BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Sep 7, 2011) - WizIQ, Inc., a virtual classroom provider and online learning network, announced today that the Des Moines Area Community Colleges (DMACC) would begin using its virtual classroom this fall with a 150-room initial deployment. Used to meet the needs of both its extensive distance learning program and administrative offices around the campus, WizIQ Virtual Classroom will provide a platform for everything from virtual office hours to synchronous lectures, lesson capture, and even outreach to prospective students.
Because DMACC serves both urban and outlying rural populations and draws adjunct faculty from across a large region of Iowa, a synchronous learning tool needed to be easily accessible with a web browser, highly cost-effective, scalable, and place virtually no additional demand on strained IT resources or campus bandwidth. The fully hosted virtual classroom met all of those requirements and, with its free Blackboard Learn Building Block, was easily integrated into the school's existing learning management system.
As Mark Steffen, Director of Distance Learning for DMACC, explained, "We were able to make WizIQ available to a significant percentage of our staff at a fraction the price of other virtual classroom solutions. We're going to be training our staff and then looking expand across the entire distance education faculty as we move to more synchronous course offerings."
The virtual classroom will primarily be used by faculty who can schedule class sessions and virtual office hours directly through Blackboard Learn without additional sign-ons or logins. The Building Block is transparent and when virtual classroom sessions are scheduled, they automatically appear on student calendars in Blackboard. Students simply click on the class link and the class, complete with virtual whiteboard, shared audio and video, and support for sharing all major document formats, launches automatically. Students and faculty can then view recordings of the classes through the same Blackboard interface.
Chris Dawson, WizIQ Vice President of Business Development, noted that "DMACC represents the new face of community colleges as centers for training, continuing education, and affordable post-secondary education. WizIQ is happy to be part of their continued push into high-quality, cost-effective learning, regardless of the distances involved for students and faculty."
DMACC is one of the fastest growing community colleges in the nation with over 700 faculty and serving over 70,000 students between its degree programs and extensive continuing education offerings. Many courses are offered online and small class sizes, experienced faculty, and innovative uses of technology characterize the school, whose campuses are located in and around the greater Des Moines metropolitan area.
WizIQ has offices in both Massachusetts and Chandigarh, India. Its Virtual Classroom platform connects educators and students through both technology and course offerings, with nearly 1.4 million students using the tool. WizIQ's teaching tools require only a Web browser, eliminating the need to download or maintain software and allowing WizIQ's tools scale to meet the needs of universities and major training and teaching organizations.