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DEAC: TAMIU's Latest Enterprise

By Eduardo Hidalgo
On February 11, 2011

Today's technology offers the opportunity to be more interactive through the use of computers. Community networks such as Facebook have evolved online communication to the point where users now have the ability to virtually interact through the cyber mediums by sending text messages, videos, and audio files. Online academic courses are no exception to the possibilities.

The Distance Education Advisory Committee at Texas A&M International University is dedicated to the improvement of services associated with online courses. On Monday, January 24 2011, the Distance Education Advisory Committee or also known as DEAC, held its first meeting with all its members at the Student Center from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The members of this committee include several departments of our university such as School of Relations, Registrar, University College, Academic affairs, Killam Library, Graduate Studies Research, Canseco School of Nursing, Sanchez School of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Education.

During the meeting, the members of the committee focused on topics related to the improvement of information and instructional technology, as well as the frequency in which such meeting will take place. The committee's members are also focused on reaching out to TAMIU's students and staff in relation to the enrollment of online courses.

An anonymous member from the Office of Instructional Technology branch explained that, "Online courses are not what they were five years ago" and continued by saying, "today's technology contributes efficiently to offer a more than average learning experience."

Statistics from the Office of Instructional Technology show a linear increase in the enrollment of online courses. The statistics are available to students and staff upon request from the OIT department.

 During an interview, Associate VP of instructional Technology Chief Information Officer Leebrian Gaskins mentioned about the competition in some professional fields that encourages individuals to seek higher levels of education. As an example, Gaskins elaborated on the case of individuals whom feel an impedance to continue their education because of the interference of family or current employment throughout the day.

Gaskins also mentioned the option of online courses for those with busy lifestyles in search for a higher academic degree. Aware of all the challenges, the DEAC's team members constantly collaborate to support individuals linked to the necessity of online education courses. In addition to all, the DEAC is informed up to date regarding the analysis of comparative technological innovations from other campuses, strategies for development of online courses, and the most recent methods in distant learning.

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