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Regional campuses make adjustments to content delivery format
Southeast is making changes to the way courses are delivered to regional campuses next semester. The goal is to transition to a neutral technology setup, which allows for the University to switch to the platform of their choice with no restrictions. Zoom is the platform regional campuses will use for communications instead of the current technology called iTV.
Nathan Bullock, dean of extended studies, is in charge of the Southeast Regional Campuses. Regional Campus opportunities include dual credit options through more than 40 area high schools, along with online degree programs.
Bullock said this new way of communicating between all four regional campuses will prove to be a more efficient mechanism going forward.
“iTV has been around for the past few years — it allows for you to do live video conferences for classes throughout each campus site. Today there’s a lot of ways to do that, but at the time, it was much more revolutionary. There are a lot of options now, and iTV has maintained a pretty stiff price per premium on the equipment they use. Today, you can buy the same stuff from a different brand for pennies on the dollar,” Bullock said.
According to Bullock, a full room of iTV equipment costs more than $30,000, compared to using Zoom Communication rooms which cost roughly $5,000 and have a neutral setup, allowing Southeast to switch to a different platform if necessary. The university will not only be saving money by making this move, but will also be making technological progression by no longer using outdated equipment.
“We’re in the early stages of the planning process and have made plans to implement equipment as early as this summer. Right now, each individual desk has an individual microphone that you push on and off. The new system will have omnidirectional microphones that are on at all times, which will work a little better and is better than having to buy individual microphones for each location,” he said. “Recently, we’ve been having to go around and clean each microphone whenever someone would touch it to turn them off, so something that doesn’t require touching in 2021 is worth looking at.”
These technological advancements are being worked into facilities around the campuses, and the full experience will go live in the fall semester.
For more information about extended studies and regional campuses, visit the university’s website at semo.edu/extendedstudies/index.html.