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Videoconferencing classes to be available

July 10, 2013 | Telepresence Options

University Texas Virtual Classrom

Story and Images by Heba Said / The Shorthorn

The Modern Languages Department recently laid out plans for an intercollegiate collaboration with UT San Antonio, offering Japanese and Portuguese via videoconference classes and merging Russian programs online.

However, the method by which these classes will take place is also used for other classes and can be applied to any university in the UT System.

"You might think of yourself partly as a student of a campus that has 35,000 students, but actually, you're a student in a system that has 175,000 students," said Pete Smith, vice provost for digital teaching and learning.

Smith said it's a really neat feature at the UT system that combines all of the campuses. Hundreds of students use this program each semester, taking courses outside of UTA and other schools taking classes at UTA, Smith said.

The classrooms have several screens around them to help students feel like they are all in one class together, Smith said.

"We have a central office in Austin called the UT Online Consortium, and this is that central coordination office, so if you're a student here at UTA and you see an online course at UT El-Paso that makes sense that you'd like to take, that your adviser thinks it would be a good course for you to take, you can literally through the Online Consortium sign up with that course in El Paso and get that course back on your transcript here at UTA," Smith said.

The collaboration can be done with any course offered at any school. If someone sees another UT System school offer a class they are interested in, or need for their major, they can go through the Online Consortium and sign up for the online course, Smith said. The only difference is tuition has to be paid to the other university and cannot be paid at UTA, Smith added.

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