Volume 8, Number 9
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Carteret Community College
Distance Learning Programs
Carteret Community College
Moorhead City, NC
Carteret Community College in Morehead City, North Carolina, is catching a lot of attention for the extreme makeover of its distance learning programs.
The number of internet course sections increased by nearly 60 percent from 2003 to 2006, while partial internet courses surged up nearly 30 percent.
“What we are seeing is that half of our students are taking at least one course via the internet,” said Patrick Keough, coordinator of distance learning programs at Carteret.
Part of the success has been the all encompassing approach Keough and his colleagues are taking to produce media-rich formats for course content.
“To think I can embed a YouTube video clip about a famous artist or art style into my online Art Appreciation class after a quick Google search is fantastic,” Keough said. “Our students are more high-tech than we are, so we developed a Distance Learning Academy that has been teaching instructors how to incorporate video, podcasting, and other images and audio to their course content.”
Carteret’s Health Sciences Division Director, Laurie Freshwater, was recognized recently with an Excellence in Distance Learning award for her innovative creations for respiratory therapy distance learning courses. Freshwater integrated podcasts, training slide shows, discussion-board case studies, and related links to her online courses.
“Our students are busy people and these courses help replace travel time with study time,” Freshwater said. “One of the most beneficial aspects of distance learning is having the ability to provide students with links to unlimited sources of information. For example, I have provided a link for students to view a pediatric surgical procedure that would be nearly impossible to view in a clinical setting.”
Even the college’s aquaculture program’s distance learning offerings are complete with video, audio, and photos.
“We are showing students how things work, how to get things done, and how to be critical thinkers,” Keough said. “We can show students how to grow oysters by taking them there via video without them having to leave their home. This multimedia approach reinforces the lesson for different leaning styles.”
Over the past year, Carteret Community College was designated an iTunes University by the Apple Corporation so it could include enhanced podcasts in its distance learning courses presented using Blackboard.
“How can we as teachers expect to prepare our students for the future if we cannot embrace the technology they have grown up with?” Keough said. “We have no concrete idea of what work environments will be like five to 15 years from now. One thing for sure, digital technology, the internet, and globalization will continue to impact education and the workplace.”
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