Jamestown Community College (JCC) has installed new distance learning equipment at its Warren Center to enable students to connect more fully with students at other JCC sites.
Often referred to as ITV or interactive television technology, the system allows multiple JCC campuses to connect simultaneously so students and instructors can "interact" in real-time. The new equipment at the JCC Warren Center significantly enhances the distance learning experience for students and instructors with a dual screen system replacing a single screen format used previously.
"The ITV system is a huge asset to the JCC Warren Center," said adjunct biology instructor April Hishman. "Students at the Warren Center can easily take courses offered through JCC's Jamestown Campus but without a great deal of travel."
Noting that the ITV system can incorporate teaching tools ranging from PowerPoint presentations to a document camera that displays video clips, Hishman has watched the technological benefits emerge among students.
"From an instructor's viewpoint, the system works well," Hishman noted. "It has enabled the students from both campuses to become acquainted with one another and participate together on projects and activities through this technology. It also permits faculty to teach from either location, providing an opportunity for all students to meet their instructor in person."
Richard Knisley, Ashley McCracken, and Chelsea Parmenter, students at the Warren Center, emphasized the convenience that ITV courses provide.
"Classes are normally small, ranging from four to eight students," noted Knisley. "The professors involve the students, and the Warren Center staff really put forth an effort to make the ITV classes spectacular learning environments."
With the technology fully functioning, the JCC Warren Center will offer nearly twice as many ITV courses in the spring semester as had been offered previously. The courses can be viewed through the spring master schedule at www.sunyjcc.edu. New spring semester courses begin January 13.
The Warren Center tends to have small class sizes, and by combining campuses and instructors via ITV, course cancellations due to low registrations will be reduced, explained Abigail Skinner, the center's manager.
"Distance learning options permit the Warren Center to hold a course with as few as three students registered while keeping local education options affordable and providing high quality learning experiences," said Skinner.
JCC's Warren Center will also integrate technology through a hybrid course offering. Krista Jamerson, professional development officer for Northwest Savings Bank, is developing an Introduction to Business course combining both online and periodic evening classroom meetings at the Warren Center. The course will be particularly beneficial for students who appreciate the flexibility of online learning but desire some in-person classroom interaction.
Jamerson is a former technical education director at Rosedale Technical Institute. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration, a master's degree in business and technology education, and a doctorate in instructional management and leadership.
Co-located with the Warren Forest Higher Education Council on Warren State Hospital grounds, JCC's Warren Center has offered courses for over 25 years. In addition to credit courses leading to certificates and degrees, Warren Center conducts continuing education classes and provides customized training for local employers.