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USC Upgrades Tech for Online Engineering Master's Program

The Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California has overhauled the technology supporting its online engineering master's program (DEN@Viterbi). The university will debut its multi-million dollar technology investment when students return to the program this fall.

The technology upgrades include the latest high-definition cameras, sound capture technology, video conferencing, tablets, and computers. Behind-the-scenes upgrades include video-quality monitoring, streaming, and server upgrades, as well as new soundboard and camera tracking systems.

The upgrades are intended to improve interaction between students and faculty of the program. According to the university, the upgrades will let students talk to both classmates and faculty in real time during lectures, use dedicated cameras and tablets to collaborate in small groups, and stream high-quality audio and video lectures from mobile devices.

The upgrades will also enable USC to expand the DEN@Viterbi program. The program has been overwhelmed by demand for enrollment, and the upgrades will support more courses and students. The number of classroom studios will increase from 11 to 13, which will enable faculty to teach 30 more courses per year and increase the capacity of the program by 600 online students per year.

According to the university, flexibility and interactivity are the keys to student success in online programs, and the advanced technology platform will enable students to interact with each other and professors in real-time from anywhere in the world.

“As a pioneer in online education, DEN@Viterbi found that a successful graduate program maximizes interactivity and flexibility for each student, and prevents overcrowding courses with limited resources," said Binh Tran, executive director of DEN@Viterbi, in a prepared statement. "The investment to upgrade our facilities and infrastructure ensures that each of our students receive the support that is critical to their success as a student and as a professional engineer.”

The Distance Education Network (DEN@Viterbi) at the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering offers more than 40 master's degree programs, as well as graduate certificates and professional (non-credit) courses.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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