Avaya Helps Higher Education Institutions Create Innovative Learning Environments for Greater Student Engagement
* Avaya’s mobile, personal learning environments increase interaction and collaboration among students and teachers
* Immersive, virtual learning expands reach and provides a competitive edge for The College of William and Mary, The Pennsylvania State University and The University of Texas
For many of today’s students sorting through potential higher education options, the availability and use of technology is an important factor in their assessment. For a generation raised with the Internet, online gaming and mobile devices, a technological architecture underpins their expectations of the educational experience. To this end, Avaya is helping both brick and ivy institutions as well as purely online models create innovative learning environments that drive better student engagement and finding a competitive advantage.
In parallel to trends such as mobility, BYOD and consumerization affecting the business world, students today expect technology to be integrated into their curriculum with their device of choice. In addition, the one-to-many learning model – one teacher lecturing hundreds of students – is giving way to a search for more collaborative, engaging interaction between students and a broad range of teachers.
Embracing this shift in learning paradigms, universities are using innovative technologies such as AvayaLive® Engage and mobile, integrated video conferencing to create collaborative learning environments that transform the educational experience, attracting more students and helping schools broaden their reach. These technologies enable personalized learning environments which provide mobile, on-demand access to resources and enable the delivery of both online and traditional course options.
The College of William & Mary recently expanded its educational reach with AvayaLive Engage in the delivery of online non-degree programs in the Center for Corporate Education (CCE). The collaborative learning environment helped the country’s second oldest university bring relevant business courses to working professionals through a fun and engaging platform. The Center for Corporate Education at William & Mary embraced AvayaLive Engage to extend the reach of their curriculum to alumni and business colleagues around the world. Their student population wants online courses that fit their professional lives without giving up personal and work time that is often lost in travel for face-to-face. Through William & Mary’s virtual learning world, students can listen to pre-recorded lectures, attend live interactive sessions led by the professors and engage with other students in small group projects. Professors hold weekly office hours in AvayaLive Engage that provide the personal connection and help eliminate many scheduling issues tied to time and place.
The Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at The Pennsylvania State University offers a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree in Geodesign exclusively through its World Campus. The program uses a virtual environment powered by AvayaLive Engage for the studio courses. Collaboration and creating a sense of community amongst the students are essential at this design school, and the immersive learning environment serves that purpose well – especially since all of the students are online, off-campus students. Students hone spatial problem solving skills using shared designs, mapping and other graphic communication. For example, in the Avaya studio several design options can be posted simultaneously which allows students and professors to compare designs or enlarge one to see more detail. This collaborative design experience enables the development of best practices that synthesize environmental design with geographic knowledge and scientific data. The AvayaLive Engage virtual environment also has played host to the program’s advisory board meetings where even the most skeptical are convinced of the value of this collaborative learning approach.
Collaborative learning environments meet the needs in healthcare learning settings like University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Biomedical Informatics. Teaching the next generation of healthcare professionals using virtual environments extends this institution’s ability to engage them in hands-on clinical practices. Rooms in the virtual world that simulate hospital in-patient rooms enable to students to better experience and learn the challenging work flow at the point of care. Virtual worlds afford proximity, context and virtual face-to-face interactions as well as faculty office hours, remote guest lecturers and poster sessions at the end of the semester.
About AvayaLive Engage: AvayaLive Engage moves the world of online gaming into a highly interactive, engaging learning and meeting environment. This immersive, collaborative cloud-based application enables students and teachers to engage as avatars in collaboration sessions featuring 3D visuals, video, and spatial audio within its own virtual classroom environment. Multi-media content is easily accessed by students and teachers who can join from any physical location – even in combination with “sister” campuses or universities in other countries. Multiple, free-flowing discussions can take place simultaneously as well as private, 1-1 meetings and interactions. Classrooms can be customized and available on-demand 24x7 as needed.
“The College of William & Mary is excited about this new endeavor and what it means for working professionals investing in their professional development through higher education. As a ‘Public Ivy’ institution, a part of our mission also means we make our education accessible to everyone, and AvayaLive helps us do that. We consistently receive positive feedback about the courses from both seasoned and new online learners. For some, they say it’s the best online course they have taken.”Rosanna Koppelmann, executive director, Center for Corporate Education, Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary
“Geodesign is a collaborative process that brings together design-thinking with science to help communities move forward with their change initiatives. To design for these challenges, students need to experience new ways of thinking about communities – not an easy task when bringing together students from different cultural and professional perspectives. Our online immersive studio provides the kind of environment which engages them and ignites their creativity without the limits of their physical location.”
Kelleann Foster, Director, Stuckeman School and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University
Avaya is a global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions, providing unified communications, contact centers, networking and related services to companies of all sizes around the world. For more information please visit www.avaya.com.
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