MADISON, Wis. - August 18, 2011 - Sonic Foundry, Inc.(NASDAQ: SOFO), the recognized market leader for rich media webcasting, lecture capture and knowledge management, today announced that its rich media webcasting platform is used by Alphaport, Inc. to develop Safety and Mission Assurance training for the NASA Safety Center (NSC).
Join NASA and Alphaport for a live webinar, "Building the NASA University for Safety Virtually Overnight through Course Capture Technology" on Tuesday, August 30 at noon Central. Register at http://sofo.com/f2cdd.
Alphaport is the prime contractor responsible for developing Safety and Mission Assurance training for the NSC. The NSC educates and trains the more than 3,000 safety and mission assurance specialists and contractors that support NASA's active missions, providing important services to get satellites, aeronautics experiments and future manned-crew vehicles to the point of liftoff. Over 95% of that training is delivered via e-learning with Mediasite as a core educational technology platform.
"We often find ourselves in the position of needing to bring the learning to the student because there's no efficient way to get all of our learners to a single class event," said Dr. Jim May, Alphaport's Program Manager and lead trainer.
The NSC's Technical Excellence Office offers a four-level curriculum, consisting of more than 500 hours of coursework in each of its six technical disciplines. May leads Alphaport's development and production teams to deliver the coursework. They are currently developing or obtaining courses in system safety, reliability and maintainability, quality engineering, software assurance, operational safety and aviation safety. Many of those courses have been converted from traditional classroom training by using Mediasite.
"With Mediasite technology we have been able to capture courses for the NSC and host them for a fraction of the cost of delivering them classroom-style. We calculate that the Risk Management course alone provides a 140-to-1 return on investment for NASA," said May. "Also, with a video course, all Safety and Mission Assurance learners can take the training wherever and whenever they choose without having to travel. And that saves everyone time and money."
Over the past year the NSC has made over 75 online courses available to their learners, and in the past six months more than 300 course-hours have been produced with Mediasite.
"Our courses cover the broad range of technical topics that safety and mission assurance personnel need to know. These are very seasoned safety engineers and professionals and we are delivering graduate-level technical training via streaming video. A few years ago this would have required a multi-million dollar production studio with a large staff. Today we have a single videographer who goes to the event, captures it, performs minimal post-production, and in a couple days is able to turn it around," said May.
In addition, the Alphaport team periodically webcasts NSC guest lectures to NASA, making specialized presentations held in one location accessible to thousands of viewers on their computers.
Recently the NSC acquired an additional Mediasite Recorder just to handle the demand. "We often have both systems running at two different NASA Centers at the same time," May said. "We calculate our utilization time at more than 33,000 hours for those web-based courses, with about 1,500 people completing our Level 1 curriculum. If they were taught in the classroom we'd have had only a handful of graduates today and somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 hours of training delivered, at most."
"The bottom line," said Tony Miranda, Alphaport President and COO, "is that we are able to deliver quality training to our customers in a much more cost-effective manner. That's good news for the NASA Safety Center, for our Safety and Mission Assurance customers, for the NASA projects and programs they support and for the American taxpayers."
"Sonic Foundry is excited to bring the benefits of webcasting to mission-critical training operations like the one at NASA Safety Center. Our mutual commitment to education and outreach serves as a guide for other organizations to support efficiency, nurture community, celebrate connectivity and ultimately lead to the highest possible technical performance," said Gary Weis, CEO of Sonic Foundry.