College turns to virtual world to train emergency workers

“Professors sometimes have to drive back and forth from campus to campus and stay in an office that they may or may not use to see students who might not show up,” Hadden said, adding that he has spoken with educators who bemoan the time wasted waiting for students to show up to in-person office hours.

Carroll University, a private liberal arts school in Wisconsin, saved more than $11,000 last year when the campus’s international studies program used Avaya’s web.alive to host sessions on multimedia programming.

International studies faculty members saw attendance double when compared to live presentations on campus, according to the university.

John Arechavala, director of IT infrastructure services, said the savings were realized through the elimination of travel expenses.

“We know that we’ll continue to see huge cost savings for the International Studies programs because relationships that are developed in-person through costly, time-consuming travel can now be cultivated and strengthened consistently through [the virtual world] without increasing the amount of travel,” he said. “We have local green savings as more students—particularly those off campus—can receive tutoring and faculty coaching via web.alive. There will be reductions in the carbon footprint, in time, travel costs, and potentially facility expenses as offices become more virtual in nature.”