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New technology for cross-campus teaching

News story

University partners in the Western Australian Energy Research Alliance (WAERA) – Curtin University of Technology and The University of Western Australia with the support of iVEC and WASP, are using new video technology to deliver joint classes to petroleum engineering students for the first time in Australia.

Students from both universities attend live video-linked lectures from their home campus through the web based “Access Grid”. This initiative enables the transfer of lecturing expertise across campuses to large groups of students. Students are in the lecture room at the home university and observe the lecturer on the other campus with the aid of multiple screens and microphones/speakers.

To assist assessment of both sets of students during the lectures, a remote key-pad system is used by the students to allow the lecturer to ask questions of both classrooms, and for their responses to be automatically logged in real-time over the web. The remote response system is known as TurningPoint, RemotePollâ„¢. The system enables question and answer responses from both groups of students to be collected simultaneously and integrated instantaneously at both sites. The lecturer can gather feedback and gauge student understanding from multiple locations to tailor the material delivery to the students.

The system provides an insight into how teaching could be economically performed in future years whether intrastate, interstate or internationally. It has a number of major benefits in terms of the immediate recognition of how well students understand the topic being lectured, and also allows valuable lecturing time to be halved releasing lecturers to do other important duties. As in the present use, it also allows one lecturer to teach large classes from two universities at the same time, rather than two lecturers teach the same material twice over.

For more information visit the WAERA website.

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