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Mississippi Community Colleges Deploy Collaborative Tools

The Mississippi State Board for Community and Junior Colleges (MSBCJC) has selected the Wimba Collaboration Suite to deploy throughout Mississippi, allowing students and educators to connect through online video, voice, text, application sharing, polling, and white boarding.

The MSBCJC serves 273,000 students across 15 campuses statewide. Students can access courses from any of the system's 15 colleges, in an online environment provided by the Mississippi Virtual Community College. This fall, 20,170 students are taking an average of two online courses for a total of 42,292 enrollments.

"The relationship between student engagement and success is clear," said Christian Pruett, director of eLearning at the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges. "With the Wimba Collaboration Suite, faculty can access a suite of easy-to-use tools that instantly improve teacher-to-student and student-to-student interaction. We have seen record growth in our virtual college this year, and we expect that this will make our online program even more attractive to students."

In a statement, the board said it was reconsidering the way it designs assessments and how courses are delivered in areas such as nursing.

"Faculty have relied on text-based instruction in their online courses for years," said Terry Pollard, eLearning specialist at the State Board. "With Wimba, we expect that faculty will begin to build lessons that incorporate a multi-modal approach to learning. By integrating voice and video technology, faculty can incorporate the best of on-ground instructional methods with the conveniences of online learning."

The Wimba Collaboration Suite has also been implemented statewide this year in the North Dakota University System, Utah Education Network, and Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
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