Distance Learning

George Washington U Adds Video Tools To Extend Classes Beyond Main Campus

George Washington University in Washington, DC is improving digital video equipment in classrooms at its main Foggy Bottom campus and at remote satellite campuses so students at the latter can participate fully in classes held on the main campus.

Beginning next fall, students at George Washington's campus in Hampton Roads, VA will be able to communicate in real time with faculty and students in classes held elsewhere.

"The faculty member could speak to students in either location and students can see, hear and speak to each other," said Paul Schiff Berman, vice provost for online learning and academic innovation, in a recent report in the university's student paper. "It is one real-time class with students in two locations."

The distance learning option connecting students in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development is the first of many technology-enhanced developments at George Washington as the university begins to replace antiquated analog video equipment in its classrooms with digital systems.

Classrooms in three Foggy Bottom buildings — the Elliott School of International Affairs building, Duques Hall and the Media and Public Affairs building — are being outfitted with brighter projectors; cameras that can pan, tilt and zoom to show all parts of the classroom; and microphones that hang from the ceiling. Meanwhile, classrooms on the Hampton Roads campus will get large LCD displays, cameras and table microphones.

Classrooms at the university's Virginia Science and Technology campus in Ashburn, VA, are also being upgraded.

"GW leadership has made an important investment to upgrade our general purpose classrooms from analog to digital," said Berman. "This will allow for robust Web conference-based collaborative tools for our students enrolled in face-to-face courses at remote sites as well as our students enrolled in online courses."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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