To showcase your academic experts, forget TV and embrace Ustream… like Duke University

July 31st, 2009 Karine Joly 10 Comments

Duke University has done it again.

With “Office Hours,” a new series in partnership with Ustream launched today at noon ET, the institution has found another great way to showcase the expertise of its faculty.

The idea – put a professor in front of the camera for an informal Q&A with the university community and Ustream viewers – looked interesting on paper (well, I mean on the web) when I saw the announcement yesterday on Duke Today.

That’s why I was in front of my screen today at noon ET to see if its implementation could meet my expectations.

It did.

Duke University has again written a page of higher ed web history (can’t you see I really liked what I experienced? I bet you can).

Accessible right from the Ustream homepage, the 45-minute (?) long office hour with Professor Ariely gathered more than 150 viewers. Questions could be asked via email, on a dedicated Facebook page – broadcasting live the stream – as well as on Twitter.


I asked the first question via Twitter and it was promptly answered by Professor Ariely (around 9:00 in the recording).

You cannot imagine (well, you probably can, but I’m emphatic today) how excited I was to be able to ask a question – while at lunch – to a Duke professor and get the answer in a matter of minutes.


Just great.

Watch the recording – made available a few minutes after the end of the event- and I’m sure you will agree (if you don’t, please tell me why. That’s why comments are for)

Please note that the recording takes 39 seconds to start – so be patient if you watch it from the video player below.

Who needs television when you can actually interact with experts at this level?
Who needs television when you can actually demonstrate the expertise of your faculty to the world?

So, I’m pretty sure it won’t be long before other institutions follow in Duke’s footsteps and we see more of these “Office Hours” with faculty all around the country (world, should I say).

What do YOU think?

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