When it came time for Western Nevada College to update the technology on its three campuses, administrators decided on a system to provide students with a better way to attend class, even if it meant not in the physical classroom.
The college built classrooms with smart podiums, microphones, and high-definition cameras to record lectures. It plans to combine the video-lecture classes with existing online courses, allowing students to be in the classroom, on the road using a mobile device, or in front of their home computer.
Western Nevada will begin offering 15 courses that are both face-to-face and online in the fall. The school wants to expand the program, but will limit it to first-year courses in the first year, according to Clarence Maise, distance education coordinator.
“Sometimes those earliest classes are the toughest,” Maise told eCampus News. “Maybe they haven’t figured out college yet or that balance. This wiggle room allows them to not drop class and work through it. Having that flex allows them to go to their job, take care of their kids, whatever they need to do.”