Most liberal arts colleges are good at producing thoughtful, intelligent young men and women with a variety of interests. Saint Mary’s College—and in particular the Collegiate Seminar program—produces students who are both literate and uncommonly articulate. By virtue of their experience discussing the great books, they’re able to stand up and talk in a way that many students can’t. This has the potential to be an invaluable asset to Saint Mary’s new Web presence; we strongly recommend you explore it.

One of the best things a redesign can do in 2010 is use the unique abilities of its own community. In Saint Mary’s case, this may mean your students’ ability to speak with confidence; if there are a number of SMC students who wouldn’t be uncomfortable talking into a camera, let’s get some cameras and start shooting.

Twenty or thirty (or 100) great student videos would inevitably influence the design of the Saint Mary’s site, in ways we can’t yet predict. A video wall? Video-enhanced search results pages? Faculty profiles featuring videos of students talking about them? Graduate students discussing their programs in deep academic detail? The possibilities are endless, but we’ll need to do some work before we can pursue them.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Who’s willing to talk to a camera for five minutes about their experiences at SMC? We should ask this question far and wide, and begin to develop a cast of characters as soon as possible.

  2. GaelVision, the Saint Mary’s TV station, makes some great videos. We’d like to meet with them ASAP and discuss how they might contribute.

  3. Let’s come up with a general protocol for how these videos are shot, to provide some consistency. Should they be on a white screen, or with the campus in the background? If the videos we gather have some common visual themes, they’ll be easier to use in designs.

  4. We can help with some general guidelines for videographers, to capture videos with the most likelihood of providing usable content.

  5. Although we’re talking about students here, the same goes for all SMC’s other populations— videos from faculty, staff, alumni, parents, etc. are equally welcome.
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