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Wimba Aids Growing Enrollments at Butler County Community College

BC3 Hits a Decade of Online Classes

To read the original article in The BC3 Cube, click here
By Ashley Lefever

Over the past ten years, BC3 has managed to not only offer successful online classes, but has steadily increased the student enrollment through the use of these classes.

In the 2009 spring semester the record enrollment was set at 954 students. By the next fall semester the enrollment had once again increased by sixty-five students, placing BC3 at a standing of 898 students for online classes.

Dean of Educational Technology, Ann Fife, is thrilled with the success of the online classes, and doesn’t see any signs of the online world for BC3 slowing down.

“More courses are being developed and will be offered to students in the future. Do to the success of the courses many of our instructors are opting for teaching online classes,” says Fife.

Not only do the average college students apply for these courses, but do to the availability, other people have begun to take advantage of the college’s resources.

“We have had many different cases of students taking online courses at BC3 while they are away from home. We have students who are in the military taking courses while they are overseas, students in exchange programs in different countries, students who have moved out of the area but want to complete the degree program they started at BC3, and students who attend other colleges and universities that want to take courses over their summer breaks,” says Fife.

Not only are new faculty members beginning to offer their expertise in online courses, but also the college has invested in many more updated programs that enable the instructors to enhance their courses.

Panopto CourseCast and Wimba Classroom are the latest, and possibly the most intriguing developments that have been added to BC3’s online courses.

Panopto is a program that enables the instructor to provide video recordings of lectures, presentations, and tutorials directly onto blackboard.

Wimba is a synchronous online classroom, which enables students and professors to meet for lectures and tutoring with the use of two-way audio, video, and application sharing, without ever leaving their own office or home computers.

Current BC3 student, Karen Wilson, has had both experiences in having online classes and on campus classes. When asked about what she thought of her online course, she responded with genuine satisfaction.
“I really enjoyed my online class. It was easy to access, and one of the best qualities is that I could sit down and do my work at my own convenience,” says Wilson.

With the ease and convenience of the online classes, and the growing number of classes and instructors, it’s no wonder that the enrollment continues rising, and shows no signs of slowing down.

“Flexibility and convenience for complex work schedules and personal situations, minimizes geographical and travel constraints, 24/7 access to coursework and reference materials, and creates equal opportunity for all students to succeed, are just a few of the many advantages that are provided with the numerous online courses offered through the BC3 campus. Thanks to the great outcome so far, more courses are being developed and will be offered in the near future,” says Fife.