Over the course of this academic year, Pacific Lutheran University has been taking steps to completely change the way conferences are presented digitally. PLU has started streaming major talks, conferences and performances in order to allow people to click into the event from virtually anywhere.
PLU has branded their platform for streaming as LuteCast and it is being supported and operated by Instructional Technologies. The service will host both live streamed events as well as archived events, including graduations and convocations.
“The commitment to streaming is a fantastic effort to bring these events to audiences that have not traditionally had access to them,” Lace Smith, director of content marketing of University Communications, said.
This year marked the first year the Wang Center Symposium was streamed online for students and community members to watch through an online platform.
The question is whether students are aware they now have the option to stream lectures. “I’ve noticed the cameras and I thought something was going on here,” senior Kel Mejlaender said after attending Dr. Dorothy Roberts’ lecture on “Racism and the Paradox of State Violence.”
Mejlaender decided to attend the event because the topic related to her capstone. She wasn’t aware that the Wang Center Symposium had streaming as an option for viewing the different lectures.
“I think there are advantages to coming in person, because if you have questions afterwards you can ask those yourself, instead of just sitting there thinking of them,” she said.
Although Mejlaender spoke of the benefits to coming in person, she related to the reasons student might rather stream the talks. “I think it’s also a really great option for those that it maybe doesn’t fit into their schedule to actually come and attend the event if they still want to see the main point of what was discussed.”
Smith said having a different form of attending events would allow for a larger audience that wouldn’t usually have the opportunity to stay on campus for events.
“I believe that it will widen the audience to include alumni, commuter students and community members that would not otherwise get to partake in the richness of events and lectures that PLU offers on a weekly basis,” Smith said.
The last lecture of the Wang Center Symposium can be found here.