Darin Kapanjie makes Fox courses more user-friendly

Darin Kapanjie had already made great strides in expanding online and digital offerings at the Fox School of Business. He’d helped the school implement a “flipped classroom” approach, in which students watched lectures at home and did homework in class, giving them greater flexibility and more opportunities to collaborate. But Kapanjie quickly realized that even that setup could be improved.

“It was great for students who missed class and could watch the videos at home, but they were still an-hour-and-15-minute-long lectures,” Kapanjie said. “So we created these short little video vignettes that were a lot more conducive to learning and straight to the point.”

Kapanjie, managing director of online and digital learning at Fox, academic director of the online MBA and academic director of the online bachelor of business administration, helped build Fox’s Video Vault, a repository of about 1,500 10- to 15-minute-long lectures filmed by business school professors.

Each video condenses a complicated subject―ranging from marginal functions to emotional intelligence―into a convenient format that uses text and animations to help explain the lessons.

For students, the Video Vault offers many benefits. The videos―which are mobile-friendly―allow them to pause, fast-forward, rewind, re-watch and go at their own pace. Plus, it aids with retention: If senior students have trouble remembering something they learned freshman year, they can go to the Video Vault for a quick refresher.

“The basic pedagogical principles are still there,” said Kapanjie, also an assistant professor in the Department of Statistics. “The teaching styles are just delivered in a different way.”

Filming the videos took some faculty awhile to get used to, Kapanjie acknowledged, but many of them are now naturals at it. Faculty also appreciate how the videos allow them to spend more time in class working with students instead of lecturing.

“You need to get at students in a way they learn,” Kapanjie said. “At the end of the day, people are looking for quality, convenience and customer service. We really pride ourselves on all of those.”