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January 18, 2007
DH 07 JH10
Contact: Joanie Harmon-Whetmore
CSU Dominguez Hills Raises the Technology Bar for Continuing Education
Carson, CA - Margaret Gordon, dean and Joanne Zitelli, associate dean, CSU Dominguez Hills College of
Extended Education, presented “Beyond Online - Innovative Design and Format in Electronically
Delivered Programs - Integrating Technologies for Targeted Audiences” at the University
Continuing Education Association’s (UCEA) Western Regional Conference in Salt Lake City last September. Their talk focused on the combination of Webcast and television technology to present
courses in the CSU Dominguez Hills applied studies bachelor’s completion program.
“People love distance learning because it’s convenient," says Gordon, "and has a lot of good features, but
it’s very impersonal. Hybrid classes are partially live and partially online, so we’re replicating the advantages of
a hybrid course, but completely through online technology, by combining video, the Web, and live
voices, so that you get the whole package.”
By using Avacaster, a content delivery system, courses are offered simultaneously
online and through a televison broadcast. This provides students the benefits of Webcast learning,
such as viewing classes and archived material at their convenience. In addition, the television
broadcast allows a live face-to-face perspective similar to attending a class in person.
The College of Extended Education conducts eight courses per semester using Avacaster, including OLLIonline,
a senior learning program, and the Young Scholars Program, which offers college courses to high school
juniors and seniors for the nominal fee of $3.50 per class. Gordon surmises that younger students are more
likely to use what she and Zitelli call “fused technologies” to learn. However, she acknowledges that students
of all ages are taking advantage of Internet learning due to inexpensive access to faster online connections
like broadband and DSL.
“The students themselves keep raising the bar,” says Gordon. “Their learning methods are always changing,
because of the exposure they have to various technologies, and we have to be able to address their needs.
Everybody learns in a different way, and by combining modalities, students can adapt what is specifically
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