This item originally appeared in the October 7, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By ELLIOTT DONNER
Health Information Management at Tech is offering courses for online bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The courses required for a degree are made possible by software called Tegrity.
Angela Kennedy, an associate professor of health information management, said, Tegrity software allows teachers to record their lectures on web cameras, and have PowerPoint slides to go along with the lecture. Students can access the class through Blackboard.
Kennedy said, “Students taking online classes don’t ever have to leave home for a lecture.”
Kennedy said since not everyone learns in the same way, this course offers students who do not test or take notes well another option for class.
“The online degree program is totally student centered,” Kennedy said.
This method of earning a degree has been beneficial to others who are not in the online program as well.
Kennedy said one of her students had a husband in critical care for half a quarter. She missed all the lectures and because of the Tegrity software the student was able to see all of the lectures and catch up in class.
The software can also be used for students who need extra assistance in classes, but not for students who skip class. It is only used in certain circumstances, Kennedy said.
Online students pay the regular tuition for Tech, and there are no fees for out- of-state students since they do not use Tech’s campus. However, there is an extra charge of $100 per credit hour, Kennedy said.
The class is as simple for professor’s to use as it is for students.
The professor saves the lecture and PowerPoint onto a server and edits it, if needed. After the lecture is on the server, Kennedy said it is put on Blackboard for online students to use. Blackboard is used by many students and teachers at Tech to get notes, homework assignments and class updates.
“It only takes five minutes before class to set up and five minutes after class to load onto Blackboard.” Michelle Martin, an assistant professor in health information management, said.
Martin said the software is beneficial to the online students in so many ways, from not having to leave home to the use of the pause button.
Laurel Mills, a junior health information management major said, “This is a great idea and will be helpful and easily accessible for a lot of students. I would love to get my master’s degree online from Tech.”
Kennedy said the health information management program is changing and will continue to change every two to three years.
“We eventually want to integrate laptops into all of our classrooms so we can have labs and class together," Kennedy said.
The Tegrity software was funded by the university and all computers and equipment were purchased through grants given to the HIM department.
“Dr. Reneau has been instrumental in moving this along,” Kennedy said.
The online courses are offered and after meeting the Board of Regents Oct. 18 the HIM department will know if they can start their online master’s program.