Small university - large LIfesize opportunities
Updated January 15, 2018
Small university - large LIfesize opportunities
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Lifesize Video Conferencing
When offered training, which was outstanding for us, take advantage of it. We were given much information and could or should have re-visited our support representative for reviews or updated training due to personnel changes, etc.
Our university uses Lifesize in several ways. The primary purpose began with a need to deliver university-level language classes through the Texas Learning Consortium with other universities. We use seats for advancement personnel to meet with board members and contributors. We also have used it for interviews with potential faculty candidates. A professor of Hebrew used it for classes for another university that did not have the similar capabilities.
- The most obvious example of a Lifesize benefit is its consistency for us. We don't have ups and downs in quality. Being able to immediately connect is a definite requirement , especially for professors who expect a course to start and remain a quality connection.
- The user interface and ease of use is important to us. Administrators who need to conduct a board meeting or a novice professor must be able to connect and expect a quality connection with little training and or no need for review of operation since they may use it infrequently.
- On occasions when support is needed or when we needed training upon initial purchase the customer support was outstanding. Our initial onboarding was as extensive as we wished it to be and left us feeling confident in the product's use.
- Speaking as an instructional technologist working with technology adverse professors the back end of LIfesize setup and all of the settings can be confusing or difficult. I happened to have an exceptional re-seller in our region (100 miles away) who has been a lifesaver several times when something went wonky after a non-Lifesize failure meant we had to make changes.
It didn't replace, but we also use GoToMeeting and GoToTraining because others on campus came from environments which used those products and the familiarity overrode the desire to learn a new product.
One product we use provides free recording of sessions, whereas with Lifesize we have to enter into a pay for recording situation that isn't cost effective for us.
Lifesize Video Conferencing Feature Ratings
Lifesize Video Conferencing Reliability
Regardless of our experience in a variety of conferencing situations it has performed very well. We have used GoToMeeting and some other tools, but it has had problems for the users as well as the attendees. Given the ability to have multiple rooms and how we utilize our exisiting seats we have secure and stable connectivity on campus, but more than that we have professors and staff who have the ability to access Lifesize from any location and feel confident that their session will work well for them.
Since we are an educational institution we not only have scheduled classes which must be available, but we have staff members in a variety of areas ranging from recruiting and admissions to advancement and the President's office who need to connect with students, alumni and other interest groups, often at odd hours. I have not, since using Lifesize had anyone complain of not being able to connect.
We chose Lifesize because we are in a consortium with several other small universities. Each university has its own LMS and professors and IT departments each either provide or allow users to use additional tools or programs. Additionally, as our staff members use Lifesize to communicate with those outside our system we must have a tool that is capable of integration with what is being used by our faculty and staff as well as those they interact with in the course of their academic business.
Integrating Lifesize Video Conferencing
We have used a Mondopad for its whiteboard capabilities and also its ability to have a computer. Mondopad has a problem in that it (depending upon the age of the Mondopad) may or may not have the ability to use VGA versus HDMI ports. When we want to use other hardware such as an additional camera it may require some assistance from the company which installed the Lifesize equipment since I am an instructional designer and not a technician. Generally, we have very little problems with Lifesize equipment or integration.
As an Instructional Designer and not a technician I find that while the operation of the Lifesize system if easy to master there are times, especially if I need to dive very deeply into Lifesize that it pays to have good technical support. While technical support is readily available and always willing to help someone close by and knowledgeable is extremely helpful. When we are asked by someone on our staff or faculty to meet all their requirements for calls we sometimes are stumped.