One of the reasons online learning is so successful is because it is powerful enough to bridge time and distance, allowing colleges and universities to share education across borders to students all over the world. That valuable ability to time shift becomes even more important in the face of unexpected events. The recent travel ban, for example, has some schools advising students not to travel outside the U.S. as they may not be able to return to finish their education. In situations like this, colleges and universities are turning to unique video technology solutions to ensure learning isn’t disrupted.

Never Miss a Class in the Midst of Epidemics and Natural Disasters

Time shifting the learning process is not new.

During the H1N1 (swine flu) epidemic of 2009, online video learning was central to pandemic and academic continuity planning. When more than 2,000 students from the Washington State University system reported symptoms, the university took measures to stop the spread of the disease between campuses. Faculty at WSU Spokane used Mediasite online video technology to record lectures from home, and students watched from home. No one missed a class.

Similarly, universities and healthcare organizations were again in crisis mode last year during the Zika Virus outbreak. Schools turned to online video to deliver their messages about safety and preventative tips with the masses.

The same goes for when unpredictable natural disasters or inclement weather strike, like the California wildfires that forced California State University (CSU) Fullerton Department of Nursing and CSU San Marcos to cancel classes nearly a decade ago. Both schools turned to video technology to continue delivering instruction by capturing and streaming lectures online. CSU Fullerton Department of Nursing’s distance program is attended by working nurses, many of whom lived in areas threatened by fires and were unable to attend class.

“We didn’t want them to have to make a choice between leaving their homes and families–potentially having to evacuate–and coming to class,” recalled Marsha Orr, distance education faculty liaison in the Department of Nursing. “Because we are able to swiftly and easily capture the class and post it immediately to the web, it meant that the students didn’t lose any content. It meant not rescheduling. It meant not trying to double up on information.”

(Next page: Leveraging online video technology in the wake of a travel ban)


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