons, provides multi-dimensional learning opportunities for students. Not only does it house the library and other traditional learning resources, but there are hidden advantages to explore in the Learning Commons such as the Media Production Lab.
The Media Production Lab is located on the far south side of the Learning Commons basement. It’s also right next to the Audiovisual Department’s office.
“We’ve got this large space that’s been furnished with business-line computers, work stations really, that consumers can’t even get their hands on,” said Mike Stokes, AV director. “What we want to do is let people know what this space is for and that all students can use it.”
When designing this space, Stokes envisioned the area supporting collaborative group work for student projects that need to be done by students.
There are four large round tables with an abundance of chairs, large white boards great for storyboards or note-pinning, two PC’s and two Macs loaded with the latest programs in the Adobe Premium Creative Suite.
“Per a suggestion and request we received, we have added Adobe InDesign to accommodate the recent demand that’s come up for students,” AV Technician Lem Maurer said.
Currently, few students use the computers for what they can do, but many use the room as a quiet space to do homework.
In an effort to educate and draw attention to this facility, Stokes and Maurer have offered free video-editing classes in the MPL starting out with the program Premiere Pro.
According to Stokes and Maurer, the classes will be fairly basic at the beginning with the possibility of offering more advanced classes in the future.
The first two sessions were this past week. Resident Director of Hospers Brittney Caffey attended the first session as a beginner to video editing. “I do not pride myself in my knowledge of technological things, and they explained the basics of the program in a way that even I could understand,” Caffey said. “I look forward to attending the next session.”
“The first session went really well and we had a good response from the participants,” Maurer said. “The Media Production Lab really lends itself to collaborative training and usage.”
“I’m not sure when more training will be offered,” Maurer said. “Keep in mind that Mike and I have offices adjacent to the Media Production Lab, and when we’re available, we’ll gladly help with your media-related questions and projects,” Maurer said.
In addition to the Media Production Lab, there is also a recording studio. Students are free to use it as long as they have permission from Stokes or Maurer and provided the office is open. The Lab itself is open for use whenever the Learning Commons is open.