STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - A handful of professors in Statesboro, Savannah, and Hinesville have been teaching classes this semester that include students on multiple campuses.
The pilot project allows some Georgia Southern students to take a class even when the professor and other students meet on a different campus.
Dustin Anderson stands in a classroom that connects him to his students at the Liberty campus in Hinesville. He serves as president of the faculty senate and says they first used the technology to connect professors for discussion. However, he and the university’s technology staff figured out it could help connect faculty and students, especially in the face of budget cuts where time and money are precious commodities.
“We knew this would have some ways to soften the impact of what we were looking at from the dip in enrollment that’s picking back up now,” Dr. Anderson said.
Dr. Anderson is part of the test to see if instructors can work with the students equally and if the classes can interact as well as they would around the same table.
“We worked out some bugs the first couple of weeks,” said GSU student, Madison Garcia. “Now, it seems pretty natural. We don’t have to ask if they can hear us anymore.”
Anderson says students today have been raised on web streams and cameras, and adapt easier than he and other faculty. While it may serve as a cost savings for now, he sees it more as an opportunity than a solution.
“This is about getting new people in front of those students that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise without relocating to another campus for a day, a week, a semester, or for years,” Dr. Anderson said.
He says this could expand to serve even more students on all three campuses.