Video conferencing helps university students

Tuesday, October 26 2010

Georgetown University is the subject of a new study that examines the educational and monetary benefits of the school's "global classroom" initiative that began in 2008.

The university's global classrooms use telecommunications and video conferencing to allow students and faculty to interact with their peers at the School of Foreign Service campus in Doha, Qatar, reported the Hoya, Georgetown University's newspaper.

The study, entitled "Immersive Telepresence Solutions and Managed Services at Georgetown," found that the school has developed a seamless connection between classes that take place on the Washington, D.C., campus and the Doha campus.

Global classrooms at Georgetown are a collaboration between the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship and the university's technology staff.

"The one thing that we really wanted was for a faculty member to walk into the room and not have to think about anything but teaching the class," Randy Bass, the executive director of CNDLS, told the Hoya.

The program has also allowed Georgetown University to save thousands of dollars in travel costs that were once used to bring guest speakers to campus.

According to a Georgetown press release, the implementation of the video conferencing made the School of Foreign Service the first university in the Middle East to adopt such technology as an educational tool.