Featured Article from Conferencing

More Colleges Going Online with Video Presentations

February 18, 2015

With expenses rising and students scattering, colleges are looking for ways to maximize their investments for the best ROI. One way they’re discovering that’s turning in a nice return is to put classes online via video conferencing.

In a recent piece on EdTechMagazine.com, tech writer Steve Zurler took a look at this nascent phenomenon, and what it means to schools.

Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management already has 1,200 students in China enrolled in its specialty program, in addition to the 2,000 who take courses at the main campus in Florida, Zurler noted, quoting Dale Gomez, the hospitality college's director of information technology.

"By broadcasting the courses here in Miami via video conference to students in China, we can save on the salaries of instructors and bring more revenue in," Gomez said, adding that all courses are offered in English, and the Chinese students earn a U.S. degree. "We want to expand globally, and video conferencing will help us do that. Whether globally or domestically, we can enroll more students with the same amount of facilities."

Zurler also noted that during the past year, Solano Community College (SCC) in Fairfield, Calif., used video conferencing in a different way, to conduct interviews for new faculty and administrative personnel. But the result was still the same: Reaching more people at a lesser cost. But the school also plans to expand video as a teaching tool as well.

"Besides giving students and faculty flexibility, video conferencing will also help us better meet the needs of students," James Calilan, director for technology services and support for the school, told EdTechMagazine.com. “By running a video conference from the main campus, all we would need is 20 to 25 students to sign up for a course from all three [of our] campuses and it would still make economic sense to run the course."

It’s obvious that video conferencing in education is going to be the next big thing. How soon that happens depends on how soon administrators realize the benefits of doing so.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi