School of Business will record classes

Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Project Management program will soon be able to watch a professor’s lecture without having to leave their homes or residence halls.

University officials in the Graduate School of Business announced their plan last week to integrate a “TiVo” style system called “Lecture Capture” into their program in order to enhance the opportunities they can offer to students. Video cameras have been installed in classrooms and have started to record lectures. Officials in the School of Business estimated that students will be able to view lectures online by 2009.

“I think Lecture Capture technology is a great improvement for our distance programs,” said Murat Tarimicilar, associate dean for graduate programs and associate professor of decision sciences. Nearly half of the 350 students enrolled in the MSPM program are utilizing distance learning.

The system works in conjunction with Blackboard, has regular virtual office hours with EllimunateLive!, and other elements in order to aid students in the distance program, Tarimicilar said.

Prabir Bagchi, a senior associate dean in the business school, said that Lecture Capture will help students who are not in the classrooms to better understand the material.

“It allows distance students to have a better grasp about the material via the discussions that take place in a class,” Bagchi said.

Phyllis Tutora, the director of the program, said in the news release that Lecture Capture helps to create an equal experience for students whether they are online or on campus.

Tarimicilar acknowledged that the system may make students more likely to skip classes, but added that it is a useful tool for students on campus to review the lecture. He also said that one way to prevent students from skipping class, due to this new technology, would be to make attendance mandatory.

“Our assumption is our students, particularly the graduate students, would know the advantages of classroom discussions and classroom dynamics,” he said.

Denis Cioffi, an associated professor in the MSPM progran, said he was not worried that Lecture Capture would cause students to come to class less.

“It’s the instructor’s role as an entertainer, if you will, to make the class interesting enough to make students want to come to class,” Cioffi said.

The ability to view lectures or the audio of lectures is not a new concept to the MSPM program, which already uses iTunes technology to broadcast some of its lectures.

“This is nothing new,” said Young Hoon Kwak, associate professor of project management. “We have a campus program in existence, but this is a more sophisticated way of communicating.”

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