Producers See the Light at the Lightboard Studio

Filed in Announcements, Create, Featured Tools by on November 15, 2021

Borne of the desire to facilitate engagement for students who were estranged during the COVID-19 pandemic, WPI installed a Lightboard Studio at the Gordon Library. The project was a joint effort of the Gordon Library and the Academic Technology Center.  Now, the Lightboard Studio is a production space where instructors can record themselves as they write or draw on a glass partition.

Michael Peshkin, an engineering professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, pioneered lightboard studio technology in 2013. His website succinctly describes the concept.

“Lightboard is a glass chalkboard pumped full of light. It’s for recording video lecture topics. You face toward your viewers, and your writing glows in front of you.”

Facing students during video production comports with an aspect of the cognitive theory of multimedia learning known as social agency theory. The cognitive theory of multimedia learning, developed by Richard Meyer, is a guiding principle for instructional design. Mayer notes, “when the learner feels social partnership with the instructor, the learner will exert more effort to understand what the instructor is saying, which results in better learning outcomes” (Mayer, 2017, p. 414).

Departments as diverse as physics, business and mathematics have been among the users of the WPI Lightboard Studio at the Gordon Library.

Doug Petkie, Professor and Physics Department head, began using the studio in C-term of 2021. “I was inspired by others who did Light-Boarding in A and B terms,” such as Destin Heilman and Mark Claypool, said Petkie. “It helped us get a little closer to giving students a more real experience.”

Using the Lightboard Studio involves 2 or 3 steps. The first is to reserve the space in the Gordon Library. The second is to email to reserve a microphone. The third, if you chose to use it, is to get trained! The video below will help you get started with that step.



For more information on the studio and how to reserve it, click the link below.


If you have any questions about WPI’s Lightboard Studio, email


Lubrick, M., Zhou, G., & Zhang, J. (2019). Is the future bright? The potential of lightboard videos for student achievement and engagement in learning. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education15(8), em1735.

Mayer, R.E. (2017). Using multimedia for elearning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 33(5), 403–423.

Peshkin, M. (n.d.). .info. Retrieved November 14, 2021, from

About the Author ()

Sophie Jagannathan is an Instructional Technology Specialist at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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