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Jan 21, 2013 11:01 AM EST

Universities Experience Surge in Online College Programs

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Hiking college fees to generate revenues in universities is proving to be a costly affair. Students are discontinuing their studies because of their inability to pay the tuition. As a result, universities are experiencing fewer enrolments and losing their credibility as viable educational institutions.

Meanwhile, the development of online college classes has come as a respite to both the parties.

The students can participate in these programs by paying relatively less tuition and without discontinuing their jobs. Various universities are incorporating these programs to re-initiate the lost faith in college education and to generate some amount of revenue.

Among the colleges in the country, Minot State University offers nine such classes this semester in online student integrated classrooms. 

Students, who cannot personally attend the courses, can take them online with the help of web cams or computers/laptops. Residing in any part of the country, they can listen to the lectures, take notes from the board or clarify questions from the professors when in doubt. In addition, every class is recorded to help students for later revisions or for students in absentia.

Earlier, the university was using the state's interactive video network to deliver online programs. However, both students and lecturers found it difficult to attend the programs as they had to be in IVN studios to support the network.

Mark Timbrook, instructional design coordinator for the Center for Extended Learning and Office of Instructional Technology said that this online student integrated classrooms are much better than the previous network and can be accessed anywhere in the world.

"There's definitely a learning curve," Carla Cabarle, assistant professor of accounting, said. "But the potential of it is fantastic," Minot Daily News reports

The new technology helps students, both in the class and away to work on the project as a group. They can also communicate effectively through virtual interface, chats or bulletin boards.

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