How Video Conference has Changed Academia

How Video Conference has Changed Academia

Computer technology has improved the quality of human life significantly in the past few decades. Computers allow people to share information quickly and connect with other people around the world. The use of computers has been especially beneficial in colleges and universities, particularly in the use of video conferences. This article will discuss two ways in which video conference helps schools run more smoothly.

Online Learning

Many online universities have emerged during the last few decades. At first, these schools mostly offered associate's degrees and program certificates. More recently, brick and mortar schools have begun to offer online bachelor's degrees as well as some advanced degrees. Studying online gives students the flexibility to participate in classes anywhere and anytime, so long as they have internet access. This type of flexibility is especially beneficial to working people who have families.

Many large colleges and universities often hire part-time professors to teach a significant portion of the courses online. Because some of these teachers live and teach in two separate parts of the country, they are unable to meet with students one-on-one. This distance might be a problem for students who enjoy meeting with professors in person. Such students may grow weary of communicating via email. They want to see the person they are talking to.

Now that video conference is being used more frequently in universities, online students can conference with their online professors. These conferences are a perfect way to create a more pleasant learning environment for students. Teachers also have the option of presenting lessons online via conference. During these sessions, students can ask questions and engage with their teachers, just as they would in a traditional classroom.

Interviewing New Candidates

Another way in which video conference is beneficial to universities is that it saves money during the academic hiring process. Traditionally, a school would announce a call for an open position and then review applications during a meeting of committee members. However, gathering all committee members together in one room was often difficult due to conflicting schedules. Video conference has made it easy for faculty and staff to meet from anywhere, so long as each staff member has internet access.

Traditionally, after a hiring committee met and selected its finalist candidates, each candidate would either be interviewed via phone or in person. While phone calls allowed committee members to hear a candidate's voice, the candidate's demeanor and decorum remained a mystery. And while meeting with the candidate in person was in some ways convenient for local candidates, it was an inconvenience for those who lived far away.

However, now that schools use video conferences, committee members can see the candidates on their computer screens rather than merely chatting on the phone. If a candidate does not look professional or displays other visible, telltale signs of unpreparedness, that candidate can be eliminated before spending additional money on bringing the candidate to town for an interview.

In short, video conferences have helped colleges and universities save money and time, and they have also helped personalize interactions between students and professors. Rather than sending impersonal emails back and forth to their professors, students are now able to see the professors they are speaking with. Hiring committees no longer have to wait until all committee members are in town before meeting to make important decisions. This saves money and time during the hiring process, especially when it comes to deciding to bring a job candidate to campus using university funds. Video conference calls are more personable than regular phone calls, and such conferences allow people to meet face-to-face.


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