Introducing Studio CWI

Published: January 20, 2022

Behind a door in the corner of a back hallway at College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Canyon County Campus is a classroom. Similar to other classrooms on campus, this space is often filled with students learning and collaborating. This particular classroom, however, is where creative magic happens!

CWI’s Communication and Marketing department and Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) have come together to create the College’s very first media lab. This new space will provide cutting-edge, hands-on learning experiences for students while additionally supporting online course content development for faculty.

“We wanted to create a collaborative, guided, makers space where students could apply and practice the skills they are learning in their classes that CTL could also use to produce online video content for courses,” said CTL Dean, Courtney Colby Bond.

Students in Marketing Communications Instructor, Dan Garrity’s, Multimedia Storytelling (COMM 261) class were able to showcase their skills during the first-ever, live-streamed show from the new media lab, Studio CWI, in December. The Global Idaho Live show was created as part of the Onramp program’s Everyone Can Create initiative which provides opportunities for students to utilize Apple media platforms to share information and make connections.Marketing Communications students posing in front of green screen in CWI media lab

Focused on Idaho’s refugee population, Global Idaho Live provided a platform for refugees to share their stories and highlighted a wide range of projects created by the students during the semester showcasing CWI’s diverse student population and the importance of embracing your own unique background. Production of the show allowed students to gain technical competencies required to meet industry needs, demonstrate skills in production and teamwork, and effectively tell stories and share information in the digital world.

“Global Idaho Live was really a three-year dream come true,” said Garrity. “To see it unfold in front of my eyes was pretty moving. The students proved they can courageously step up to a difficult challenge and handle it with grace and poise. When the show was over, the look of real joy on the students' faces was exciting. They had tackled something huge, and they did it well. Really well. It was a clean production, and it did exactly what I wanted it to do: showcase to our community just what these students are doing to make a difference with what they are learning and showcase the kinds of amazing students we have here. I didn't know how many of them would be so moved by what they accomplished together. They were pumped!”

“The new media lab was really awesome to work in,” said Madeline Mae Gentry, a 2021 Media Arts graduate. “It made us all feel a little more professional when preparing our live show. This space is going to be really beneficial as it allows students to have hands-on experience with professional equipment giving them a competitive edge and an opportunity to explore different pathways within the media and communications industry.”Behind-the-scenes view of Global Live Idaho live show

Four of Garrity’s classes will be going live in Studio CWI during the Spring 2022 semester. Check out #C5SP22 on social media, and stay tuned for information on how you can tune in to You Otter Meet this Prof, Otter Tank, and 3Q+U.

“This experience reaffirmed my belief that in repurposing normally-occurring academic artifacts in this manner,” continued Garrity, “students connect more directly with their audience; gain new skills in and understanding of the emerging world of live, remote engagement; and creatively find a way to spotlight the amazing people and programs we have here at CWI. The students behind Global Live Idaho have paved the way for many more such showcases to come out of Studio CWI.”

“We envision the space continuing to become a busy location for exploration, learning, production, and creativity with the next stage of development being the ability to transport and produce content at our multiple campus locations as well as within the community,” added Colby Bond.

Watch the Global Idaho Live Broadcast Visit the Global Idaho Live Website
Faculty wishing to record videos in either the media lab or other locations where technology can be used to create effective learning experiences for students are asked to email

Visit Center for Teaching and Learning

The Onramp program is a partnership between Boise State University, Idaho Distance Learning Academy (IDLA), Apple, and CWI. Visit CWI's Onramp webpage to learn more about the series of courses offered and connect with an advisor.

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