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Online Instruction


The TICR Program features online (internet-based) technology in all of its courses.

COURSE MATERIALS

All courses house all of their written materials (e.g., lecture slides, datasets, and homework assignments) on their course website. This allows 24 hour access to course materials both for students taking the classroom version of the course as well as those taking the course in an entirely online format.

LECTURES

High definition recordings of course lectures are made available on the course website within several hours of the original recording. These recordings capture the lecturer and his/her animations, the lecturer’s voice, and all materials projected on the main lecture screen and whiteboard. For local students taking the classroom version of the course, these recorded lectures are useful when class must be missed because of professional obligations. For students taking the course from afar, the recordings provide a complete exposure to the classroom environment. For all students, recorded lectures enhance learning by giving the opportunity for pausing to note questions and for reviewing/replaying to enhance understanding.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION SECTIONS

Web conferencing software allows for small group discussion sections that emulate the in-person experience. Course faculty and students are all able to see live video of each other through web cams, hear each other through high quality teleconferencing, and share a central whiteboard. Section participants may also permit other participants to have remote access to their computer screens for assistance with programming or data analysis. Collectively, this technology allows online students the same real-time access to experienced course faculty for questions and discussion that occurs in the in-person small group sections. A variety of guidelines and tips have been developed to enhance the online experience.

DISCUSSION FORUMS

Both local and distant students may pose questions and comments on the online discussion forum, which are then addressed by other course participants.

PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY

For students taking courses in an entirely online format, the philosophy of the TICR Program is to have the online experience emulate what students receive in the in-person (classroom) version. This is achieved by having all course materials available online, providing high quality recordings of lectures, and holding real-time small group discussion sections. In particular, the real-time small group discussion sections are critical to the learning experience and differentiate our program from most others which may offer no direct access to course faculty or may do so only through asynchronous text-only communication. Our real-time small group sections give students direct access to course faculty for questions and discussion. The ability for instructors and students to see and hear each other in this format is an invaluable part of human communication and adds considerable value and efficiency to what can be achieved by text-only conversation.