At Utrecht University it is now possible to teach in a virtual classroom. The classroom is the first of its kind at a Dutch university and is used for simultaneous real-time online education and for collaborating remotely. In a virtual classroom, the instructor operates from a studio and has video contact with all students; as though they are all in the front row.
The virtual classroom - in the Teaching & Learning Lab in the Buys Ballot Building - was officially opened during the Autumn Festival by Annetje Ottow, Vice President of the Executive Board, and Isabel Arends, dean of the Faculty of Science. Over the next two years, the UU will invest in new IT and audiovisual resources that are tailored to the needs of teachers, researchers and staff in order to be able to collaborate and teach remotely. In this way, the executive board also encourages universities to travel less.
The virtual classroom contributes to innovating our education and promote internationalization and sustainability. Annetje Ottow is pleased that almost all internal facility & service providers (like the audiovisual department) and the Faculty of Science are working together to achieve this. "The virtual classroom is an asset to Utrecht's education system, but also contributes to sustainability. By using IT/AV resources, we make remote learning and collaboration possible. It is also ideal for collaborating within our strategic alliances with TU Eindhoven and WUR, CHARM-EU and in the context of LERU. Of course, it's important that you meet colleagues or students abroad live. But sometimes that is possible in a digital way too, and the virtual classroom helps in this effort."
to the needs of users
The virtual classroom is the first audiovisual facility to be delivered as a result of the investment in new IT/AV resources. Both the Educate-it and Sustainability Programme are working together to create a series of new facilities for all employees of the university. There will be plenty of experiments with the virtual classroom in the coming period. Successful experiments will be scaled up. Educate-it already uses this method successfully to make teaching tools available. Instead of filling the university with the technology of which the added value has not yet been proven, the UU opts to facilitate good solutions for online collaboration that are tailored to the needs of users. More facilities will soon be available for experimentation: the Governance Lab at USBO and the Hybrid Active Learning Classroom on the Bolognalaan.
Do you want to collaborate online but don't know how
to organize this? Do you want to participate in experiments with advanced
equipment or do you have a good idea? Call the Educate-it desk at 030 - 253
2197 or mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.