Distance Education at UF

UF LogoA comprehensive distance education site, Florida Campus Direct (FCD), is the "the University of Florida's website for Distance Education resources and opportunities" (FCD). The various distance education programs and courses available at Uf are listed at the same "address". This is a helpful service, since DE courses and programs are available through a number of different colleges on campus. These colleges and departments take individual responsibility for the development and delivery of DE courses, and for the procurement of the necessary hardware and software. In addition to providing information about the individual courses and DE degree programs, the site offers a "one stop" application process, as well.
    The Office of Instructional Resources (OIR) "provides resources, technical assistance, and equipment to assist the UF Faculty, Staff, and Students" (OIR). OIR is divided into three general divisions: support for media services, instructional technology, and teaching/learning. OIR maintains a site license for WebCT, Web Course Tools. WebCT "is a course management system which facilitates the creation of sophisticated web-based educational environments in three ways:
  1. It provides an interface allowing the design of the presentation of the course (color schemes, layout, etc.)
  2. It provides a set of educational tools to facilitate learning, communication and collaboration.
  3. It provides a set of administrative tools to assist the instructor in the process of management and continuous improvement of the course" (WebCT).
     An interesting page on the OIR site is the Faculty Showcase page; this page highlights a number of courses developed through partnership with OIR:
  • "The Virtual Factory", a DE course in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, supplies an interactive CD-ROM to distance learners enrolled in the course. The CD-ROM tours students through the virtual world of a factory to learn about noise hazards in the workplace. The dangerous noise levels are measured using virtual equipment (OIR).
  • "Use of 3-D Modeling To Explain Medical Technology", in the Radiology Department in the College of Medecine. In this course, videos using 3-D modeling are used to illustrate and explain medical terminology to patients and the community (OIR).
  • Enhancing Learning in the Arts with Technology", in the Department of Theater and Dance. Interactive animation and graphics are used to help artists understand costuming by using their visual skills (OIR).
     IFAS Communications is another entity at the University of Florida devoted to the implementation of DE courses in the College Of Agriculture and Life SciencesDE Classroom. IFAS Communications, located in McCarty Hall, Building D, houses its own distance education classroom networked to DE centers located throughout the state of Florida, a two-live camera studio, a control room, and a number of digital editing suites. Producers and staff will develop courses with Faculty from start to finish. IFAS Communications recommends a timeline of 12 to 18 months for DE course development.
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