TU’s new New Media Centre

Lights fade, bringing the green background into focus. An X marks a spot on the floor. Two giant screens, now blank, face the empty seat where the professor sat. A recording has just wrapped up. It will be streamed in Saudi Arabia later in the day.

This is the recording studio of the New Media Centre. Tucked away in one corner of the Industrial Design faculty, the NMC is a hub activity even on a Thursday morning. A couple of professors are in conversation about their upcoming MOOCs, a long distance class has just been recorded and tech experts are winding up.

“We’re at the cusp of a big change in the world of education. It’s not just about going online anymore, it’s about claiming your position in the world and finding a way to offer the best in terms of education opportunities,” says Leon Huijbers, the head of the NMC.

The NMC is where TU’s virtual existence comes together: Collegerama, online masters, the Wiskundebrug, information archives and of course, the MOOCs. Everything is looked after by a team of nine people and student volunteers. “The ultimate aim is to look for a way to make online education and traditional classroom education cohesive units that work together,” says Huijbers.

Starting out as an Audio Visual Centre in 1974, the department was responsible for taking photographs, arranging beamers for classrooms and recording videos. In 2000, it revamped into the Multi Media Centre and, among other things, the Collegerama recordings began. “With the change in technology the needs of the department also changed. At one point we had a lot of photographers on the team, but when people started using their phone cameras and digicams that changed,” he explains.

As of September 2013, the centre has been renamed the New Media Centre. It is now under the aegis of the Library Learning Centre. “The name better encapsulates the scope of what we do and the multiple platforms we work with,” he says.

The scope is vast. Take a look at their role in just one of their projects, the MOOCs offered by TU Delft. The NMC starts discussions with the professors well before the actual classes are recorded. They are introduced to the MOOC format, helped with scripting tight and engaging classes and trained on how to react for the camera. Even the slides and teaching aids are sometimes remade by them to be more interactive. “Teachers come with a classroom mindset of a 40 minute lecture and old slides. Online lectures can’t be long, they have to broken into seven to nine minute modules of a more focussed nature. The body language has to be fluid instead of imposing and the discussion needs to sound conversational,” explains Huijbers. Several retakes and hours of work go into each lecture. They record seven to nine modules a day, and each nine minute segment takes about 30 minutes to record.

“But the teachers deserve final credit for the amazing work. Some of them were naturals, some needed training but almost everyone came with an open mind ready to learn this new dimension to education and knowledge sharing,”

TU’s first MOOCs went live on September 16. To read more about them, log on to

To know more about Collegerama:

Redacteur Redactie

Heb je een vraag of opmerking over dit artikel?

Comments are closed.