How to Use Academic Video to Create Rising-Star Students

Using video to drive student success

By the time they graduate, nearly 100 percent of students from The University of Toledo Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales have jobs. How? One of the secrets is video.

In this web seminar, a leader from the business school demonstrated how to use academic video to maximize student engagement in the classroom, and how it can also give students a leg up as they enter the professional world, through examples such as engaging homework assignments, hosting a national sales competition, and strategically connecting students and recruiters with video.

Deirdre Jones, M.B.A.

Director, Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales (ESSPS)

College of Business & Innovation

University of Toledo

It’s rewarding to see that we’re able to get good track records and placements for our students, and video has been a big part of that.

We’ve had a good experience from a coaching perspective with the students, because by being able to create and then share content, the individual can go back and watch themselves. It’s great self-coaching, and it also enables the students to do peer coaching. We’ve also been able to extend access to the business community, so the students can get corporate coaches as well.

That comprehensive coaching approach is part of why we have such strong placement results and competition results, because we’re able to get so many different folks involved. 

It enables us to reach more students and to help them become more confident and educated in their decisions about career choice and about the organizations they will potentially be working for via internship or full-time placement after graduation.

We also see a benefit to the university, our College of Business and Innovation, and also the major of professional selling. It’s been a great way to reinforce our branding and our image with the students and the business community, because they actually get to see us put theory into practice.

The companies absolutely benefit as well. It enables them to make confident and educated sales talent recruitment decisions, because they get to see a potential student hire in action and see how adaptable they are, how coachable they are, to see their progress in the program, to see how much they’ve grown, and to gauge cultural fit. It’s great insight.

When you look at our logo, you might notice three little leaves. Those stand for the three different parts of our mission: learning, discovery and research, and outreach and engagement. We are able to leverage our Mediasite programming with all three.

The first and biggest area where we leverage Mediasite is in the learning component. Our sales program involves a lot of heavy role-playing, because it is one thing to talk to the students about theory, but until they actually have that interaction with the buyer, they don’t necessarily know how they’re going to present something or adapt. They do about six to eight role-plays before they graduate. Those are recorded and shared on Mediasite so that students can go back for coaching, critiques and analysis. 

We also use Mediasite with lectures, for obvious reasons. Sometimes our lectures are pre-recorded, and we use it for flipped classrooms and distance learning and blended classes to leverage the face-to-face time we have with the students. But we also record our classes as they’re happening. That way if someone is late or misses, we’re able to get them back on track.

Another thing we do is help students learn and understand how to pitch. And not pitch necessarily in an old-school transactional way, but they need to be able to succinctly introduce themselves and explain who they are and why an organization would be interested in them. They can either physically come into the Huntington Sales Lab, or they can do pitches remotely using Zoom and then upload them. When students can record themselves, do multiple takes, practice, see themselves in terms of things like eye contact, smiling, the right phrasing—they can dissect and analyze how they’re doing.

From a discovery perspective, part of what we do is focus groups for different research projects that we have or to maybe explore course offerings or new degree programs. Mediasite is used on a fairly regular basis to record those focus group sessions. Then we can watch the content later to remember exactly what somebody said or something that happened that inspired somebody to ask a question, pose an objection, and so on.

Mediasite has also been a big help for internal interviews for positions, and for doctoral dissertations. Maybe people weren’t there and they wanted to hear those presentations. It’s a great tool for us to be able to record those sessions to make sure that nobody’s missing things.

Outreach and engagement is probably my favorite area. I definitely love what we do with the students, but we’re always trying to see how we can make things better. How can we give the students better insights into how they are doing? We were already giving access to some of our corporate sponsors and we realized the students would benefit from hearing some of this feedback directly. We wanted to provide the students with access to interactions and an opportunity to talk to someone who is actually out in the field doing sales work day in and day out.

We also have a recruiter videos channel. That way when students want to learn more about companies—maybe it’s prep before a job fair or networking night—it helps the students narrow down their shortlist for who they want to network with.

Competitions is another big area—we’ve been running our internal sales competition since 2010. Videos are great because we can have students self-select top role-plays, send those to the sponsors ahead of time along with some rÁ©sumÁ©s, and then they can make some preferences known about who they would like to do some coaching and interviewing with.

After we got our competition workflow figured out, in 2016 we decided to go national with The University of Toledo Invitational Sales Competition. We are the nation’s first and only national sales competition dedicated exclusively to the non-senior. We also concurrently run a career fair so that when folks are here they’re always busy, they’re always networking. Once again, we’re able to help facilitate all of this with video, using the classrooms as judging rooms and live-streaming the role-plays into those rooms.

To watch this web seminar in its entirety, visit


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