With fall 2012 registrations, Integr@te has become the primary delivery and resource system for Western's distance education courses. While we have anticipated the platform migration, the mandated changes to course scheduling make the timely delivery of course materials a necessity. Students must be able to access course content in the first week of each session to ensure compliance with federal guidelines.
Thankfully, over the past year we have been conducting a live test of the system to ensure that our current students would find it both a functional improvement over a DVD-only approach, and a useful learning platform. Responses have been gratifying.
While there have been hiccups along the way - and there surely will be others in the future - the program has performed as well or better than we had hoped. Students are now able to access their courses immediately upon activation and may view their first media content within minutes. That Integr@te incorporates advanced progress monitoring, scheduling support, Bible study tools, chat rooms, a news agregator and more is already establishing it as the preferred content delivery platform of many of our students.
We anticipate that in the near future Integr@te will take on an even more important role in our distance education learning system; more on that to come. Please understand that we are prioritizing online course delivery in the fall and not abandoning our DVD ROM format. Students who lack consistent access to a high speed Internet connection may still request a free DVD ROM disk, and all CLL students will be able to purchase a DVD of their course for just $20.00.
While we understand that Internet access and computer systems do add to the cost of a student's program, it is hard to deny that educational success in the second decade of the second millennium requires an investment in technologies, just as we all expect to invest in text books and course materials. The cost to students of not having a solid computer platform and reliable high speed Internet access, however, is significant in terms of lost productivity and personal stress.Thankfully, the hardware expectations of our distance courses is minimal and easily satisfied with an netbook, laptop or desktop computer that can be acquired for less than the cost of a single credit hour.
If you have questions or concerns, please let us know. We will work with you in any way possible to help ensure a successful - and enjoyable - learning experience.