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About University Place

The University Place Local Service Initiative (LSI) is a three-year CPB grant-funded project featuring collaboration among three university-licensee PBS stations: Wisconsin Public Television (WPT), WOSU Public Media and WPSU/Penn State Public Broadcasting (PSPB). The overarching goal was to develop educational content in partnership with affiliated universities and community members and expand the availability of media and learning objects through multiple delivery platforms. The focus of educational content development was STEM, PreK-12 and adult enrichment.

The content developed was different for each of the partners based on their interests, strengths, and the needs of their communities. WPT and WPSU developed content covering a wide range of topics related to community needs: environment and energy, improving public education, health and nutrition, building and improving communities, economics, race and immigration, workforce and business development, among other topics. WPSU also emphasized content for PreK-12. WOSU emphasized STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) multimedia content for broadcast and PreK-12 use.

Stations delivered programs on various platforms and through a variety of channels. Some programs were delivered on multiple platforms, while some served multiple purposes, as full length programs for broadcast and as shorter learning objects for PreK-12 use. WPT and WOSU each launched regularly scheduled University Place branded broadcast series on their multicast channels. WOSU and WPSU enhanced their PreK-12 digital services with the development of video-based learning objects and associated teaching materials. Station programs are also offered on demand via Penn State's On Demand Comcast partnership, PBS' COVE video service and all three station web sites.

The partner stations created a web-based Toolkit that presents standards and practices for forming partnerships, program production and learning objects for the benefit of other public broadcasting stations who may wish to produce similar content or develop a content sharing portal. For interested stations, the Toolkit offers advice for establishing partnerships, suggestions for production and distribution of content, guidelines for sharing content with other stations, and maintaining a similar service. The Toolkit also explains how other stations may join the current partnership and share programs using the University Place Content Sharing Portal (CSP).

The CSP is a web-based service developed by the project partners for stations to share, search and retrieve each others' programs. It was created as the partners explored the feasibility of a simple, inexpensive way for partner stations to exchange program files for broadcast or other use. The partners examined databases, rights issues, metadata schemas, and an ftp-based file sharing process, in building a prototype 'grassroots' CSP. The CSP is accessed via the University Place project home page, and guidelines for future partners are in the Toolkit.