Remote students are now able to fully contribute to GUC tutorials thanks to funding made available from the State Government’s Local Projects, Local Jobs program. New improved audio integration system technology has been installed in three of GUC’s classrooms providing top of the range access to web conferencing for remote students.
Geraldton Universities Centre provides mixed mode delivery for 12 different university courses to students residing throughout the Midwest. This means students access online curriculum from GUC’s university partners while attending face-to-face tutorials at GUC.
With its continued growth GUC now sees 300 students at the Centre and a number of these students live in remote Midwest communities outside of the Geraldton regional capital in towns such as Morawa, Three Springs and Kalbarri. While these students attend physical tutorials in Geraldton, GUC also provides them with the option of using web conferencing so they do not necessarily have to make several trips every week into Geraldton.
“These students really appreciate the flexibility this gives them but the feedback was that while they could hear the tutor when they are situated near the microphone, they couldn’t always hear the classroom discussion,” explained GUC Director Natalie Nelmes.
“The solution to this issue unfortunately is not as simple as adding other microphones around the room because the students at the other end would just end up with a whole pile of noise,” continued Ms Nelmes.
The funding provided has allowed GUC to purchase and install the latest microphone and speaker technology, including 3-D noise cancellation, further enhancing the audio experience for students joining the tutorials remotely via web conferencing so they can participate more fully in their learning experience with their fellow students and tutors.
“Seeing tutors being able to fully integrate remote students into their tutorials because of the new web conferencing audio system has been extremely satisfying, as it allows our remote students equity and excellence no matter where they live or work in the wider Midwest region,” Ms Nelmes stated.
This new technology comes at a perfect time for remote students. Applications are now open for a range of mixed-mode courses at GUC for those wishing to take up university study in 2018 from throughout the Midwest region.
“This new equipment will give more remote students the opportunity to study from their home,” stated Darren West MLC (Member for the Agricultural Region).
“Keeping students in the regions is important because when students study locally, they are more likely to work locally, keeping much needed skills here in the region,” added Mr West.
Darren West MLC with Bachelor of Education Students Emily Molloy, Marian Fernando and Michelle Fitzsimmons.