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Avid Drives Student Success at Thomas More University College

It's not unusual for universities to operate a student-run media channel, but Thomas More University College—based in the Flemish city of Mechelen—took it one step further by developing a production environment that rivals leading broadcast organizations. During the final year of the school’s journalism program, students specializing in TV, radio, online, or print produce original content for 21bis—the school’s online media channel. Featuring web-based articles, radio, and video programming, the channel covers everything from news to current affairs to the arts.

Recently, Thomas More University decided to transform 21bis from a basic student channel into a full-fledged broadcast media enterprise. By establishing a production environment that mirrors world-class broadcast organizations, the school hoped to expand the capabilities of the station while providing students with the hands-on training they need to succeed in a crowded job market

To meet this goal, Thomas More embraced the Avid Everywhere™ vision to provide students with the skills and workflows they need to create, manage, and distribute the highest-quality programming. The school implemented a complete end-to-end workflow made up of solutions built upon the Avid® MediaCentral Platform—the industry’s most open and extensible platform. By teaching students Avid industry-standard tools from the Avid Artist Suite and Media Suite including Media Composer with the NewsCutter Option, Avid | Interplay and iNEWS—Thomas More is preparing students for successful careers in the media industry.

Working with our partners, we were able to build a workflow that allowed everything—picture, sound, colour and VFX—to move securely and seamlessly to wherever it needed to be.

TOM RUMES, DIRECTOR OF MEDIA SERVICES, THOMAS MORE

Moving forward with Avid

Moving forward, Thomas More will continue partnering with Avid to ensure student success. The school is now an official Avid Learning Partner with two Avid Certified Instructors. By combining hands-on training with professional certifications, Thomas More is providing students with the best opportunity to succeed after graduation.

“Since we embraced Avid Everywhere and the MediaCentral Platform, our students are investing more time in their journalistic reports and documentaries than before,” says Tom Rumes. We will invest more and more time in this project. This will enable most of our students to graduate with an official Avid ACU degree, adding to their credentials as they enter the workforce.”

Enabling production anytime, anywhere

Previously, student accessibility was a major challenge for Thomas More—editing suites were only available to students Monday through Friday, which limited the time students could spend on projects. In order to extend production capabilities beyond the school’s walls and academic hours, Thomas More implemented Avid MediaCentral | UX, a cloud-based, web front-end to the MediaCentral Platform. MediaCentral | UX allows students to connect from a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device—and work whenever, wherever, and with whatever content they want.

“As we started to professionalize 21bis, we had to re-address the balance between running a commercial company in-house and operating only during the school’s open hours,” says Tom Rumes, director of Media Services at Thomas More. “With MediaCentral | UX, our student cameramen, journalists, directors, and producers are able to edit, mix and assemble content at home, in the evening, and on weekends. The MediaCentral Platform has had a huge impact on the quality of the media our students are producing.”

With Interplay and ISIS, our students are now able to collaborate on editing, create rundowns in iNEWS, and produce interviews from any location.

TOM RUMES, DIRECTOR OF MEDIA SERVICES, THOMAS MORE

It was also essential for Thomas More to increase collaboration between students and faculty. As cloud-based technology is enabling media companies to leverage talent worldwide, students need to learn workflows that enable them to collaborate across multiple rooms, facilities, and time zones. The school implemented Interplay | Production and ISIS shared storage systems, which enable students to access, edit, share, log, track, and sync media and projects in real time.

“With Interplay and ISIS, our students are now able to collaborate on editing, create rundowns in iNEWS, and produce interviews from any location,” explains Tom Rumes. “Plus, our faculty can evaluate projects in real-time and provide feedback throughout the different stages of production.” 

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