Remote Distance Learning Now at School of Social Work

Photograph: Students at the School of Social Work participate in a video conference. Photo Credit: Joe Pineiro.

The office of communications services in the Computer Center in Uris Hall recently became a temporary classroom for the School of Social Work.

When Professor Cindy Bailey-Dempsey broke her knee and could not commute easily from Burlington, Vt., to teach her course, "Social Work Practice in and with Schools," video conferencing came to the rescue.

Bailey-Dempsey identified a site in Burlington with a video-conferencing capability and proposed the remote distance learning idea to Associate Dean Peg Hess.

She was supportive but concerned about the reaction of the students, the quality of the lecture on video and the role of a remote instructor with the class, as well as the University's ability to support distance learning technology. Hess turned to the office of communications services for help.

To ensure compatibility of systems and transmission rates and types, communications services worked with AT&T, PictureTel, NYNEX, AOSYS, the Barnard audio visual department and Parlato Productions of Burlington, Vt.

Thanks to Social Work Assistant Dean David Yam, who coordinated these efforts, the first interactive video class of a Columbian professor off-campus was successful.

Those interested in video conferencing may call Corinne Hoch at 854-2897.

Columbia University Record -- February 24, 1995 -- Vol. 20, No. 18